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Entries in worry (6)


Enough With The Drama!

Remember going to the circus and the ringmaster saying, "And now... our star will attempt something that has never been done...." and they complete the stunt or feat. We know the drama is not as big as the Ringmaster is making it out to be, but we get caught in the emotion of the moment.

We see so many people who are like that Ringmaster. They are building an over sized sense of drama about their work situation, financial condition or even a relationship. Don't misunderstand us. Things are tough for many people and the pains are real. But many people need to conduct a reality check of their situation and keep things in perspective. Here are some ways to start that reality check and to start creating a lineup that will take you to a better place.

  • Challenge rationalizations. Don't let yourself off the hook with thoughts like, "Everybody is dealing with the same issues" or "I need this for..." or "I can't change because..." Be honest with yourself and determine what's the truth and what you simply don't want to change.
  • Force new options. So often we see our choices as either A or B. But is there another option that might be even better? Don't hold back because of the change in behavior, attitude or comfort the new option might require. Give the new option time to grow in your mind.
  • Look long term. When driving, we are taught to look ahead 10-15 seconds (think city block) to prepare for what is coming. Reflect on your current decisions and actions and see if they are preparing you for "what's coming" or if they are just setting you up for greater pain, loss or frustration in the future.


An Orange or a Grapefruit

There has been a lot of information lately on dealing with stress and difficult times. A real simple question related to our attitudes is, "Are you a orange or a grapefruit when you come under pressure?" Are you sweet when you are stressed or are you sour?

It is very easy to let our emotions run away with us. For most people, it takes a constant and/or consistent reminder to stay positive and happy. So, what will it be for you? What will remind you to stay positive? Try hanging a picture and/or quote somewhere that you see regularly that acts as a reminder. Place it on the bathroom mirror, on the wall in your office or on the dashboard of your car.

Consider another strategy related to leaving your stress and frustrations from your work in the office. Before you walk into your home, ceremonially place your worries and frustrations somewhere outside or in your garage before you enter. Hang them up. Bury them. Leave them in the car. Don't worry, they will be there in the morning when you leave for work. But, leave them behind and forget about them so that your family and friends don't have to deal with them as well. Put a smile on your face and then walk in the door.

So why is this important? Why should you be sweet and not sour? The world needs you to be inspiring. There is a need for more people that are lifting others up and figuring out ways to make things better. Those that are positive and focus on solutions and don't get consumed with all that is wrong (which can be paralyzing) seem to come out on top in the end. Even if you don't end up on top, you will be rewarded with strong relationships in your 3 rings. People want to be around people that are kind, positive and happy.

The old song, "Accentuate the Positive" holds sound advice that is very relevant today: "You've gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mister In-between." Be the ringmaster. Be an orange!


Outside The Tent

As full holiday mode quickly approaches, you may be "wishing" things were different. You wish you could offer more gifts to your family. You wish you could have a bigger holiday celebration at work. You wish you could give those around you some uplifting news in these uncertain times. In circus terms, you are "outside the tent." Dwelling on these wishes distracts you from the performance that needs to be completed-Now!

The next time you catch yourself "wishing" ask yourself, "But what can I do now?" Some examples might be:

  • Give your family the gift of quality time. Turn off your mobile phone, let the answering machine get any incoming calls, refrain from checking e mails and spend your time mentally and physically focused on them.
  • For your employees, take a more personal approach. If you work in a small department, take two or three people to lunch each day. Engage them in enjoyable conversation where you can give them your undivided attention. Reflect on their achievements during the year. Celebrate them.

Knute Rockne, one of the greatest football coaches of the 20th century, had a quote we would all do well to remember when we are "wishing:"

Do not let what you can not do get in the way of what you CAN do.


Being The Ringmaster Of Your Job In A Recession

Concerned about your job? Who wouldn't be with the continued slumping of the economy and almost daily announcements of more job layoffs. The last thing many of us want is a circus with a work ring and no acts in it. has a good slide show with 10 Tips To Help Recession-Proof Your Job. The tips given in the slide show are:

  • Keep your skills current.
  • Don't pull a vanishing act. (i.e. Be visible)
  • Make yourself indispensable.
  • Keep your attitude in check.
  • Start networking now.
  • Update your resume.
  • Finish your degree.
  • Broaden, rather than deepen your skills.
  • Consider learning a trade or specific skills.

You can find more information on each tip in the slide show.


Quote for These Times

One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment... If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Much has been made of the similarities that faced Franklin D. Roosevelt when he took office and the bleak conditions to be faced by Barack Obama. While the quote by Roosevelt will probably well serve the incoming President, it also has great wisdom for each of us in these difficult times.

Simply doing nothing and "waiting out the moment" is not an option. If you need to better manage your finances, do it now. If you are in fear of losing your job you need to continue to do your best at your current job but also look at other options and possibilities. Continue to align your activities toward your desired outcomes. Do the best you can with the knowledge, skills and wisdom you have at this moment. The perfect opportunity to change rarely exists.

If your choice of action works to your advantage-Bravo! If not, modify it and try again. To do nothing lies contrary to another quote related to the circus...'"The show must go on!"