It’s Friday the 13th. You know the drill.

July 13th, 2012

“The way you think and what you think is determined by your theories about yourself and your life. Thought controls you more than you realize.”   – Michael Michalko, author of Creative Thinkering

When the 13th falls on a Friday, the date will be lucky, unlucky or just another day for you depending on your beliefs about it. I view the day as an opportunity to suggest you examine occasionally the beliefs you hold about yourself, your work, and the people in your professional and personal lives. Because like a Friday the 13th, what those things mean to you depends on your beliefs about them.

Your perceptions, how you interpret what you see and what conclusions you draw from it about yourself, others and the world all depend on your beliefs. And the process happens quite automatically.

A belief is anything you accept as truth. And it’s our beliefs that shape our experience. For example, if you believe a situation will frustrate you, then most likely it will. Or, if you believe a co-worker will make you unhappy, then probably s/he will.  And your frustration or unhappiness – or bad luck on a particular calendar day – will, in turn, reinforce your belief.

Just because you believe something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. So beliefs can be limiting. But we all have the energy – the ability to change our ideas about ourselves and our work situations –that allows us to grow, expand and develop more fulfilling professional lives.

We have the ability in any moment create an attitude we do not have currently. Our point of power is always right now, in the present moment. And the tools exist to help re-shape our beliefs and have more positive work/life experiences.

 

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

A delicious bite of TEDxEast.

July 6th, 2012

 

“The world moves forward by creative minds using things in ways far beyond our intention.”  – Ross Martin

A few of the TEDxEast presentations that WOWed me at the May conference here have been posted online. Here’s a link to one by Ross Martin, an Exec VP at Viacom/MTV who runs Scratch, the media company’s creative swat team charged with driving innovation. He spoke about his education as a poet to share insights about abandoning our concerns for being understood and embracing a kind of misunderstanding.

His ten minutes on stage are packed with some provocative ideas on self-discovery, finding truth, and using our brilliant minds.

 

 

 

Celebrate your independence!

June 29th, 2012

I look forward every year to the July 4th weekend. I love the fireworks, sparklers, parades, park events and barbeques. And what I like best of all about the celebration of our nation’s independence is the focus it puts on our individual freedom.

It’s the remarkable holiday that reminds us of our freedom to choose what we give our attention to. We are free to choose the exact thoughts and concentration of energy that allow us to shape our individual life experiences. We are free to create the career, the business, the relationships, the life we desire. And there are so many choices!

Take some time this Independence Day to revel in your liberty and the pursuit of your happiness. Chill. Breathe deeply. Reflect. Walk or run or dance. Eat good food. Nurture yourself. Release your energy. Be eager. Choose thoughts that feel good when you think them. The most successful people are really the ones that are the happiest.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

How satisfying is your story?

June 22nd, 2012

One of the first things clients want to share with me is their “situational analysis.” And often that means complaints, or dissatisfaction with the way something is going currently with their work or within their company. I listen intently. I ask questions. I get at limiting beliefs. And then I ask the pivotal question: How are they wanting things to be. That’s where the shift of focused thought – of their energy – begins the process to create a better and more satisfying story. In other words, if you want change, start telling a different story.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter sums up the same idea with the first line of her blog post last week on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network: “If you don’t like how things are going, tell a different story.” Kanter, a tenured professor in business at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change, says leaders can motivate change by creating a new narrative that shows how success will be achieved and draws on the elements already in place to get there.

She gives some great examples of narrative re-writes that illustrate what she calls “kaleidoscope thinking,” her metaphor for shaking up and re-arranging current patterns of thought to create newer, more fulfilling, more successful possibilities. In her words, “the metaphor suggests that reality is not necessarily fixed.”

This short piece boldly and, I think brilliantly, states that limiting narratives of individuals and organizations can and should be rewritten.

Possibilities are limited only by story we’re telling. So if you don’t like your present story, allow yourself to focus on the positive results you want, and let the rewrite that leads to inspired action begin.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos

 

The urgent beginnings of success.

June 15th, 2012

When I hear the name Mary Wells, my mind jumps to the famed 1960’s Motown superstar who sang her way to the top of the charts with “My Guy.”  So how could I, after a 20-year career in marketing, not know that the other Mary Wells was also a rising star in the 60s.

Like Peggy Olson of “Mad Men” celebrity, Mary Wells Lawrence, now 83, left her influential position at one top ad agency to found Wells Rich Green in New York, now Wells Rich Green BDDP and the world’s eighth-largest advertising agency. Under her leadership the firm created compelling ad campaigns for Alka-Seltzer and TWA. And it was responsible for developing the ubiquitous “I ♥ New York” slogan. In my years with advertising agency Laughlin/Constable, I knew the Wells Rich Green name well, but I shamefully admit I didn’t know that the first name on its door belonged to a woman.

I learned of Wells’ remarkable talent and imprint on the world of advertising in a New York Times article Sunday by  Ginia Bellafante. I wasn’t surprised to read that Wells believes “success comes only from the extreme and urgent desire to be successful.” She encourages reading, learning, personal development and growth. Her advice is to strive to become more. I’m inspired by her focused energy and drive, her legacy and her outlook. As I pursue the freedom, happiness and growth of success, I’ll think of both Mary Wellses with this ditty: Nothing you can do can take me away from my-self.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos

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