Posts tagged perspective
12 Personal “T.H.A.N.K.S.G.I.V.I.N.G” Reasons To Show Appreciation

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays of the year.

For many, it’s a time to be with family and enjoy delicious food (and some football).

It’s also the kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

At its essence, though, Thanksgiving is all about gratitude,

Whether you choose to remember how early American settlers survived a difficult winter or something more recent and personal, Thanksgiving gives us all opportunity to pause and reflect about all the goodness in our lives and say, “Thank you.”

🙏 “Thank you” for your gifts

🙏 “Thank you” for your opportunities

🙏 “Thank you” to the special people in your life

🙏 “Thank you” to the Being that produced you

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How to get back into a routine

Mondays can be challenging. As the first day back to work, it requires us to leave behind our relaxing weekends and jump back into the grind. Making matters worse, we have to reestablish routines that got interrupted by the relative serenity of Saturday and Sunday. No wonder some studies find Monday to be the second least productive day of the work week, after Friday.

Legal holidays present similar challenges. With a few right around the corner, it would be wise for us to review some ways to jump back into work feet first and get more done.

Since R+R is often associated with a weekend’s gift of “rest and relaxation”, let’s use R+S to connote Monday’s “return and success”.

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Walking the Tightrope of Life

Many of us struggle to achieve and maintain proper balance in our lives. We seek to succeed in the work arena while simultaneously being there for our families and loved ones. We have a strong sense of community and want to give back to those around us while also ensuring that we attend to our health-related, emotional, and spiritual needs on a regular basis.

Despite our best intentions,our many aims oftentimes come into direct conflict with one another. We simply cannot give as much time as we would like to each of these areas in a manner that is fully satisfying. How can we manage to strike the proper balance between these oft-competing realms in a manner that is both responsible and fulfilling?

For starters, it is important that we take the time to identify and prioritize our core values and aspirations. Often this is best achieved through the creation of a personal mission statement, which lays out what is most important and what we strive to achieve in each realm. A coach, guide or mentor can be helpful here in ask the hard questions that drill down on what is truly important. They can also offer a different perspective and value set to your own.

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Learn to Win Small

ONLY two days, or TWO DAYS? YEAH!

Well, it depends on your perspective.

For a couple of weeks in the middle of winter, I had tried to move my workout routine from mid-morning to early-morning, as in 5:15 AM.

I thought that the benefits of a top-of-the-morning, pre-prayer workout would be enormous.

I would be able to pray and work with added energy and focus.

I could skip the morning coffee and would be motivated to eat a healthier, leaner breakfast.

My mornings would be more open, allowing me to get more done.

It would also make for fewer wardrobe changes.

But I just couldn’t pull it off.

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Lessons from My Recent Staycation

This weekend, my family (wife and three youngest children) went on a brief, local staycation. They were off from school (midwinter break) and my older three kids were all away for one reason or another.

Circumstances prevented us from taking the kids on a more elaborate trip (such as to Florida) that many of their classmates and neighbors enjoyed, and so I thought that our planned “trip” to a nearby hotel (with a big TV, a “private” pool, and other amenities) and then to visit Manhattan attractions would seem lame by comparison.

I am delighted to report that the kids really enjoyed themselves and not once whined about not doing something else.

A few lessons that I learned from our local excursion:

  1. Farther isn’t always better – We often think that we need to go far away to feel like we’ve left. That should not be the case. Leaving, in my opinion, is more about relocating mentally than it is about repositioning physically.
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Life Lessons from the Pool

Today was a fun day. I set up our “new” pool (it was actually a replacement for a damaged one) and my kids, who had been pining for the pool since the last one collapsed, got back into the water again. They swam, splashed and genuinely enjoyed one another. It was a perfect activity for today’s sunny, hot afternoon.

While we definitely enjoyed the end result, there was much effort that went into the pool’s setup. For starters, I had set up the original pool on a slightly sloped area (no part of my back yard is perfectly flat). The water had previously caused the pool to sag to the downside and I wanted to prevent the same outcome this time. So I took my landscape rake and worked for some time to flatten out any bumps and reduce all elevations...

As I reflected on my morning of pool prepping, I thought of some lessons that have useful application to many areas in our lives. These include:

  1. Lay a solid foundation – All successful projects begin with a solid, smooth foundation. Whether it’s setting up a pool, launching a new product, or initiating organizational change, a strong foundation helps to ensure that the process will be met with success. When it comes to anything people related, the primary foundation of strong relationships is trust. In the case of a bringing a new product to market, seek to do the necessary research and testing to ensure that the launch will be a success.
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Appreciating What We Have

It can be easy for all of us, especially the chronic complainers amongst us, to see the glass as half empty. Particularly in a society that makes many promises and encourages us to think that we deserve every last convenience and pleasure, it can be easy to fall into the trap of complaint when things don’t go our way. But if we just take the time to look at things from another’s perspective, we can often see that we have it good even when it doesn’t always appear that way.

So how can we start to see things from another’s perspective? And how can we adjust our thinking to be more thankful for what we have and see our life’s glasses as being half full?

  1. Adjust your paradigm – In his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”, author Stephen Covey shared a story involving a young father and his children on a train. Covey was seated on the train, preparing for a long weekend in front of him. He expected a nice, quiet ride while he read through his favorite periodical. The children, however, had other ideas. They were loud and boisterous and the father seemed quite oblivious. Increasingly annoyed, Covey eventually made his way to the father and asked him to control his children. You can imagine his shock and dismay when he was told that the man and his kids had just come from the hospital, where their wife/mother has passed away. Covey uses the story to speak about paradigms, or the way that we see things. If we have rigid, me-first perspectives on what should happen, such thinking will impact how we act and communicate.  If, however, we condition ourselves to think more in terms of what others want and need, as well as to set more realistic expectations for situations (such as taking public transportation), then we can approach them with more patience and balance.
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