So Where Is Your Life Going To During These Turbulent Times?

As we navigate through this turbulent time, it is important that we do not allow the challenges and fears to drown us. Rather, we need to exercise personal leadership by taking action with the things we can control.

So many changes are happening in the world right now that is hard to keep up. For me, I had so many successes to celebrate but before I got to really embrace those successes, there was coronavirus getting right in the way of my plans. I had to cancel two flights, four speaking engagements and let go of some wonderful opportunities which I was really looking forward to! The changes were all happening so quickly that my emotions were bobbing up and down – sometimes leaving me completely exhausted. Being a sensitive and intuitive person can be hard on my system because I can feel the energies of others all around me. Fear feeds fear – it generates more fear!

Today, I felt re-energised. Our work in transitioning to online services seem to have fallen inplace – at least we are ready to execute our first two workshops tomorrow! Our online team meeting today proved how effective online learning can be and the power of a team pulling together to make the transition effective. It needs planning, preparation and time to execute it to perfection but it is possible. I love the challenge and the great minds I work with and I am grateful for the 100% onboard mentality – YES – WE GOT THIS!

I think that we live in an interconnected world which can offer many opportunities, even though there are also many challenges. In the process of responding to a crisis, we learnt some new skills and we have made ourselves more marketable for future opportunities!

As we navigate through this turbulent time, it is important that we do not allow the challenges and fears to drown us. Rather, we need to exercise personal leadership by taking action with the things we can control. Simple things that we can do while staying indoors: find some happy things to do such as getting out in nature and having some long walks, conference call people whom you have not connected to in a long time, indulge in some self-care, read a good long novel, watch movies, join an online program, prepare for an exam which you want to take, spend quality time with your family.

While it is important to pay attention to the facts around the coronavirus, we must not become so fearful that we end up hurting ourselves or that we add more darkness into the universe. Let your light continue to shine by remaining rooted in your faith, being positive and being proactive in doing the right things for yourself and your neighbours.

Life has a way of sorting itself out… this too shall pass. BUT DO PLAY YOUR PART IN CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS.

Comment below and let us know where you are and how you are coping in your part of the world? What positive spin can you put on our reality? Where is your life going?

Do you deliver 70% or 100%?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Don’t expect others to do things exactly as you would do it yourself. If you can deliver at least 70%, it is o.k.” These were the words of my mentor advising me on how to deal with a project several years ago.

Why was 70% o.k for him? It was not good enough for me. At that time, I had high expectations of myself and others plus the need to control the results of the project which added additional stress on my mind and the team. I couldn’t understand why others could not put as much effort in getting things done as I was.

Wisdom kicked in over the years. I have lost several committed friends to illness and death who wished they had a more balanced approach and had spent more time enjoying the journey of life. I still aim high but I know that most importantly when managing projects and my life in general, each person involved can make or break the targeted results. For excellent execution, 80% of problems are solved by simply having the right people in the first place who also understand the true value of a team and how to balance each other. While we all want our visions to materialize perfectly, we need to consider other factors that life throws at us and continuously work at risk management. My mentor’s suggestion for delivering at least 70% of my results allows me to cater to the days that someone is ill; a few moments to enjoy and celebrate something special; a few moments to breathe a little better; a few moments to connect at a deeper level with someone; a few moments in between to simply let life lead me down paths I would not think about before. 70% allows me a few moments do nothing sometimes.

My 70% helps me to manage my expectations around other human beings in my path and acknowledge that they too are their own soul journeys with their dreams and challenges. Managing these expectations significantly reduces my stress level which increases my ability to manage everything around me better. Surprisingly, my 70% is becoming a restful and enjoyable 90% of living life generously, gracefully and with a sense of well-being. I actually prefer to live life with this balance than the stressful drive to getting things done perfectly well. Sometimes, we get to 100% with the least effort simply because a space has been created to be at ease with each other and to feel happy. When expectations are managed, we feel happier and life opens up more and more opportunities for us to live in this ideal space of well-being.

What is your % in meeting your life/soul deliverables? If going for a full 100% works for you, don’t limit yourself. We all have different approaches to work/life balance. TuneIn to how you balance your life and StepUp to create a space of well-being around you and those around you.

Love,
Magdalene

Are you being treated as a door mat?

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“I feel overworked most of the time. I need to find a strategy to make my supervisor realize that I am not a doormat.” Sheila said quietly.

By that she meant the everything was being dumped on her – she had become a welcome place for all types of problems. She did not know how to say NO and could never prioritize. She felt undervalued and “taken advantage of”. She could feel the mental and emotional toll it had taken on her over the last year.

In my 20+ years of managing programs/people plus what research shows, this type of feeling from a staff manifest itself in various forms which can create hostile work environments. It is manifested in passive-agressive behaviours, low performance, constant “unspoken” battles, resentment, gossip, and lots of frustration. I have allowed others to treat me as a door mat and I learnt how to be more self-assertive. I coach people to discuss it instead of avoiding it because the problem is not just about you being treated like a door mat in the work environment. You are probably being treated as a door mat in your other relationships as well and most of it stems from a need to please others and to be liked. You can’t change your manager or team but you can take ownership for the situation and approach it sensitively.

Note that there is a difference between working hard and being treated as a door mat. Hard work which is aligned with your belief system fuels you to excel even greater!

Here is one approach that you can use if you feel overworked and feel treated as a door mat.

Try this:

Have a conversation with your manager about setting a list of priorities for a week/month/year. Be calm, smile through the conversation and go prepared with a list of items that are already on your plate. At the end of your discussion, type it up, share it with your manager and put it where you can see it to keep you focused.

Try this script: (Use the word “I” and NOT “YOU”)

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“I feel  bit overworked over the last few months and my objective is to reduce my stress level so I can work more efficiently. I would like to work with you to help me identify our priorities over the next little while, so that I can be more effective with how I use my time and support you in meeting our team goals.”

By using this strategy, you are taking ownership. You demonstrate professionalism and can measure your progress based on your priorities. If new tasks pop up, you can negotiate what to give priority to, seek support from your manager in re-assigning some of your tasks and be in charge of your workload. You will gain respect and feel that you are taking control of the situation and not the situation controlling you. You can also take some other courses in self-assertiveness or try a sports program like kick boxing that help you bring out the assertive side of you.

TuneIn to what you have control over and have the courage to Stepup to create a good work/life balance. The first time you do this will be hard but eventually, you will master it and it will become second nature to you.

Love,
Magdalene