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Maybe you’ve experienced this funny phenomenon as well! I never put much thought into it except to giggle over it, but yesterday it certainly caught my attention. As I was going for a power walk I noticed how all of the lizards on the sidewalks just hang out on the sidelines and only dare to cross the very moment my foot lifts to take another step. It’s actually quite scary, since every step I take I feel like I’m going to squish one of these little guys! However, they always seem to make it across! I’m thinking they’re stupid and careless, but what do they know that I don’t?

My thoughts then quickly shifted to us humans and our tendencies to stay on the sidelines— sometimes for way too long. What is it about lizards that make them act so quickly and go all in when the danger is at its peak?

Well, our “lizard brain” tends to either freeze, fight, or flight when we feel in danger. It’s that primal, instinctive part of our brain that is always trying to protect us. Certainly, those big visions we want to go after can be just as frightening as they can be exciting. And I wonder how throwing ourselves into the perceived danger can get us that much closer to where we want to go, and sometimes, where we know we need to be. Achieving “success” also can be fearful in and of itself, because then we may wonder what happens when we “get there”? We may ask, “How will my life change, and can I live up to that change?” Perhaps, instead, we should be asking ourselves, “What if I never change? Will I be content with my life staying as is?”

If you find yourself in that scenario, like a lizard looking up at a big shoe about to drop, consider asking yourself:

  • What about this fear is true?

  • Is this just my lizard brain trying to protect me?

  • What’s the worst that could happen if I felt the fear and did it anyway?

  • Without fear would it be as meaningful?

How could our lives shift dramatically toward our vision if we actually began to embrace fear, as if it were a marker that we were on our true path?

Gosh…I get excited thinking about It. Do you?

What are you fearing right now that’s keeping you on the sidelines?

I guess it’s no coincidence that lately I’ve been surrounded by so many amazing individuals who are breaking through their fears and finding major breakthroughs on the other side. I find that it’s much easier to go all in when you’re not the only one doing it!

As the amazing Brené Brown says, “You can’t find courage without walking through vulnerability.” You think those little lizards aren’t vulnerable when they jump out in front of a huge, scary sneaker? They survive over and over, and so can we.

Are you fear FULL? Embrace it and move toward your dreams.

Namaste,

Monique

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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 3

This week our well-being expert is Lina Acosta Sandaal teaching us about Emotional Intelligence. Read her blog below to learn what emotional intelligence is, how to achieve it, and some great ways on how to increase your emotional intelligence day by day!


The Nest Miami2We all experience positive and negative feelings. Most of us want to protect ourselves from negative experiences and avoid negative emotions. However, every time we tell ourselves that our negative emotion is intolerable, we rob ourselves of an opportunity to develop emotional intelligence and a way of walking through our emotions into taking intentional decisions. Most importantly, neurologists know that we best engage, learn, and make meaningful decisions when we are in a receptive state. A receptive state  is when someone feels seen, soothed, secure, and safe. The alternative is a reactive state  where we are constantly looking for danger and reacting by fighting, running away or freezing. If we work on our emotional intelligence, we move towards being in a receptive state more times than not. Ask yourself these two questions:

WHAT EMOTIONS DO YOU GUARD YOURSELF FROM FEELING? WHY?
WHAT EMOTION DO YOU TRY TO AVOID FROM FEELING? WHY?

Take the answers to these questions and the next time you feel them, go through the process that I will walk you through next. If you practice handling these emotions with emotional intelligence you will no longer need to “react” to the feeling, and will become more “receptive” to the information these feelings give you.

Emotional Intelligence is being able to:

  • •Feel an Emotion
  • •Tolerate Emotion
  • •Recuperate from Emotion

This is learned by:

  • •Naming and labeling emotion
  • •Physically experiencing emotion
  • •Seeing and empathizing with others   (REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT)

 

Tools to Build and Increase your Emotional Intelligence

FIRST – FEEL THE EMOTION:

  1. Label the feeling. (“I am scared of this new job hunt. I am embarrassed what my friends will think.”)
  2. Pause (try 90 seconds) and remind yourself that this emotion is transient and not permanent and no action needs to be taken while experiencing/labeling  the feeling.

“It takes less than 90 seconds for an emotion to get triggered, surge chemically through the blood stream, then get flushed out…..anything beyond that is of your own choosing.” —Jill Bolte Taylor  (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/229)

SECOND- TOLERATE EMOTION:

  1. Narrate to yourself what is happening:
    1. Describe the feelings in your body.
    2. Wonder what the feeling reminds you of.
    3. Check in with expectations or “shoulds” that may be helping you to feel this particular emotion.
    4. Walk yourself through what happened right before you started feeling this way and how you have walked yourself out of this feeling before.
  2.  Make a choice to breathe, move (i.e. walk, jump or simply pump your fists) or embrace yourself until you feel the emotion begin to pass (placing one hand over you heart and another over your stomach while breathing soothes most people.)

THIRD-RECUPERATE FROM EMOTION:

In the moment:

  1. Continue to tell the story of “the FEELING event” – this time observe yourself and tell yourself, as if you were a lawyer, the facts of the event.
  2. Reinforce how you were able to calm down – tell yourself several times what you did to calm down.

 

Day to Day

  1. Learn to breathe and calm down, most of us hold our breath more often than we think.  Just one deep breath will reboot our neurology. (i.e. Yoga, meditation, Simply Being app)
  2. Journal or get used to speaking regularly to a close friend/partner about your emotional state allowing yourself time to process and understand your emotions.
  3. If you find that when you ask yourself “what does this feeling remind me of?” you remember past hurts, you may want to work with someone who can help you understand and know your history and how you make sense of your own emotions as it is influenced by your past history (eg. therapists, personal coach, clergy)

“Anyone can become angry-that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way-that is not easy.” —Aristotle

 


Mary P
Lina Acosta Sandaal
Lina Acosta Sandaal, MA, program director of The Nest in Miami, is an expert in child and adolescent development and infant and early childhood mental health, having worked and trained at Vista Del Mar in Los Angeles, Yale’s Minding the Baby, National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and Child Trauma Research Programs.
Website: thenestmiami.com
Facebook: facebook.com/TheNestMiami
Twitter: twitter.com/thenestmiami

 
 
 

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Welcome to Week 3 of Summer of Well-Being! If you’ve been following our last few blogs, you know that I’m reading and writing about Arianna Huffington’s new book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

Each week we also have been featuring a guest expert to share a tip on improving your well-being. If you missed those, make sure to check out Mary Trontz’ blog about Strengthening your Core, and Davis Mitchell’s vlog about Hydration.

This Thursday you’ll hear from Lina Acosta Sandaal about Emotional Well-Being. So much of what I teach through my courses and coaching has emotional intelligence at its core.  You simply cannot lead your life well or lead others successfully and meaningfully without having or acquiring this skill through practice. It’s one of the most difficult skills to master, because you have to be aware and in tune almost all the time. Lina teaches us a great way to practice this skill!

Last week we discussed the importance of Wonder for our wellness. I promised I’d report back on all the wonder I discovered on my vacation, and my promise to myself that I would not head to the office first thing on Monday with so much stress that my vacation would have been pointless!

Well, the vacation did not come without stress. My daughter ended up in one of the Bahamas’ medical centers, day 1, with what we thought was an eye infection. And, on day 4, she slammed into the pool wall, injuring her chin! Luckily, she is healing nicely and had lots of love and support during both incidents. I have to say that I kept it together and focused on all the positives, which were many! Being intentional about how I wanted to feel during and after my vacation really helped! In fact, I’d love to share with you my video below of the two dolphins—Exhuma and Robella, who were the cause of much WONDER and joy during our trip! We actually got to swim and play with them in the open ocean and experience their beauty and brilliance. And, it is my first morning back to work and I’m feeling great! A bit tired, but staying focused on getting things done with a Caribbean state of mind.


http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=98361615&force_embed=1&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

Wisdom and Success

This week, I’d like to focus on the importance of Wisdom on our journey toward well being. In Thrive, Arianna Huffington describes it in this way:

“Wisdom frees us from the narrow reality we’re trapped in—a reality consumed by the first two metrics of success, money and power, long after they have ceased to fulfill us. Indeed, we continue to pull the levers not only after their diminishing returns have been exhausted, but even after it’s clear they’re actually causing us harm in terms of our health, our peace of mind, and our relationships. Wisdom is about recognizing what we’re really seeking: connection and love. But in order to find them, we need to drop our relentless pursuit of success as society defines it for something for genuine, more meaningful, and more fulfilling.”

When I read this I naturally want to question, “What is success, then, and how do we redefine it, understanding that the majority of our waking hours are spent trying to achieve ‘it’?” Maybe you have struggled with this question as well? In reading one of my favorite blogs—Sources of Insight, Zig Ziglar’s definition of success is:

“…closing the door on your office at the end of the day knowing that you did a good job and knowing that those that interacted with you had a positive experience.”

“…looking forward to getting home and seeing the people you love.”

“…turning out the lights and saying to yourself it just doesn’t get much better than this.”

When I read this definition I get excited! Yes, success should be measured (daily) by how we affect other’s lives positively, connecting with and loving others, being purpose-driven in all that we do, and being grateful. You with me?!!! All of these concepts are found in Thrive.

 

Wisdom and Time

In Thrive, Arianna refers to the epidemic of “time famine” and how it sucks the wonder and wisdom out of our lives. She shares,

“In order to manage our time—or what we delude ourselves into thinking of as managing time—we rigidly schedule ourselves, rushing from meeting to meeting, event to event, constantly trying to save a bit of time here, a bit there. We fear that if we don’t cram as much as possible into our day, we might miss out on something fabulous, important, special, or career advancing. But there are no rollover minutes in life. We don’t get to keep all that time we ‘saved’. It’s actually a very costly way to live.”

How can “time famine” affect our well-being? A study led by Lijing L. Yan at Northwestern University found that young adults exhibiting time urgency and impatience had a higher risk of developing hypertension and weight gain. No surprise here! If this study measures young adults, can you imagine how adults who live unconsciously this way year after year are affected over time?

 

Wisdom and Habits

So much of wisdom is tuning into our minds, our hearts and our intuition. How can we put ourselves on a path to well-being if we are not aware of what is working and what is not working in our lives? In the book, Arianna shares what poet Mark Nepo says about this understanding:

 “(Sacrifice is) giving up with reverence and compassion what no longer works in order to stay close to what is sacred.” Arianna adds, “So recognizing when habits are no longer working for us and sacrificing them is a cornerstone of wisdom.”

I also appreciate what Arianna shares about “Keystone Habits” from Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit:

“Reprogramming the autopilot (in each of us) takes different amounts of time. What makes it easier is focusing on ‘keystone habits’; when you change one of them, it makes changing other habits easier. (This) starts a process that, over time, transforms everything. Keystone habits say that success doesn’t depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers.”

Arianna’s keystone habit was and continues to be sleep. By getting more sleep regularly she is able to more easily create other new well-being habits, such as meditation and exercise.

 

Finding Your Thread

In closing, I love a Greek Mythology story that Arianna shares about Ariadne (also Arianna’s given name), in which Theseus could be saved and free to return to Athens only if he entered the labyrinth and slew the Minotaur (monster, or our old habits!). All who had gone before him had perished, but Theseus, guided by the thread Ariadne had given him (what guides us back to our center; our core sacred being), was able to make his way into the labyrinth and come out of it alive and victorious. What a great analogy, huh?

So, here’s my challenge to you this week:

  1. What is your Keystone Habit? That one thing that you can do that will be the foundation for your path to well-being?
  2. Create one small action step to begin creating that Keystone Habit.
  3. Take a piece of thread that will remind you of your step and tie it around your wrist as a reminder.

Here’s a picture of mine! My Keystone Habit is movement! I’ve noticed the difference in every aspect of my life (especially how I sleep!) when I move—whether it’s yoga, walking, biking, dancing, etc. My step is to do a minimum of 20 minutes a day.

photo copy 2

Please share what your Keystone Habit is below, and I’d love for you to share a picture of your Thread! Thanks for tuning in today. “-)

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Monique

Photo courtesy of Neerav Bhatt

beeflower1

I can almost recite by memory those times I pushed so hard to make something happen, but it didn’t. No matter how much energy, positive self-talk, preparation, or confidence I backed it up with, it just wasn’t “meant to be,” I told myself. Been there? I bet you have! So, the question, then, for most high-achievers is:

 “But, if I don’t try hard, how will I accomplish?”

It’s a good question. But, if you look deep past the question, you’ll notice that it is based in a myth that has been passed down from generation to generation which has us believe:

The only way you will be successful is if you die trying!

Don’t fool yourself any longer. In fact, you’ll experience a longer, healthier, happier and more successful life if you begin training yourself to believe otherwise.

Now, I’m not saying not to try, and not to work hard. Please do. But don’t do it blindly. Consider this:

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.

Translation:

I am a flower; success is the bee. I don’t need to chase it. In fact, if I do, it may sting me!

When I bloom, authentically, where I am planted, success will find it’s way to me.

Not easy, I know. This translation is based on two principles:

Trust in your authentic self.

Trust in who you were meant to be.

So, if you want to try really hard, I’d love for you to do it in this fashion:

  1. Know thyself! Have you done what’s in your power (worked hard!) to get to know YOU? Who you are at your core? What makes you unique? What lights you up and makes you jump out of your bed each morning?

  2. Allow yourself to blossom! Know it. Own it. And, yes, WORK IT slowly each day, and head down that path. The path may shift, or lead you to unexpected places. Keep knowing and understanding and walking toward what feels right and what feels true. And, if every cell in your being tells you that you’re on point, well give it all you’ve got and go for it. Then, I hope you TRY DOUBLY HARD for it!

  3. Trust and allow. This is the most difficult step, I believe. We can learn and develop and take actions toward our purpose, but when we feel as though we have to push desperately, then fear has come into play and we may get stung! Believe me, when we are off our authentic path we will know it—see it, feel it, hear it. But oftentimes we ignore it.

I remember a time when this was true for me. Many, many years ago I was in a job that I absolutely loved. I was applying the very best of me, helping others, and learning so much at the same time. I was definitely growing and leaning toward what I knew was ME! I wanted more and kept heading in that direction. In fact, I never felt like I was ever trying (a great sign!)

However, as has and will happen to many of us, something gets in the way that we may not have any control over. In fact, asking “Why” is futile, because some things do happen for our highest good and we may never have our answer. At this point, fear crept in, and I desperately began seeking other opportunities elsewhere—ones that did not align with who I was and who I knew in my bones I needed to become. The search threw me off and I became who I thought I “needed to be” just to get out. Needless to say, it did not turn out as I had expected, which led to many painful experiences and rejections which caused me to back track and re-build “me”. Eventually, my internal compass led me back on track, and I began to trust. The rest, as they say, is history.

I love saving others unwanted pain. In fact, I’d love nothing more than to help you confidently walk in the direction that you are meant to go.

Seek it. Align with it. Trust in what is and what it will be. And, bloom, baby, bloom! Bring on those bees and yummy nectar!

Is there a time you can clearly remember when you tried so hard and knew it was futile? I’d love to hear from you.

It’s your life. Lead it well!

Namaste, Monique

Tall woman and short man

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. —Tao Te Ching

In this hustle and bustle world we live in, we trick ourselves into thinking that we can only achieve success if we are working on and conquering BIG goals. Worst, sometimes we only set these BIG GOALS because we are competing with others to win, or doing what we feel we “should” be doing in order to move up, “make it,” etc.

A classic example every year in January is what? GETTING IN SHAPE! How many times has the new year rolled around to find us all racing to find the newest exercise or diet craze in order to FINALLY get to our ideal weight or body image? It’s a pattern that is hard to break because it may be coming from a place of good intention and some peer pressure, but in the end we are creating a pattern for ourselves of ultimately failing. And when we fail over and over again (in anything) what we are creating is shame. And, why wait until January to start getting in shape, right?

When I was a young girl I kept telling myself that “Good things come in small packages!” I was always (and still am!) the shortest in the group, and it wasn’t always easy. But, through affirmations and slowly building my self-confidence and realizing my value, it never truly became an issue for me. And, the benefit I reap, is my collection of fine stilettos!

In the same, how could this phrase—Good things come in small packages— apply to you and your ability to achieve your goals in a lasting way? The concept of Kaizen tells us that small and steady is much better and more effective.  In fact, through Kaizen we learn that the smallest possible step is the best one to begin with. Like “stupid small!” Need more reassurance? Here’s a great article by the creator of Dilbert who feels big goals are stupid!

In my daily practices I am dedicated to the Kaizen way. Not only do I believe in it, but it just feels better! So what does it look like? It can look like this…

  • Instead of running for one mile every day (especially if you never run!), try walking a mile first.

  • Instead of eating three servings of spinach, or broccoli a day (especially if you hate them!), try drinking 1 green juice a day (pick a green you like and mix it with yummy fruit!).

  • Instead of becoming a great communicator over night, start with one nerve-wrecking conversation!

Get me?

What happens over time is that you are able to accomplish these smaller goals more consistently and then build upon them. If you are walking up steps today, in a few days you actually may be able to run up them (as I have noticed for me). If you are able to take down a green drink a day, your body may start craving more greens or other veggies because you feel better. And, when you do better than you think with that one conversation, you’ll find yourself having many more!

I’m not knocking those individuals who may truly benefit from intense goal achievement, or intensity in general. Do what works for you and empowers you to feel successful and sustain your success. If that has not worked for you in the past, give this a shot and see how GREAT things can manifest through SMALL actions. And, mostly, don’t fool yourself in believing that these actions are not impactful. For one small drop can create magnificent waves.

Want to give this a fun, easy try?  Here’s a great place to start. K.I.S.S! (Keep It Simple Silly!)

Wishing you a life well led, Monique

 

As a child I remember watching the movie, Sybil. My heart hurt for her and everything she endured because of her illness. While watching, I remember wondering, “Who is the real Sybil.” I wanted her to experience that desperately as well.

You and I may not be Sybil and experience multiple personalities, but don’t you sometimes feel like there is more than one of you? Don’t you catch yourself looking up to the sky sometimes and asking for help? You may find yourself saying, “Who the hell am I?” “Why does one voice tell me go and the other stop?” “Why am I happy today and pissed tomorrow?” Yes…we’ve all been there.

Well, if you read my last blog about Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?you know that you kinda do have two of you in there somewhere. In fact, according to Godin,

“There are two almond-shaped bits in everyone’s brain. Scientists call these amygdale, and this mini-brain apparently takes over whenever you are angry, afraid, aroused, hungry, or in search of revenge. It’s only recently that our brains evolved to allow big thoughts, generosity, speech, consciousness, and yes, art…The new part is the neocortex…In the face of screaming resistance from the amygdale, the rest of the brain is helpless. It freezes and surrenders. The lizard takes over and tries to protect itself…So the two parts duke it out. And, when put on alert, the lizard brain wins, every time, unless you’ve established new habits and better patterns—patterns that keep the lizard at bay.”

See, you’re not crazy! You can take a deep breath now. But, you may be asking, how do we go from “we” to “I”? “How do I quiet that lizard voice in my head?”

Well, I’m about half-way through the book and Godin is already sharing a few tips for getting back more of your power; your true voice. He alluded to it above by suggesting we must create “new habits and better patterns.” Here are four tough ones to create. Get ready to work hard!:

Seek out discomfort. In fact, we must go out of our way to be uncomfortable. (Are you beginning to sweat already?) Godin says: “Ironically, it’s those who seek out discomfort that are able to make a difference and find their footing.”
Forget Plan B. Remember that safe, plan b we’ve always created? Come on, you know what I’m talking about! Godin believes: “You’ve probably guessed what happens when you have a great backup plan: You end up settling for the backup. As soon as you say, ‘I’ll try my best,’ instead of ‘I will,’ you’ve opened the door for the lizard.”
Look for the bad ideas. Seriously? “Yes,” says Godin. “Finding good ideas is surprisingly easy once you deal with the problem of finding the bad ideas. Every creative person I know generates a slew of laughable ideas for every good one.”
Listen and do it anyway. Listen to the lizard (it will always talk to you!), and do it anyway! Read that book, push forward with that new idea, say what’s on your mind, etc. Godin shares, “The lizard hates it when you read books like this one.”
When what you are doing is isn’t working, do things differently, right? Let’s give it a shot, folks. Simply thinking of attempting to do the four steps listed above stirs up quite a bit of “uncomfortable(ness)” for me.  I’m sure the same is true for you, because our “Sybil” (lizard brain) is at play. Feel the fear? I think, then, that working on step 1 is key—feeling uncomfortable. I’m up for it, are you?

Let me close by discussing confidence as Godin does as well. It takes confidence to even attempt to be successful at creating the above new habits. So, how do you build confidence? A little bit at a time. And, as you achieve small successes, you’ll begin to bring increased confidence with you to your new habits and actions, raising your feelings of success.

Finally, you can increase your confidence by “pumping yourself up”. There are so many ways to do this, but one I find truly enjoyable is reading The Optimists Creed. Here is an enjoyable version.


Tell that lizard that your eternal optimist is alive, kicking, and ready for a tough match!

Have an inspired week!

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.

You can do it, Princess!
When is it truly the right time to do something or be someone? Do you find that often we push ourselves so hard to accomplish a goal or make a change that the result is just not what we expected? This became clear to me earlier this year when my daughter (finally!) became a potty queen! But, boy, did it take a while!
 
I always remember reading in toddler magazines and hearing from my relatives and friends that girls learn to potty much quicker than boys. Our first child was a boy, and it was no easy task, but he got it done just in time for Pre-K 3.  So, I was ready and expecting tremendous success from my simply fabulous little Princess, but when the results of our efforts failed, we felt like failures too. Were our expectations of her too high? Did she sense that from us and set herself up for failure? Neither, I believe.
 
What I did realize soon after she made it happen was that it had absolutely nothing to do with me, my husband, or anyone else’s expectations of her. It did, though, have everything to do with her expectations of herself and her state of readiness. It was truly a powerful lesson for us all.
 
We tried everything to get her to potty—all the tricks in the book.  Nope…they did not work! My daughter simply was not ready. She would tell me “No, Mom, I’m not ready,” but I just didn’t listen. I stuck with “the plan” hoping for a turn-a-round. After realizing none of the plans or tricks were working, we all just simply gave in and gave up. I thought to myself, “Maybe she really isn’t ready.” I let it be, and I also forgave myself for not being successful “like all the other mommies were.”
 
It was at 4 ½ that she finally drummed up the courage to go potty. In fact, she was so courageous about it that she didn’t tell anyone. She simply walked confidently into the bathroom one afternoon, sat on the toilet, did her business, and even cleaned up after herself. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. But, more than ecstatic, I was proud. Proud that I didn’t continue to push her to be “like all the others”; proud that I finally listened to her telling us she wasn’t ready; and most of all, proud of her for knowing when it was the right time FOR HER to be successful at this task.
 
This experience taught me a lot about parenting, but it also shed some light on how we push ourselves consistently to do this and that and achieve this and that because we feel it is necessary, mandatory or expected of us. I believe this is a lesson of truly listening to ourselves and learning to know the feeling we feel when “now is the right time.”
 
Reflecting upon this, I can see, too, how I forced certain things to happen in my life, perhaps to prove to myself that I could do it, yet it truly wasn’t the right move for me or the right time to make the move. I can also tell you that I knew these things deep down but chose not to acknowledge them.
 
Is it okay not to listen to our inner voice—to be rebellious with ourselves and push forward? Sure! Every action provides learning, and life is all about learning. However, is it better to sit with ourselves for a while and weigh our options prior to moving forward? I would argue, yes, the effort you put in may reap greater rewards.
 
We can also look at ourselves as managers of others in these situations. Is what we are asking of others unrealistic? Are the right people on the bus in the right seats? Especially during tough fiscal times many individuals are being asked to take on more work, and work that they normally would not be assigned because it may not be in their field of training or related to one of their skill sets or strengths. How far can we push others to get the results we feel or are being told are necessary? Perhaps, during these times, our best role as managers is to really listen and help teach others how to better listen to and know what their inner voice is saying to them. If they do, I believe we may find greater levels of creativity, excitement, communication, and productivity in the work place despite the economy woes.
 
They say that the only constant is change. I agree with this. And because change is constant it makes perfect sense that a goal we want to achieve today may not be possible until six months or six years from now. And, because everything is constantly changing, so are we as human beings. So what does this mean? It means that even if a goal we have is not doable until six months from now, when six months rolls around we may not even want to, or need to achieve that goal any longer. If we are not keenly in touch with our inner voice, we may put that goal into action (just because we said we would) without the desire, proper backing, enthusiasm or support to achieve success.
 
Recently, I took a quiz in Facebook that was created by our Marketing Team in FIU’s  College of  Business to assess one’s ability to come up with creative business ideas and solutions. It’s called Uncommon Thinkers, and if you use Facebook, you can find it here: http://apps.facebook.com/uncommonthinkers/?ref=nf.  If anything, take it for fun. That, it is!
 
I took this quiz over a year ago when the college launched its Uncommon Thinkers campaign. At that time, it showed me as being a “creative thinker”. This time, it showed me as being a “risk taker”.  Funny enough, scanning my life over the last year or so, it couldn’t have been more right. I would have never tagged myself as a risk taker, but in my life today, I have become quite the risk taker, and it feels good because I know the timing is right to take some bold moves. Just as my daughter clearly conveyed to us that she was not ready, I have clearly conveyed to myself that I am ready for change and risk. What about you? Do you have similar experiences you can share?
 
Embrace change…know thyself well…and push forward on your goals when your inner voice says “go now”.
 
Much success today and always,
Monique Renee Catoggio, MBA