My Thoughtful Place

In the words of Winnie the Pooh, I am in my thoughtful place.  Yes, I am at Starbucks writing this post.  Not only is the location my thoughtful place, but so is where I am mentally right now. 

So, my thoughts for the day revolve around change, and how to move yourself from where you perceive you are, to where you want to be.  This is easier said than done, however, it can be done. 

It is easy to be like the crowd, and live in Negativeville, but it takes effort to move yourself from there.  So, here are a couple of characteristics of Negativeville.

  • Do you find yourself finger pointing and focusing on what others are doing, rather than what you are doing?
  • Do your interactions with others generally focus about you, or your frustrations?
  • You are not able to extract any positives from your day.

So, how do you attach a U-Haul to your tuchus, and move out of Negativeville and land in Pleasant Valley, or Positiveland.  Hint: You don’t have to travel through Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Here are some perspectives that have helped me in the past. You may recognize some of these perspectives from baseball or other sports movies.

  • Don’t think, it only hurts the team. Meaning, the more I over analyze the situation, the more negative energy I am wasting.  Negative energy is draining and unproductive.
  • I don’t have to be the center of attention.  I can be a positive influence by working behind the scenes.
  • When someone gives you a gift, thank them. In other words, be sincere and appreciative of the work of others. Whether or not this is reciprocated does not matter. Be true to yourself.
  • Feed the monster! Everyone likes their ego stroked. By taking the time to do so, you ensure your number gets called.
  • The greatest recognition that an athlete can receive is that they are recognized by their peers as great teammate, not that they hit the most home runs, or scored the most goals, etc. Be the great teammate.

In my thoughtful place, I am taking the time to listen and observe others. I keep my focus on what I am doing, not what others are doing. If someone has a perception that I may not agree with, I can’t change their perception with words, but I can with positive actions.

No one is perfect, however, if I strive to improve a consistently positive outlook, I may be able to perfect outcomes. If I focus on situational outcomes, results improve.  Once results improve, I am at that point able to unhook that U-Haul from my tuchus and enjoy where I am.

Remember, your positive actions and attitudes can have a far reaching impact on those who you may not even be aware are paying attention to you. No matter how impactful you may perceive you are, I guarantee you are leaving an impression on someone, why not make it a positive one.

Have a great week!

Passion

What is passion?

The word is used most frequently when one talks of love, or hate.  One definition would say that it is the object of an intense desire, ardent affection, or enthusiasm. 

Can you have passion in the workplace?  Most HR professionals would encourage love in the workplace to not occur, however, I would argue that in order for businesses to thrive and grow, you need to have passion.  You need to have a love of what you are doing, just not love those in the workplace as HR would frown upon that.

As a leader, it must be understood that passion for doing the job right got you to where you are today.  Does that same passion or love still exist for you in the job. 

Teachers are a great example of a profession where there are many passionate teachers when they land their first classroom position.  For some, distractions and political agendas replace a love and passion for educating young minds, with a passionate hate for coming to work.  Even the most passionate and energetic educator succumbs to the negativity at some point.  It is those teachers who are able to keep perspective about why they are in the profession that are able to make careers out of the classroom.

Office politics frequently will breed complacency and stifle the innovation and passion of individuals.  Perseverance and vision stimulates the love for the job and allows for positions to develop into careers.  It is important for individuals who lead others to always demonstrate PMA – Positive Mental Attitude.  By doing so as a leader you are rising above the politics and providing vision. 

I am passionate about the work I do.  I wake up each day excited about what the day holds.  I have a vision about how to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.  I understand that politics exist in the workplace, but I also understand that if I don’t have a better solution, it is not a hill worth dying on.  Battles must be selective, because once you have become war weary, your passion for the job, turns to a passion for survival.

Some questions to think about…

Is your current position a job or a career?
Why are you in your current position?
Where are you going?
Does your organizations values align with your values?
Would you do your current job if there was no monetary incentive?

If you can answer the last question, the money question, with a “YES”, I would argue that you have passion for your position.  I love what I do and understand that what I do adds value to others. 

I haven’t written a post in almost 2 months, and I realize that I love writing, but it hadn’t become a passion for me…yet. 

Take some time to look introspectively and create a positive direction for yourself, if you are feeling less than satisfied with where you are.

Have a great week!

Musical observation

I am by no means a musical expert.  Just getting that out on the table to begin with.  I enjoy listening to music and probably over thinking the motivation behind the words, which is the fodder for this post.

As many with people who have to do any type of vehicle travel, I usually have my XM radio stations that I naturally gravitate towards.  I enjoy listening to the decade stations, country music, classic rock, new age music, pop, hip-hop, etc.  I have a varied listening palate that is usually driven by my mood at the time.  As I have spent close to 40 hours in my vehicle over the past week, I have found myself listening more to differences in the decades of popular music and, as a history major in college, can see how changes in society have manifested itself in the music.

Many have researched and gotten into the “weeds” of the driving influences behind the music.  That’s not where I am going with my comments.

In my opinion, many problems we have in society today are as a result of individual greed and the entitlements associated with technology.  Music back when I was growing up spoke more about feelings and making things better tomorrow than they are today.  An example of this is in my High School class song, “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac.  Whenever I hear this song, I am reminded that life is a process, and as long as you keep plugging away, good things will happen. 

Music should be motivational and inspirational.  I have a few songs that really inspire me and motivate me.  It’s the words, and through the years words have evolved from enjoying people, life, relationships and positive messages to a more negative overtone. 

I can say that I have probably become my father, by making my kids listen to music from earlier generations, and then forcing them to listening to me sing (which I couldn’t carry a note in a bucket). 

Maybe I am feeling a little nostalgic this weekend, as this is my High School 25th reunion weekend.  It is important that a person never forgets where they come from.  Even though I won’t be attending the reunion, reflecting back on my graduating class, I always stay grounded.

What music motivates you?  Comments are always welcome!

Happy 25th NHS Class of ’87!