Small consistent changes make the most difference in one’s life, but the hardest part is beginning to make these changes.
Having been a businessman all my working life, I will admit that for most of that time I eschewed any kind of advice or direction that would help me to get in touch with the spiritual or emotional side of my being. It just didn’t fit within the parameters of my career or the make-up of my character. Like most executives, envisioning a CEO taking time out of a very busy day to meditate, practice yoga, or go to a counselor to get centered was not in my frame of reference. Making a profit and being successful is what centered me and excited me.
As my business took off, I began paying the price for its rapid growth. As many business leaders do, I realized how lonely and difficult the job of a CEO could be. When cash flows began to erode, deep cuts and tough business decisions had to be made just to survive. During that time, the two elements of my life that I had essentially ignored were there to get me through the crisis: My wife and my kids.
At this time, the realization occurred that I had been working and waiting for my life to get perfect in order to be happy, and it was never going to be perfect. With the help of several unlikely mentors, I was able to start the process of changing the focus of my life, and I am now mentoring others to do the same.
The following list I have developed includes ten warning signs that might indicate you could benefit from a few simple steps to change your focus:
•When you have a knot in your stomach driving to work, thinking about the impossible list of things you have to accomplish by the day’s end.
•When you have a knot in you stomach, driving home from work, knowing that once again you have disappointed your spouse, your kids or your best friend by being late to or canceling yet another outing with them.
•When the hours in your workday begin to double the hours you sleep at night.
•When antacids and headache remedies become your constant companions, and a cocktail at then end of the day is your most reliable stress reliever.
•When a lunch break either constitutes a business meeting or carryout food eaten in less than 15 minutes, usually while you are checking your e-mail.
•When you realize you never really talk with your staff and know nothing about them except maybe their performance outcomes.
•When you begin to avoid conversations with your spouse because you know that it will always end up in an argument about how much time you spend working or thinking about work.
•When your “friends” can only be counted among your colleagues.
•When your kids let you know either verbally or by acting out that they need more of your time.
•When most of your self-worth is based on your career accomplishments and the lifestyle they have afforded you.
In order to help clients change their focus, I have developed The Daily Six book and workshop to create a positive outlook each day for both individuals and whole organizations. These concepts are something you can do without the assistance of a Zen master, learning to sit in the Lotus position or burning incense in your old ashtray. However, by taking these steps you can stop waiting for your life to get perfect to be happy.
1.Willingness: to change and to appreciate a new perspective; to view your life at its deepest level with honesty; and to eliminate harsh judgments and unreasonable expectations of yourself and others.
2. Daily Quiet Time: Mornings work best for me, but each person needs to find his or her best time. You may want to create this time during a lunch break. Take a walk and try to clear your mind from work for ten or 15 minutes.
3.Service to Others: No effort is too small. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic, hold the elevator door open for a straggler, call your spouse during the day just to say hello, spend a few minutes each week getting to know a little more about a member of your staff.
4.Love and Forgiveness: People can’t read your mind - When you express positive feelings, they will be returned. When you practice forgiveness, it will bring you peace.
5.Gratitude: Be grateful for all things, even the painful or stressful situations that bring change to your life. Instead of viewing life’s events as good or bad, or right or wrong, try wait and see.
6.Action: You don’t need more knowledge to make changes; you need action to change. Don’t wait for the right time -- now is the time to begin.
Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/JohnChappelear
Twitter Feed: http://bit.ly/TwitterJohnChappelear
LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/LinkedInJohnChappelear