Holiday Wishes

When you are staring out of the window at the softly falling snow this holiday season, what dreams are filling your mind? Are they thoughts of what you want or a vision of how you wish your life was different? 

As a child, the wish list was usually about wants - the toys, technology, or the latest fashions. However, as adults, the tendency leans towards dislikes. A wish of what could be different - having more money, a better job, or a more attentive spouse. 

If you are truly unhappy with a situation in your life, really think about why it is there and what you can do to make your dreams come true. To help you, consider the following actions:

1.  Be thankful for the situation or the problem. Challenges are what make us grow as individuals and the act of simply being thankful, will put you in a positive mind set. "I'm thankful I have a job."

2.  Is the situation beyond your control or can you make a change? Make opportunities, not excuses, and take positive action. Have an honest conversation with your superior about your needs. "I would like to apply for that promotion."

3.  If the situation is beyond your control, you can at least change your attitude.  Do not dwell on mistakes or failures, but look at them instead as learning opportunities.  "I have put forth my best effort in this relationship and my partner is not giving me what I need." Then perhaps, look for a way to change your expectations or get counseling together. 

4. "This too shall pass".  Perhaps your personal life is affecting your job and is causing short term chaos. Get support from others who you trust and rely on to get you to the other side.  All times of joy do not last forever and neither do times of sadness or conflict.   

Really consider what it is you are wishing for and its consequences, just as the character George Bailey discovered in Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life". Fallen upon hard times, George wished he had never been born.  The gift of seeing what life would have been like without him, gave George the appreciation for the life he was living, even the hard times. Remember, experiences, good and bad, are all a part of this wonderful life.  

Home is Where the Heart Is

This Thanksgiving you may be hosting dinner in your home or going to your parents or in-laws to be with family.  The word home means much more than the dwelling where we were raised or the three-bedroom colonial we go to after work.  Home embodies emotion, tradition, comfort, and heart. 

 As we navigate through the different stages of our lives, the physical structure where we reside changes--college dorm, apartment, starter house--but the need to feel comfortable does not.  Once in the workplace, our place of employment really is our home-away-from-home.  The location may change, but once there, we all need the same - to feel at ease, welcomed and accepted for who we are.

A building provides shelter, safety, and security to fulfill our most basic survival needs.  But the place where we gather, whether a childhood residence, university dorm, or workplace cubicle, is merely an empty structure if there are not individuals there to help nurture our growth and sustain our needs for belonging, achievement, and self-worth.  Whatever our industry or profession, there are certain aspects of a work environment that need to deeply satisfy us:  

•A boss that helps develop us. 

•Team members that trust, respect, and collaborate with one another. 

•A feeling of contributing to a greater cause and using our talents to the best of our ability.

 Just like going home for the holidays, we are reminded as adults that we need the same thing from our environment that we needed as children: opportunity to showcase our talents; people that care about us; and a family that gets along with one another.

 A house is not a home until you put loving people in it. And a business is not a healthy work environment until you have individuals who put heart into everything they do.

Keep Calm and Carry On

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us.  Christmas shopping, sending holiday cards, attending parties, and baking cookies list some of the personal tasks we undertake at this time of year.  Whereas, completing year-end reviews, closing out budgets, finishing projects, and developing 2014 strategic plans top our professional tasks to accomplish as well.  

With all these expectations, it is easy to get frazzled, stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted.  In order to get everything accomplished, it is helpful to remember to operate from a place of calm rather than a state of chaos working from a balanced plan.

Intellectually---Create a daily to-do list with everything you want to accomplish personally and professionally to help keep you on track and focused on your priorities.

Physically---Take 10 deep breaths before going into any major event. This will relax you and provide more oxygen to your brain giving you confidence and mental clarity.

Emotionally---Don't spend time and energy on individuals that emotionally drain you.  Be professional and courteous when you have to interact with those individuals, but rather seek out and intentionally interact with individuals that bring out the best version of you.

Spiritually---Remember to take time out for yourself to connect with your spiritual needs.  Take a walk, meditate, attend church or spend time in the classroom of silence.  You will be amazed at how much inner peace and strength you will find to "Keep Calm and Carry On."   

Quote of the Month

"Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard for it."

 

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