What is your function in life? Studies show that those who have a purpose, and are actively working towards achieving their goals, are happier than those who just show up for life each day. Set goals, change them, as your needs or situations change, and actively work on them. Do you have a mission statement and vision statement for creating your personal life as well as running your business or working in your organization? How does your professional function merge with your personal purpose? Writing down your goals, your purpose, and your function help to ingrain those visions into your subconscious to assist you in achieving them and giving you energy by looking forward to them. I’ve said it before in other posts – find your why that makes you cry and you’re on your way to living out your calling.
Anticipating and preparing for congruent personal and professional functions add energy and enthusiasm to your life. Knowing your function can give you the strength to face adversity in the world. Help increase your resilience to stress by choosing to align your workplace values with your personal values and purpose. When these two foundational things are congruent, you get the least stress and the most energy from the partnership. A playbook by Kathie Hightower called Your Enchanted Life: A Journal of Discovery & Delight at www.JumpIntoLife.net has tons of exercises and action steps to help you discover your function and what you really want. Spend some quiet time and meditate on your fuction and your why, then match that to how you can best serve. I find that being in nature helps me clear my head and clarify my thoughts.
Physically fleeing the scene of stress for a holiday restores personal energy. Sometimes all we have is a “holimoment” where we can purposefully escape into daydreams or meditation if we can’t physically escape to take a break. Americans lag far behind most of the world in reaping the rewards of longer vacations and time to escape the real world responsibilities.
Employers in Europe know the secret to having employees be refreshed, renewed, and recharged for more productivity is taking longer or more frequent holidays. Europeans average five weeks per year holiday time as compared to the paltry American two weeks annual vacation. If you are saving up those vacation days, or worse yet, losing them because they have expired, you are doing yourself, your family, and your colleagues a disservice by not giving them the best you can be at optimum performance levels.
We need a break to clear our minds and re-connect in order to perform at peak performance at other times. If you must hang around the office, surround yourself with items that bring back good memories or that state your affirmations boldly. Take a mental health break by gazing at your memorabilia while you wait on hold on the phone. (Research suggests we are on hold an average of 15 minutes/day or 60 hours/year). Fresh air and movement do wonders, as do office toys or a personalized treasure map of things you want to accomplish in your life.
Treasure maps are collages of pictures and words representing your desires, goals, or affirmations. These posters filled with cut and past magazine photos and headlines are a physical and mental reminder of what’s dear, and act as a magnet to attract you closer to your goals and aspirations. The more you use the powerful force of visualization; the imagery of your dreams becomes imbedded into your subconscious and you start behaving in a manner to elicit responses to move you towards your image. There have been numerous studies of athletes and performers using guided imagery and visualization to help them compete and win. When you start imagining the possibilities and show your brain concrete images, it sends your body signals to help make that image materialize.
Travel can generate excitement, adventure, intrigue, and other awesome feelings all rolled up into one package. Experience other cultures and new ways of life, or just get out of town for a weekend escape. We need this time for creative renewal in order to be our best to meet our challenges. Seeing how other cultures live gives us a fresh perspective on what may be out of kilter back home. Flexibility and an attitude of discovery go a long way in creating positive travel experiences. Where are you going next?
I have a cauldron. Doesn’t everybody? I call it my Cauldron of Knowledge because that’s where I keep the magazines, books and other publications I’m reading at the moment or have on my To-Do list. I used to keep a bookshelf until I rescued a cute little doggie who had a penchant for knowledge. OK, I think he had a penchant for paper. Specifically tearing up paper and listening to the ripping sound as he held down the pages with his paw and tore the paper with his teeth. He seem to get such pleasure out of such a simple thing.
My need to reading pleasure and knowledge surpassed his need to shred, so I ditched the bookshelf, put most of the books behind an armoire door and put the current batch in my cauldron. His legs are too short to jump up into it, so I feel safe with keeping the wisdom stored in a big pot.
Rummaging through the reads this morning, I came across a poem by William Arthur Ward who wrote so eloquently on the Keys to Success. And since I’m doing a series on the Keys to Energize, I thought this fit nicely into the series.
The Key to Success is to:
Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while other are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.
I believe that about sums it up nicely. Thank you, William Arthur Ward for providing today’s inspiration while sipping some tea on the deck with my pup.
Fun and effectiveness combine to increase peak performance. Put the FUN back into functional by using unique, everyday items such as color-coded file folders, bubble pens, calligraphy pens instead of typing labels, photos of loved ones, stress toys, humorous recognition cards/awards/coupons, and cartoon calendars. Learning and productivity are enhanced when fun is mixed with effectiveness to generate a creative and enjoyable environment for children and adults alike. It is a proven fact, work made fun gets done and good times lead to good business. Just like sports figures, we can’t sprint non-stop all day and expect to have any energy left over. We must mix in our fun with our effectiveness for peak performance.
Workers are like cows; we produce more when we are content. Many surveys cite having fun as a top workplace motivator. World-class athletes and entertainers also mention fun as a key factor in the success and enjoyment of their work. Fun is an attitude – seek out the humor in your daily life and cultivate an eye and an ear for humorous alternatives. What are you doing to add more fun into your life? Did you have fun things on your Ideal Day list that was your assignment in the last post? What new, fun things can you add to your life? What have you not yet tried? How can you make your work or your work space more fun? Ruminate on these questions to brainstorm how you can add more fun and effectiveness to your day. To help you keep energized, tune in to more blog posts.
Is your space pleasant, comfortable, and workable or does it create stress? Are items easily accessible? If you are left-brained (analytical), are things stored vertically or behind closed doors? If you are right-brained (creative), are they stored horizontally or within plain view? (A.k.a. piles) These left-brained and right-brained preferences have been shown to work well with the work styles and organizational styles of each type of person. Where are you on the continuum?
Figuring out how to adapt your systems to fit your style will relieve both stress and lost items, and earn you more time for fun. Do your desk accessories accommodate these preferences? What is the color of your space, what type of furniture is in that space, and how is it positioned in the room? The key here is “organize to energize”. We save valuable time, energy, and mental frustration when we are more organized and working with our brain-hemisphere preference.
Research from the National Association of Professional Organizers suggests messy professionals waste up to six weeks per year (over one hour per day) looking for lost things. Does your space project a positive image for you or your organization? Seek out furniture, accessories, and storage devices to help you instead of hamper you in getting yourself organized. Write down what your ideal work or living space would look like and let that be a guide to what needs your attention to work towards that idea.
Using full-spectrum or natural lighting can increase your energy and productivity by 25% over fluorescent or incandescent lighting. Studies in hospitals, schools, and businesses found that fluorescent lighting could sometimes give people headaches or irritate them with the buzzing and flickering, and also annoy the eyes with its unnatural glow. Those who can work or live with more light from the sun or with full spectrum lighting which better mimics the sun will have more energy.
A HarvardUniversity study confirms this fact that the impact of light on the eye improves attention focus and energy production in the brain. Other studies have also linked the body’s hormonal and biochemical balances with sunlight and darkness as it relates to our personal energy. Moderate exposure to sunshine helps boost our immune system and our body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Healthcare professionals have known for years that patients who get fresh air and sunshine have a better attitude and improve better than those who don’t. Those with Seasonal Affective Disorder or the Winter Blues have a sensitivity to lightness and darkness. Those living near the Arctic Circle must contend with the light situation in other ways such as wearing light masks to improve their energy.
Take inventory of your space. Is it filled with light and beauty? Beauty in any form is intoxicating. Surround yourself with beauty to raise your spirits. Be mindful of what you see in your home, your office, or out your window each day. Create your world so you see scenes to delight your eye and rid your environment of unsightly obstructions. Place a birdbath outside your window, hide your air conditioner with potted plants, hang stained glass in a window with a dreary view, collect great art, or display the art projects your children or grandchildren made for you. Live beautifully.
Interior designer and philosopher Alexandra Stoddard has several super books on living a beautiful life. How are you contributing to the beauty in your life? What do you see out your office window or kitchen window? How can you improve upon your surroundings or interior spaces to improve the beauty? What can you do personally to improve your own beauty because you are part of other people’s environment? Adult learning theory states that we learn better and are more productive when we are in pleasant surroundings. Take a look through fresh eyes at your surroundings and make some changes to bring in more beauty and enhance your vital energy.
By popular demand, I’m offering a series based on my first book Keys to Energize, A Caffeine-Free Guide to Perk Up Your Life. The ideas have built a career, launched over 500 articles, inspired over 1500 programs and touched many thousands. I’d like to share one key at a time – the idea being that you have the answers at your fingertips – on your computer keyboard. Each of the keys in front of your nose hold the answers to dynamize your life so you can live and lead hartfully.
I dedicate this series to everybody who is burned out, stressed out, rusted out and looking for a way out of the energy drainage trap.
Are you feeling tattered, tired, tested, toasted, and roasted? Are you overworked, overwhelmed, and overdue for a personal energy overhaul? Look no further than your fingertips for your solutions to sanity, less stress, more fun, and more energy. The keys to practicing safe stress and energizing yourself and your life are right in front of your face on your computer keyboard. Knowing that one in four workers suffer from an anxiety related disorder brought on by stress, that 80% of the hospital beds are taken up by stress-related afflictions, that five minutes of exposure to negativity can affect our central nervous system for up to six hours, and that Americans consume at least 15 tons of aspirin per day is enough to move me to action and share my insights and inspiration with my audiences and my readers.
Use this series as your easy-reading travel guide, and your keyboard as a visual reminder to lighten up and unlock the secrets to revitalization. Filled with quick bytes to give you a quick boost to recharge your batteries and refresh your memory; your keyboard holds the keys to quick quality tips for distressing, decompressing, and delighting yourself. So hang up your phone it’s time to get re-connected with yourself and access your energy stores.
From research, reading, interviews, personal experience, and interaction with thousands of people around the world; I would like to share my insider secrets for the keys to enhanced personal energy and the simple, yet effective coping mechanisms I’ve come to believe are the key ingredients to a more satisfying and more energized life.
It’s all about energy and our total energy force field which includes both physical energy and emotional energy. Emotional energy comes from our spirit, our hope for great things, our passion about life, and our sense of vitality for living. What I have witnessed is primarily an emotional energy drainage from those feeling less than optimum. These are the people who feel emotionally fatigued, unable to cope, irritated at the slightest thing, feeling that their heart isn’t into whatever it is they think it should be, or just going through the motions and not really being able to make an effort.
Other researchers have confirmed my findings in interviews with energy experts such as endocrinologists, nutritionists, and specialists in sports medicine. Mira Kirshenbaum’s work studying the emotional energy factor in her book The Emotional Energy Factor, reports that only 30% of our total energy comes from physical energy while 70% of the energy we need to make up out complete energy comes from emotional energy. That’s why some people going through tough times can get all the rest in the world and still feel fatigued, while others in love or going through a boom time at work can get very little rest and still have boundless energy.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it just takes on different forms. This book will give you some tips on how to mold energy into the most positive form for your use. The good news is that since energy cannot be destroyed, it is still inside of us and under our control to tap into it. Once we know how to tap into this wellspring of well-being, we can begin approaching life differently in order to keep that well from running dry, and to keep ourselves from running on empty. It stems from the universal truths of giving to get, or what you throw out to the universe will come back to you.
I appreciate all my clients and attendees who have demonstrated the dire need for this book and who have asked for more information on this topic. From those inquiries, I offered Live Wire, my monthly E-zine with the freshest ideas to refresh, renew, and recharge your team, your family, and yourself for 10 years. I offer my blog with tips to ignite work, wealth and well-being and the art of living and leading Hartfully to give you the ammunition you need to stave off stress and revitalize your life.
Stress itself isn’t all bad. There is good stress called eustress that we need to keep us interested, engaged, and alert and that some of us thrive on to keep us going. Then there is bad stress called distress that can be disabling and distracting. When the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenaline remain elevated, they suppress our immune system, making us more susceptible to colds, flu, and infections. They also increase blood pressure, may contribute to memory loss, and raise the risk of heart disease, depression, and autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes. And then there’s smoking, overeating, drug abuse, drinking alcohol, and not exercising which are other common results of stress. The longer those stress hormones course through our veins, the greater the chance for mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical damage.
Stay tuned for more of the Keys to Energize series – there are many more keys to come.
Don’t ask how, manifest now. A catchy tune to live by and grow by. We tend to get so caught up in HOW instead of trusting in the process and going to work on ourselves and our mission, that it stops people in their tracks who would otherwise be basking in what they could be manifesting. To be a master manifester, you’ve got to trust and believe in the process first and foremost and follow some intuition while you take action. Sitting on the couch eating bon-bons wishing for something different than what you have doesn’t cut it and isn’t deserving of great things.
Creating the life you’re meant to live takes concentration and thoughtfulness and harftullness. It takes the power of the pause to be hartful in your thinking and manifesting. Maria Shriver talked about The Power of the Pause at her daughter’s graduation. Take a pause to re-group and reconnect with yourself and your conscience decisions on which way you want to go and what you want to do and who you want to do it for and of course, WHY you want to do it. Take a pause for the cause and give this some thought every so often. Especially when things are getting hectic or seem out of control, that’s when you REALLY need to stop and take stock about what you’re manifesting. What we manifest on the outside is coming from our inside. What is going on in your inside?
- Is your big, hairy, audacious goal big enough to get your attention or is it just something on your to-do list. Is it on YOUR list, or is it really just a part of somebody else’s list for you? Is it in alignment with your values and your purpose?
- You must be fully committed to the cause. You can entertain a hint of caution or doubt, but don’t invite it to stay. As the book title from the 90’s states “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” Kind of like I felt the first time I went bungee jumping. Even seeing the video of it 20 years later, I still get the chills and relive the fear, excitement and exhilaration all over again.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude, appreciation, acceptance and graciousness for all that comes because your gift may not come in the exact same package you were envisioning. Notice what comes to you and be grateful for it. It may come disguised as something else to surprise you. Things are not done TO you, they’re done FOR you.
- Pause for more meditation, prayer, visioning, journaling, creating collages of vision boards and getting very, very clear on what you want and making your order specific. Get quiet and get going in the right direction of your dreams and allow yourself to dream. Allow your mind to wander and ruminate on “what if” and dare to make your dreams come true. Double dog dare yourself to make it happen. Sometimes a little friendly competition doesn’t hurt move things along.
- Have fun manifesting, dreaming, visioning and creating the life you love. My first company was FUNcilitators – we facilitated fun and effectiveness. I made a living for many years teaching others how to have fun. I studied how to create fun and leisure activities in college and grad school and how to help people actualize themselves through the outdoors, and fun leisure time activities and challenge sports. It was a blast. I’m a great believer in fun in whatever I do. If I’m not having fun, then it’s time to rethink what I’m doing and change it up a bit.
What are you doing to put some fun into your process of living and leading a Hartful life? What are you doing now so that you can sail (or kayak) off into the sunset happy that you experienced a life well-lived?
Studying the art of manifesting over the years; I’ve learned the more my choices of what I want to manifest are in true alignment with my purpose and my choices are purposeful and made consciously and not frivolously; that I’m able to manifest more. When I’m making choices out of faith and fearlessness and not out of lack or fear; then the things I need come much more effortlessly. When I’m very clear on what I want and WHY, the way is easier to manifest more of what I need to move me forward on my true path.
When we’re clear on the WHY and clear that it is in alignment with our life’s calling and it can move us forward in that effort and it is helping us make a difference on the planet and in the lives of others, then it unfolds more quickly so that we may move forward and expand the positive in the world. Your WHY is your road map to get where you’re going. We can’t get there from here if we don’t know our WHY. When we want stuff out of selfish reasons, or we’re unclear or ambivalent about what we want and why we want it. We muddle our order and the Universe muddles what comes to us or our order gets mixed up in the back kitchen and we get something entirely different than what we wanted. We may get what we needed, but not what we thought we wanted.
Knowing your big WHY is crucial in placing your orders so that you are sure you’re moving forward in the right direction and placing your orders to move you forward along your true path. Making choices in faith that you’re saying “heck yes” or “heck no” to opportunities that come before you and not saying “I guess it will do” or “It sounds OK, I’ll give it a try”. If it’s not a “heck yes!”, then it really is a “heck no!”
CONSCIOUS choices made with integrity is the formula for increasing the speed of your manifestation. Take some time to think about what you want and why you want it. Most people spend more time on their holiday shopping list than on their life purpose list. Take some time out at the beginning of this year to take stock and visualize what you want and why you want it.
Here are some tips to help you manifest more that matters:
- Find your WHY that makes you cry. That statement comes from one of my mentors and leaders Kody B. who founded his company on appreciation and getting in touch with your WHY. Dig deep for this one. I was recently speaking with an audience member coaching her on developing her WHY as she didn’t seem too clear on it. As we were talking about her WHY, it made ME cry. That’s powerful stuff. She had a breakthrough and I had a breakdown. 🙂 Get your WHY and you’ve got your roadmap to success – it’s your big picture.
- It’s already stated above – know your WHY. Your Why is more important than the HOW…I’ve written about this in earlier posts. Once you know your WHY, then the how’s will figure themselves out. Don’t let the how’s stop you. Ensure what you want is in alignment with your WHY.
- Be present, be here now and be in touch with your highest level of consciousness – give this some of your concentrated, committed thoughtfulness.
- Operate above the line out of absolute integrity and believe in IT and yourself and the process, then take action. Do something or lots of things to make it happen, start the momentum rolling.
- As mentioned above – your goal must be worthy. Worthy of your time and attention, worthy of others and worth the effort to more than just you. Your intention matters here….bringing us back to your WHY. If your intentions are thinly veiled to help others and in reality you’re the only one really profiting; then what you get may not stay for long.
Stay tuned for more manifesting matters in the next post. I hope you get what you’re looking for this year.