Category Archives: Living Well

Self Care

When executives turn to their coaches in those moments of overwhelm, they might describe it as an issue of work/life balance, Or, it could show up as managing priorities, or even setting priorities. >

Hire Mothers

This is an important secret I learned when I ran my manufacturing company: hire mothers. Now, when the hiring signs are going up all over the country, it becomes even more urgent. We need highly efficient workers who are result-driven and don’t waste time. What mother has an extra minute to waste? Mothers have to come up with creative ways to get results with limited resources, and that creativity can work for you.

I was facilitating a session on sales training for one of my Members this week and I was asked by a mother “how do I get out there and do networking when I have to get home and start the second shift?” We brainstormed how she did outreach in the past, and agreed to double down on the activities that had worked: Lunch meetings, connecting by phone, having a memorable 30 second elevator speech that she would give in social situation. Making sure to actually give it and not back down because it was a social situation. She grabbed the idea and plans to run with it.

I was recently asked how I ran a company and raised 2 amazing daughters. I’d say it wasn’t a perfect world. The competitor in my head thought I had to be a better leader than my Dad and a better mother than my Mom. My drive for results had me running through rather than enjoying a lot of moments. It was my Mom who said “enjoy every stage of your kids lives….the days go by so fast.” I had to learn to slow down, breathe and appreciate. I watched how other mothers did it –  mothers I hired, my friends, my big sister – we figured this out together.

Maximizing the time available for work at home and in the office as well as being there for the important moments is standard stuff for mothers.

On this Mother’s Day, ask the mothers you know for one tip that could make you more efficient. Thank you to all the mothers who give so much, and teach us how to be better people. And if you have the hiring sign out tomorrow – hire mothers.

 

photo courtesy of the BLS

Being 90

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be 90?  Here is my Aunt Ruth blowing out the candles at the family home where she lives independently.  She still drives during the day, has seen every recent movie and can talk about happenings in the world with a clear viewpoint and a desire to hear what others think.

Not all of us will have the luck to be this healthy and together when we are 90. Her brother, my Dad, died of leukemia at 67. Same genes, not the same luck.  Ruth’s love of living and kindness to others drew everyone to celebrate her on her special day with great joy!

 

Happy birthday Aunt Ruthie.  I want to be like you when I am 90!

 

This week send some appreciation to someone you know who is older and would enjoy hearing from you.  It will make you feel good, too.

Reevaluating Priorities

How often do you throw all your cards up in the air and re-sort them in a new order? I’m going through that right now. Due to a much increased work load (all good) I’m rethinking where I put my time and attention. Obligations, burdens, previously fun stuff, the “of course I’ll do that” responses, are all being put under the microscope as part of reevaluating priorities.

How often do you go through this exercise? I’m hearing a lot of discussion about this from friends and colleagues who are struggling with children’s needs, having their last kid leave for college, coping with their health or a loved one’s health….. It seems that when big things change in our lives, we are forced to reevaluate priorities. I’m also hearing this in subtler ways. Whispers about the amount of stress, the traffic, the joy in living becoming strained, no time for little moments, spouses being neglected.

In a business, this comes up most often as too many meetings, too many emails, hours that are too long and not creative or productive. We don’t get out of this without some rethinking.

In order to rethink, I have to start from the big picture: What do I want? Where do I want to be in 3 years? What will I have to give up to get to the big goals? What do I have to put in place especially new habits, better processes, clearer focus to get what I want.

Barbara Bush was quoted this week as saying: “You have two choices in life; you can either like what you do or dislike what you do. I have chosen to like what I do.” It may not be that easy for most of us. But it is worth considering.

How can you set yourself up for a great week? What activities do you need to delegate or push off to stay focused on the big picture?

 

Are in interested in Vistage?

Bored v. Busy

It seems like it was a common refrain 10 years ago that everyone was bored. Perhaps that came from living with teenagers.  Now everyone complains that they are too busy. >

Power of Fear

When we are having a good day, our thinking brain (the pre-frontal cortex) is in control and we don’t get flooded with cortisol – the hormone that is produced when our instinctive brain (the amygdala) saves us from danger. The power of fear is life saving in the right moment. It is also extremely harmful when it washes over us regularly through our day as we engage with the world through our computers/devices.

In her Vistage talk called from Blindspots to Breakthroughs, Rebecca Heiss spoke to my groups about how to reduce your blindspots and increase your awareness to live a healthier and more peaceful life. Dr. Heiss’s presentation is a careful layering of facts and examples that allowed us to reach our own conclusions. She comes from the viewpoint substantiated by science that our fear response is subconsciously driving us to the point that it is damaging our health. Awareness of how this is affecting us could save our lives.

In thinking about all the stories Dr. Heiss wove to provoke a greater awareness for ourselves about our own assumptions and responses, I realize that we have to catch ourselves in our own mental games if we are going to create new patterns for ourselves. Our subconscious brain will fill in with automatic responses if we don’t provoke discomfort for ourselves. In order to do that, we have to get outside our regular patterns, like taking the same route, talking to the same people, following the “accepted” way of doing things. It is the power of fear that in today’s world looks like we won’t be included or accepted that keeps us from trying new things. While that might have led to death in the cave age it won’t have much effect today.

According to Dr. Heiss, the more you practice using your pre-frontal cortex to challenge your patterns, the more it grows and the more frequently you will respond from there instead of the amygdala, the fear response center. What is one thing you could do from the list of top 5 take-aways to reduce the power of fear in your life?

The top 5 take-aways were:

1. Breathe- create a meditation practice

2. Reconcile by asking what you stand for and what you stand against

3. Expand the diversity of input you get

4. Ask more questions about your assumptions and those of others

5. Know yourself

 

Want to know more about Vistage?

Thorn bushes have roses

When I was a kid, my Dad spent every weekend in the garden and his 45 rose bushes were his pride and joy – right after the dichondra lawn. I didn’t seem to notice the thorns as I cut flowers for my Mom or deadheaded old roses per my Dad’s instructions. >

Add more charity

While driving home from Pilates this morning, we passed the caravan returning the fallen firefighter, Cory Iverson, to his home in San Diego from the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It is so devastating to lose a life. 8300 firefighters have been deployed.18,000 structures are threatened.This fire is now the largest we have seen in California. How can we help? >

If you could take your Dad anywhere, where would you take him?

Many of us have complex relationships with our Fathers and mixed emotions about holidays like Father’s Day. So facing right into the situation, I want to know where you would go if you could take your Dad anywhere.

My Dad was in the navy during WWII. He served stateside, but was always interested in world affairs in a way that everyone in that generation was. It was personal, and they had earned their viewpoints with their service and their sacrifice. Like many after the war, he was able to create a business and have a family. He would not take on debt and and saved up to pay with cash.

He got the opportunity to travel to Western Europe and never forgave our leaders for letting the Russians have Eastern Europe where his parents were born. When the wall came down in the fall of 1989, I cried that my Dad had died 4 months earlier and did not live to see this day.

If I could take my Dad anywhere, I would take him to Berlin.

Asking people this question, I heard all sorts of wonderful stories about my friends’ fathers. Then again, maybe your Father was absent, so you would take him to something he chose not to attend. In any event, honor yourself today, as well as the Dad you had. You get to choose how you carry these memories and how they affect you from now on.

What is the point of Mother’s Day?

My Mother hated Mother’s Day. Yet, even as adults with children of our own, we would all make sure to take her to dinner together, and bought her a gift she didn’t need but we all hoped she would like. >