Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gratitude

As an Entrepreneur I often seek out the philosophy of other successful business owners and how they keep focused. What I have discovered is when they attain what they regard as successful Gratitude is one of the consistent emotions/behaviors that have helped them get to where they are today.    

I don’t think I really ever understood the true feeling of gratitude until recently. I have practiced being deeply grateful by using a journal where I write what I am grateful for. I wake in the morning and before I get out of bed I take the time to think about what I am most grateful for. I also do this before I go to sleep at night.

I think I have always been grateful and appreciate what I have however there is a feeling I now get that is one like I don’t think I have felt so deeply before. I have felt ebbs and flows of gratitude but they never seemed to last and then I go through a period of challenge and feel I have to start the process of being conscious about gratitude again. This was a constant frustration for me.

Finding your Happy Place

We all have a place where we are inspired or feel like we are at peace. It can be a room in the house or a mountain top, for me it’s by the sea and when I am at home its my garden. When i am by the sea I love to hear the waves crashing and there is never a moment that is the same as the last, the tide is different the sky is different and its always interesting to watch.


Spending time by the sea has been the best medicine especially when I have felt burned out. Its truly amazing how things have changed over the past 10-12 weeks (as quickly as that). Sitting by the ocean just watching the tide come in and out and reflecting on how life can change in a heartbeat has been truly healing for my soul.

I feel so full and internally alive, I feel like I have such freshness about everything in my body, from the air that I breath to the blood that runs through my veins. Its such a beautiful feeling that I am just in awe of whats happening. This has been consistently increasing in its level of intensity for many months now and its really exciting. Who knows where this will take me?

I have a feeling of peace and enlightened sense of self. Sitting here letting the sun warm my skin and just listening to the waves roll in. Walking along the sand and seeing the simple things that just give me so much pleasure. Whats amazing is I am always under the pump during the week going from one meeting to the next, one student after another and data entry coming out my ears, yet when I escape I don’t even look at the time. Its like another world and I can assure you I am switching over in a heartbeat.

A new way of life

After training my mind on how to do things differently I am now like a duck to water, I switch off and just wind down, I find myself relaxing about 30-45 minutes into the drive before I even get to the ocean. Now for me personally that’s pretty good and this is definitely something for me to improve on. Whilst I know we can be centered and find the calm peaceful feeling without driving to the ocean, but you have to admit that’s a really cool way of winding down and relaxing after a very busy week.

What is most incredible is I am still working 12-14 hours a day during the week but I now take every second Friday off. The benefits of this are:
  • I have a clearer plan for the future
  • I am planning better and longer term 5-10 years
  • I am more productive at the office
  • I value the time I have off more
  • I have a full weekend off and ensure its filled with fun and exercising
  • Quality time with my partner
  • I feel like I am recovering from burnout not just band aiding the problem
  • I have more energy and excitement about future possibilities 

Steps to increase gratitude 

Start with daily thoughts of Gratitude "I am deeply grateful for .......

If you can think of 5 things that you are grateful for this will help you stay focused and consistent in your efforts to be grateful. Before you close your eyes at night take few minutes to reflect on the day and focus only on those things that brought you joy or laughter, love and happiness.

"I am deeply grateful for the Love in my heart" I am truly grateful for the roof over my head, or food on the table" you can start with the simplest things and build from there. 

Even in the darkest of times we can still find things to be grateful for. Each day we have blessings come our way we just need to take a moment and see them. 

Till next time 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Authentic Conversations

 Written by Donna Moulds ~ CEO

A life without authentic conversations is like a life without bearing your soul.

As an educator I am always thinking about language and how we can lift people with our language, or how we can contribute to other peoples lives in a genuine way. One of the ways in which we can do this is through authentic conversations. An authentic conversation is one that comes from the heart and not so much the head. These conversations have a place in all realms of our life, business, personal, networking, even with a stranger. Authentic conversations are easy to have we just need to allow ourselves to not think from a fear based perspective (what will they think? how will they react).

What is an authentic conversation?

An authentic conversation is never a negative conversation it is a true conversation even with a tough subject. If you have to provide feedback to a staff member, if you have to tell a loved one you are feeling hurt, or even when you have to say no to someone. I personally have a life where I say what I need to say for the greater good. I tell my partner i'm disappointed that he didn't talk to me about something that we should be talking about in our relationship. More importantly when you have an authentic conversation and say what you really need to say then you can let it go, you don't need to hold onto negativity or allow thoughts to distract you from enjoying life.

Authentic conversations in the workplace.


This can be more challenging because you have so many personalities to negotiate with. However an authentic conversation is using your personal power even when the team dynamics are challenging.

Authentic conversations need to be developed in a team where people do not need to feel threatened because they are being truthful (I don't think this is a good idea because........, can we look at this idea and see if it has any possibilities?)

How to have an authentic conversation.


Authentic conversations are easier to have than you may think. Its about knowing what you want to say without ego or anger. Its about knowing how you feel about the situation or the emotion you may be experiencing. Its not about being right and its not about making someone else feel bad.

It is about being real and discussing things that need to be discussed. Communication is one of the most powerful and useful tools we have. We also have the choice to communicate even if people don't want to listen we have the freedom to speak (we are not always heard).

Scenario:

Bill I really need to talk to you about something, is now a good time? Today when you raised your voice at Mary I felt it was inappropriate and I would like to know if you think their is a better way to approach a situation like this in the future. Can you tell me what was going on for you? How do you think Mary may have felt?


When you are having an authentic conversation with someone it is important to take the time to ask good questions but also wait for the person to think about what you have asked. An authentic conversation is generated by speaking the truth, asking good questions and really listening.

Take a few minutes and ask yourself, when was the last time I had an authentic conversation?

Authentic conversations start with yourself, being real with your internal dialog and then having genuine conversations with others. Asking questions of yourself. Could I have responded better, did i tell the truth in that situation or was I avoiding a reaction?


Sunday, June 28, 2015

When people are still suffering homelessness



When a problem is getting bigger

This year I really started to think differently about a cause that I have been supporting and feel very strongly about. I don’t profess to know everything about homelessness or government policy but I do think at times that questions need to be answered and we need to re assess when something is not as effective as we would like it to be or as it should be based on previous statistics.

For the past 5 years I have supported the CEO Sleep out and also donated training to some of the residence of St Vincent’s De Paul “Kennedy House” in Goulburn. This meant a great deal to me both personally and professionally and I felt like we were making a real contribution to fighting a very worthy cause, Homelessness. The men who attended the training really gained some positive benefits from basic computer training, goal setting and building confidence.



Contributing to the CEO sleep out

As CEO’s we slept outside for a night in winter and raised money in support of our sleep out, this also brought great awareness to the public of the problems we have around homelessness in Australia. To see the statistics every year was just heartbreaking. The ACT has the second highest rate of homelessness in Australia and we were fighting a good fight to help reduce the problems and support St Vincent De Paul to keep their services going.

In 2011 I spoke to 300 CEO’s about what our contribution was doing at Kennedy house  and I was really excited to know we collectively were making a real difference. This year however I have some serious question yet don’t know where to find the answers. CEO Sleep-out clip 2011

If Homelessness is increasing and specifically in Canberra over the past 4 years what are we doing or more importantly what are we not doing? How can this be getting worse not better?
We raise more money; have more programs, more accommodation, yet homelessness throughout Australia is increasing every year to staggering numbers.

  •  If we are raising more money every year why is homelessness increasing?
  •  Why should a shelter be shut down just because a Tender changes (we just increased homelessness)
  •  Why do we need to re open tenders when the programs in place are working? Specifically when this effects human lives, safety and security (the most basic human needs)
  • Do our politicians realise a change in government has such a devastating effect on the less fortunate? 
If a new tender is required why can’t we ensure the protection of the programs that are working with the successful tenderer? Opposed to the new initiatives that cost to set up and run that are not yet tried and tested.

Last year a new initiative stated “our mission is to keep people in their homes” and support them, domestic violence support and drug addiction support, but what about those that didn’t have homes to be able to stay in them? What about the person that needs to flee for their life or that off their children? What about young people on the streets because they have no where to go?

In my mind education is the key to choice and the key to change and I feel very strongly about supporting causes that lead to change, even if it’s a small change, I guess that’s why I am confused about the efforts that are made but the increase in the problem. Maybe the education needs to start with people who are on six figure incomes and don’t understand the impact of their policy decisions.

Just a thought.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The next generation of LEADERS!

 What do they look like, how do they perform? 

For well over 20 years now I have been learning from great leaders, I have worked with some incredible people and have had the privilege to learn about University ion the care to have a continued education. I have had some wonderful mentors that have impacted my life and will continue to do so. Some of the wonderful leaders we have now will leave a great legacy for generations to come. If we just take a moment to look at the work that Bill and Melinda Gates are doing and the great contribution Richard Branson is making to the  on his Island. John Maxwell has dedicated years to creating leaders and my all time great Mentor Jim Rohn, who will always be in my thoughts and I only hope that one day I live the values that he lived. 


Like many I have spoken to in recent times I am very concerned about future generations and how they will develop leadership skills? I see a lack of effective communication and commitment from the young people in small business and in the corporate world? As a manager having to continuously recruit staff when they don't seem to be committed to the position long term can be frustrating and costly. 

I certainly am not suggesting every GenY is not committed or motivated or even a bad communicator, however the problems I am hearing about are very real. As a CEO of a Training Organisation I see first hand the challenges of creating an effective workforce let alone future leaders.

We hear many complaints about the lack of commitment or the attitude of entitlement that seems to be prevalent in a large percentage of GenY. I have seen this first hand in my own children, as much as I hate to admit this but somewhere along the line some of us parents (me included) have certainly contributed to creating a generation of self absorbed young adults. Some of whom seem more focused on instant gratification and less focused on making a positive contribution to society. To be brutally honest I continuously self reflect on how I participated in this creation. None the less, I did!

Some of my personal reflection I have concluded that I wanted my children to have an easier time than I did. I wanted them to have learned from the mistakes that I made before they make them....what I realise now is they were my mistakes and my lessons and that was my journey. They all have their own journey and lessons to learn along the way and it wasn't my job to to stop the natural process called life. Hard to swallow but true!

What I do know for certain is we have such opportunities ahead and inspirational young adults coming into the corporate world is a must. I believe it's our job to teach them how to be leaders and where to obtain the knowledge to learn the skills, teach them how to bounce back from adversity, communicate effectively and build strong relationships, become strong stable leaders for the future. We all know leadership development can take time.Some are born leaders and some have to work really hard at it. Climbing the corporate ladder takes time for good reason, as Jim Rohn would say its about "staying the seasons" "reaping what you sew". Making mistakes and learning from them is all part of the journey that we take.Whilst climbing the ladder you can learn great things from the leaders who are currently standing in the position or were there before you. 


What can you teach the next generation of leaders?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Create a powerful VISION for 2016



A clear vision can help you stay focused on what your want. Think about a time when you were looking to buy a car or another item, once you decided that was the item/car, the color or the style you started to see this same one everywhere. This is because it was in your consciousness/awareness. Once something is in your awareness its starts to appear, it was probably always there but you never saw it until you decided to look.
Our level of consciousness about what we want changes and we can become very focused on getting that thing once we commit. The decisions you make can easily change to support what you want and you start to create ways in which you can achieve what you want much faster than before. A vision board can help you stay focused, imagine seeing what you want every day, when you see it, feel it, even taste it, your action’s are focused on getting it.
A Vision board is one way to create a clear picture and it doesn’t have to be a material item it could be something that you want to implement into your life, like better nutrition to support your body or meditation to reduce stress, your vision board can have pictures of programs, seminars to attend, it could also have images of places to go, like walking in the rain-forest or on the beach regularly.
  

Here is a sample of a vision board, it can have anything that you want on it, pictures from magazines, words that inspire, time frames to achieve them Mentors that you aspire to become like. Anything that works for you is key to making it a success. Everyone needs to have their own style and ideas and it should be very personalised and clear.

So I guess you may be asking how do you get started?  Well all you need is a large piece of cardboard or a pin board and ideas. Think really deeply about what you want and just start writing down some ideas. If you want this to be a family vision board then you need to get everyone involved and have their ideas placed on the board too, however start with your dreams and think about all aspects of your life, physical, spiritual, career, financial and relationships and be clear about what you want in all areas of your life.

Last year I started using a metaphor of a bucket to inspire my vision board and have words coming out of a bucket, I have images of skills that I want to develop, so I found the books that can help me develop the skills and I printed a picture of the book. 

Note: An important key to remember is that this doesn’t have to cost anything for example I can go to the library and borrow a book to help me develop skills. If I want to learn how to have better health I can connect to groups that have all the information I need to get ideas.

Then go to work on your vision, each day do something towards achieving your vision for the future. One thing each day is a step in the right direction, it’s called action. You can have all the goals and the best vision board you like, however if you don’t take consistent action toward achieving them then it’s unlikely to happen. One step forward is a step in the right direction.

If you need help setting goals and creating a vision board, contact our team and we can help you put a plan into action. You never know this could be the start of possibility.