Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA
I live in the Northwest where we have lots of wild (annoying) Himalayan Blackberries. While I was walking the other day, I spotted a large, juicy, very ripe berry about eight inches off the ground. As I was reaching for it, already salivating with anticipation, a picture from a few years ago flashed in my mind.
I used to have a loyal Beautiful Abyssinian cat that would follow me around. I just adored him and loved hanging around outside with his company. One day, I was picking blackberries in the field next to our house, and he backed up and sprayed everything his little sprayer could reach. With that picture in my head, I decided to leave that low hanging fruit right where it grew, thank you very much.
It made me think about the recommendation that we hear so often to pick the low hanging fruit first. Yes, it is the easiest to get to, takes the least energy, but is that really the best use of time?
Had Bill Gates chosen to pick the low hanging fruit, he probably would still be picking easy fruit, and wondering where his Big Dream disappeared to. What are the visions that you have that require you to stretch? Maybe that would be more fun, taste sweeter, and support your business better that the easy target?
By Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA
I’ve been fascinated with movies about people who wake up, usually in the hospital and don’t know their name, and don’t remember their roles (wife, husband, employee) or their habits (happy guy, quiet person, music lover). While on the one hand, that seems like a nightmare that you’d want to wake up from, my fantasy is that it would be the most freeing day of the year. As we talk about being your own coach this month, what if you could start tomorrow on an absolutely clean slate – what would you create for your life?
An important part of Big Dreams is the ability to dream them. So often yesterday’s definitions about who you are, what you can do, and how you act keep yanking you out of your dream. If tomorrow were actually the first day of your life, and you’re starting with the advantage of you can already walk, talk your language, and you know some social mores like shaking hands, smiling when spoken to, remaining clothed in public – you can go forward into this brand new day anyway you like.
We’re suggesting this month that you exercise your inner-coach-muscle. How about beginning with as blank a slate as you can and moving forward into your day with new Big Dreams. If you catch yourself making the month’s plans by rote, just because it’s how you’ve always done it, see if that inner-coach-muscle might flex in a different way.
I’m doing a big break-out from the mold this week. I’m taking a vacation by myself to a health spa, just because. I’m sure that if I woke up some day in a hospital and couldn’t remember my name, as soon as I remembered how to travel, and discovered that I had enough money in my accounts to cover a few days at a spa – I would jump on the chance. So I’m doing it – and I even remember my name and my husband and children’s names (although maybe for just a few days out there on the ranch I won’t even care what my name is).
By Sheryl Eldene, MBA, MA
As we begin the second quarter of the year – it is finally Spring, after all – I’m inviting us to do a reality check on where we are compared to our original intentions. Whatever you are doing now with the majority of your day, is that what you wanted to be doing when you started this endeavor? For most of us, what we do with the majority of our day is a job or a business – what we do with our energy and our time in exchange for assets/money. Of these four types of intentions, where did you start, and where have you ended up:
- IT’S A JOB. When I started this job/business, my intention was to make money to support the lifestyle of my dreams. I wanted this job to be lucrative and to provide security. I wanted those two results as a result of using my skills and talents and possibly learning new skills along the way.
- IT’S A CAREER. When I started on this track, I intended to create a path that I could follow over many years. I hoped that it would create wealth (“Do what you love and the money will follow”), but my main intention was to engage in a field that would bring me passion and joy just in the doing of it.
- IT’S A CALLING. When I started this endeavor, I felt called by the Spirit that helps direct my life. I felt that my engaging in life in this way would fulfill a greater mission and would serve my family, my community, my world, my contribution to heaven-on-earth for all of us.
- IT’S DEEP SATISFACTION. When I started this work, I imagined that it would complete my heart. Although I do not have a sense of a ‘Calling’, this work felt like something that I have always longed to do, and succeeding at this endeavor would be the high point in my life.
This month is all about setting intentions. What intentions did you set, and how has that progressed for you, or did you unconsciously shift your focus from, say ‘satisfaction’ to ‘a job’, or from ‘a job’ to ‘a calling’?
by Gail Z. Martin
I’ve told the story about the two warring wolves inside each of us—the light one that is brave and true and the dark one that is dangerous. The wolf that wins is the wolf we feed.
I tackled my own “wolf problem” when it came to feeling angry. Now I’ve already shared my reaction to the over-hyped, over-dramatized TV news. But once I realized how much the doom-and-gloom drumbeat of the news affected my mood, I went looking for other culprits in order to take back my wolf.
A friend of mine who is a psychologist told me that the oldest part of the brain is focused on survival. It’s programmed to fight, reproduce and grab all the resources for itself, because that’s how wild animals survive. Interestingly enough, this old part of the brain is what lights up when we’re angry. And even more interesting, when we’re angry, the body redirects blood from the more advanced parts of the brain (that control logic, reasoning and decision-making) to fuel the fight-or-flight old brain.
Do you realize what that means? When we’re angry, we’re using our lizard brain, not the new improved frontal lobe reasoning brain. In other words—and this is important—anger turns off the ability to think.
Now consider how angry our society has become. Road rage. Politicians who barely avoid fist fights and call each other names. Flamers and trolls on the Internet who post nasty comments. School bullying that makes kids commit suicide. Talk radio. Anger turns off the ability to think.
What would happen if you pulled the plug on the anger-makers? Skip the morning drive talk radio show that leaves you with an upset stomach and a bad mood. Stop reading the Letters to the Editor and the comments on news blogs. Look for a non-partisan source for news that tries its best to provide the facts and let you decide. Take time to breathe.
Anger turns off the ability to think—and it also drowns out your intuition. When you’re angry, there are too many survival chemicals flooding your system for you to hear the soft whisper of intuition and opportunity.
Make just one change this week to pull the plug on the anger-makers and let me know how it changes your life and awakens your intuition.