Experiencing Resilience…I hope

Don’t fall out of your chair – Yes, this is a blog entry from David E White – and I confess that it has been far too long, with some difficulty in between.

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“An easy life is rarely meaningful and a meaningful life rarely easy.”
Oliver North, Counterfeit Lies

What do you do when you feel that you are losing your bearings? I am not referring to ball-bearings, which would amount to mental marbles in this case (which, in hind-sight, may actually work) – but rather the coordinates for your life journey.

Let me cut to the chase – this past year has been a difficult one for me. For a variety of reasons, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. I have been depressed before – but never like I was during several significantly low periods this past year. Ironically, the speaker, writer, facilitator and consultant (aka: expert) on the topic of resilience, was starting to look like he wouldn’t be so resilient himself. Please Continue Reading …

The Uncertainty Principle; Practical advice for embracing mystery

Search “uncertain future” in Google and you will receive 56,000,000 results in .04 seconds. If you are feeling the negative affects of uncertainty in your emotions, take heart – others who also are feeling it surround you!

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Over the past few months, I’ve been working closely with many people experiencing the effects of uncertainty, and the price they (we) have been paying emotionally, mentally and even physically is significant. Some of these people are going through work-related uncertainty due to role changes and/or the possibility of dismissal because of corporate downsizing. Others are going through health-related uncertainty, such as the second round of cancer therapy or a battery of tests to determine the unknown cause of symptoms they are experiencing.

As I reflect on our collective wrestle with uncertainty, I find myself wondering:  Please Continue Reading …

3 Questions to Break Decision-Making Paralysis

Personal and business leadership requires the ability to make decisions. But decisions can be difficult to make. Some of them so much so that they keep us awake at night, limit our ability to concentrate (or even notice) other issues/people around us, and in more severe cases, the whole process can lead to declining health.

 

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Theodore Roosevelt suggested that, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Being paralyzed at the crossroads of decision is a difficult place to be – the place of having options, but not being sure how they will work out. Possibly more difficult is the place of misguided thinking – where the options we think we have are not real. What a relief when we come to a place of clarity, even when that clarity is death to a dream. “Yes” and “no” are both clear – it is “maybe” that causes us the most grief.

During one of my posts as a turnaround CEO, I remember being in such a situation. I had worked through  Please Continue Reading …

A Wholehearted Solution for Exhaustion

How do you respond to the questions, How are you doing? How are you? or How is work going?

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There are many perspectives we could choose as a basis for response, but which ones serve us best? We could talk about how energized we feel, how others are responding to us, whether or not our goals are being met, and more. However, given that we know so little about what will come our way in the next minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, I wonder if the most accurate perspective is one of alignment; whether or not we are in alignment within the present moment.

I’m not trying to play with semantics here – hang in there. Alignment is an issue of posture. It is the stance that enables capacity and capability. Think of what happens when you  Please Continue Reading …

Warm Memories: Your living epitaph

My father was just 42 when he was permanently disabled and institutionalized. My mother was just 37 when she died. These two events have forced me to take the pursuit of the meaning of life seriously.

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Some have suggested that when we think about the meaning of my life, we should think about what we want our eulogy to be, or what we would want to have on our headstone. While these may be valid, I think there is an additional way. Please Continue Reading …

Courage…to be real

I believe that we all struggle with a sense of insecurity. I don’t know if this is the case, but I would be willing to bet that it is true for the vast majority of us at some time or another.

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Insecurity is a difficult thing to live with. It challenges us in relationship. It leads us to compromise and to alter our behavior in potentially limiting and even damaging ways. It takes courage to overcome insecurity.

I have defined courage as the ability to act rightly in the face of discouragement. However, I also like Brene Brown’s definition. She defines courage in this way: “To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”. She explains it this way:  Please Continue Reading …

Poverty, Prosperity or Peace

I have been engaged in several conversations of late wherein we have discussed the felt impacts of deep challenge. Some were under attack at work, others finding too much month at the end of the money, and still others longing for more meaningful impacts through what they do.

iStock_000016548494XSmallIn all of these situations I find myself remembering that there is a blend of BE-ing and DO-ing — unto BECOMING. Who we are and what we do will lead to what we become. Please Continue Reading …

Re-Creation & Peace

In a discussion with life coach Angie Marshall, I was informed that sleep does not recharge through some magical fuel line in the night, but rather through the elimination of resistance. This basic revelation has helped me in navigating nights where sleep has been elusive. The concept of resistance reduction goes further still.

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It has often puzzled me as to how much we invest in recreational activities. I get the point of recreation, but it seems to me we may be pursuing a peace that will always elude us as we seek to manage/change up our external environments. This is especially notable in the proliferation of exotic winter vacation options.

While flying south to warmer weather offers a setting wherein we are temporarily removed from the resistance of our daily lives (overloaded schedules and relationships strains, in addition to the cold harsh winter climate), we must return home at some time. Given that we live 52 weeks a year, how much will we pay to experience just 1 week of peace?  Please Continue Reading …

Anxiety – 85% of it wasted?

According to change theory (Kurt Lewin), learning anxiety and psychological safety are two of the biggest resistance issues in navigating change. Why? Fear. Change involves as much unlearning as learning. It is painful, and it threatens our identity. We can often feel incompetent as we engage what we do not yet know.

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I have been engaged in grad studies once again. I wrote my prof to discuss the painful experience of adapting to language that I do not use every day (in truth, never). She put forward a helpful metaphor: “…let’s say that you have taken a few weeks of piano lessons, and that you have attended a concert pianist performance. You cannot expect to play at that level immediately…moderate your expectations…”

No circumstance has a direct link to the emotion of fear or anxiety. There is ALWAYS a  Please Continue Reading …

Entitlement vs. Appreciation

I wonder if I owe employer-readers of SaskBusiness an apology. A few months back I wrote of how employers need to value their employees in a manner in which employees “feel” valued. A few weeks later, I noted that employees of one of my clients left this article folded and face up on the staff lunchroom table for over a month…the first of my articles to receive such promotion. While what I wrote remains true, it calls for a balanced perspective within the employer/employee partnership…one of appreciation on the part of the employee.

“People who are raised in North America may have a sense of entitlement simply because they have no idea how lucky they are. If you’ve never been hungry, never wondered where you would sleep, never had to go without shoes, then your sense of what is by rights your due may be askew… ”

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