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Posts Tagged ‘Intentional’

Dear Faithful Readers: There comes a time in every life when it’s time to move on and do something new. For me, that time is now. Well, to be completely transparent, that time was a few weeks ago, but I’ve been polishing the new “space” to better serve you, so haven’t felt ready to make the announcement until now.

I have officially moved to a new web site, and hope you will join me there! I am unable to transfer all of you faithful followers, so if you’re still interested in staying in touch — and I hope you are — you’ll have to do the work.

Here’s how: Click this link!

Truly, it’s that simple!

You’ll find the full blog archive there, so if you have a favorite, you’ll still be able to find it. You’ll also find enhanced information on what I’m able to offer and how I can best serve you.

And, most important, there’s a quick opt-in form that you can fill out (name and email only) for a free self-discovery tool and the option of staying in touch. I won’t be blogging as often; in fact, if you want to keep up with my thoughts, insights, teachings, and other content, I recommend opting-in, as I plan to share my best stuff with my inner circle moving forward.

Please note, if you do opt-in, you may also opt-out at any time. I will never spam you, nor will I ever share your information with anyone else. I’m committed to developing a value-added relationship with you, and I believe that can happen only if you grant permission to our relationship.

Thank you for your time, energy, and attention these past couple of years. I appreciate you more than you know.

Again, it’s as simple as clicking this link!

I look forward to connecting with you there. In the meantime, have an intentional day.

Positively!

Laura

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At what point do we, as parents, begin to imprint our personal beliefs on our children? Arguably from the time we bring them home from the hospital; after all, we are teaching them about our values and beliefs simply as a matter of course in how we live life each day.

The question is, when do we become aware that’s what we are doing and decide to be intentional about it? I’ve had this discussion with myself, and my husband, on numerous occasions over the past several years, and most recently 30 minutes ago…on the topic of selling popcorn!

Our son is 7 and is a Wolf in his local Cub Scout Troop (or is it a den or a pack? Frankly, all those distinctions elude me, but I digress…). The biggest fundraiser for his group is selling tins of popcorn, caramel corn, and chocolate coated popcorn. Some members of his troop will sell by going door-to-door in their neighborhoods, after services at their church, by setting up tables outside local merchants to catch shoppers on their way in and out, and, presumably, some of their parents will even sell for them at their places of employment (I’m not sure this actually helps the child grow in any way, even though it does raise more money).

To motivate the kids, there is a listing of the incentives one might obtain by selling at a certain level. The more you sell, the cooler item you can receive. For example, if you sell $550 worth of popcorn, you can have a Lego Fire Truck (this is what my son has his eye on!), but the levels gone on up into the thousands of dollars sold.

In full candor, I cringed knowing this day would come. I understand the growth opportunity for the kids and the need to raise funds for the Troop. I am not a fan, however, of what the items are that are chosen to sell (usually cookies, cookie dough, very expensive wrapping paper, tins of popcorn) as they are often not anything we will eat or use or send as a gift. I’m not a fan of going door-to-door to sell, either (and have been shocked when young kids ring our bell and I see no parent in site, accompanying them). In fact, I would prefer to simply write a donation check and skip the sales process altogether! But, that wouldn’t allow the kids to experience the process and learn the lessons that come with it. I also recognize my thinking about and reaction to this “opportunity / activity” is not how everyone else looks at it.

My husband explained to our son how it works, and he’s excited. He says he wants to visit our neighbors, dressed in his Scout uniform, and sell them popcorn. Of course, it’s about earning that Lego Fire Truck! And no one has dampened his enthusiasm, yet. So, I’m working on restraint. I’m working on not coloring my son’s experience with my personal thoughts, feelings, or beliefs about this activity and process. It’s actually kind of fun to see his un-jaded enthusiasm for it, even if it’s one of the last things I would want to do.

Thinking this through has left me wondering about how we unwittingly impose our beliefs on those around us and change the way they view the world. Sometimes, those beliefs we instill in them are based on untruths and don’t serve them well later in life. Sometimes, they may bump into enough barriers because of those beliefs that they are forced to unlearn some things in order to achieve their goals and realize their potential. I don’t think we do this to the people around us intentionally, but it happens nonetheless.

All the more reason for becoming as self-aware as possible, so we can be more intentional about what we say, how we behave, and what we expose others to.

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How long will it take?

That’s the point in the conversation when it becomes painfully obvious, to me, at least, that the person in front of me truly isn’t ready to initiate change in her/his life. That’s the point when I realize the person in front of me is looking for the quick fix, the easy out — you know, the path that won’t take him/her out of her comfort zone. Because while this person recognizes something isn’t working in his/her life, and is aware of the lack of congruence — even if he/she cannot articulate it as such — she/he is not uncomfortable enough, yet, to make a change.

One of my mentors shared a story with me a few years ago, when we were talking about pursuing dreams. He said he often stops by the Rosetta Stone kiosk in an airport he frequently flies thru, and considers purchasing a module. But, then he finds himself tempted to ask the salesperson how long it will take to learn the language, and mid-way through that thought, he knows he’s not passionate enough about it to give it what it would require to succeed. He thinks of it as negotiating terms and pursuing dreams doesn’t work that way.

It’s a similar principle with prospective clients who understand something isn’t working in their life, their organization, within their team, and they know they need to do something different. If I believe I have value to add and a potential solution, I offer it, and then we have what I think of as the (no disrespect intended in any way, shape, or form) “come to Jesus” moment: What are you willing to do differently to initiate and see this change through?

What are you willing to do differently to initiate and see this change through?

And when the person asks, “How long will it take?” I know the conversation is done and all that’s left is the pleasantries (well, to be fair, I’m typically direct about what will happen if they don’t take action)  as I prepare to leave the meeting.

Here’s the deal: Whatever shape your life, team, organization is in, you didn’t just arrive there this morning; you developed the habits and behaviors and embedded the thinking that have all conspired to get you to where you are today over the course of many (MANY!) years. Unlearning those habits, challenging those beliefs, and changing one’s thinking will not happen overnight (even if I do have my magic wand with me!). It takes time; sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on the level of discomfort, desire to change, willingness to challenge thinking and beliefs, willingness to rock the boat, even.

Whether I say it will take six months, twelve months, or longer, consider this: That time will pass either way, whether you do the work or not; it’s inevitable. The choice is yours: Will you step out of your comfort zone, take the action, and work through the process? Or will you simply be another six months or a year older, and still living in the same proverbial place?

What will you decide?

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Yes, it’s true. I went to prison 10 days ago — the Ohio State Reformatory, in Mansfield. You may be familiar with it if you’ve watched The Shawshank Redemption. 

In getting there, I traveled a number of roads I’d never been down before, both literally and figuratively. I went down those roads with a sense of expectation, of anticipation of profound discovery, knowing I would be confronting the physical prison and my personal prison. As the van drove down the highway, getting ever closer to its destination, I wondered “am I ready for this?”

Am I ready for this?

Is anyone ever ready to confront themselves and scrutinize the self-limiting beliefs that have held them back for years? Is anyone ever ready to scrutinize the self-imposed constraints they’ve placed on what they will or won’t do in their lives? Is anyone ever ready to walk into a cold, dank, musty, rotting place, filled with the ghosts (I’m told they are real in this place, but cannot say I felt or saw any) of those who were literally locked behind those bars?

The focus of the experience was to recognize our personal prisons, often realized through day jobs that fill our bank accounts (to some degree) while emptying our souls, and develop a plan for creating our dream jobs. I spent some time alone in a cell, laughing, crying, wondering, and reflecting on my life. Oddly, as I sat on the rusting springs of a “bed,” I could see muted light coming through the glass block windows across from my cell; I could hear birds singing.

IMG_0595While in my cell, I wrote a good deal, in my journal, in response to some questions posed by one of my mentors/coaches who facilitated the experience, and in a letter to me from my future self. This letter will be mailed to me at some point in the next year; I will be absolutely surprised by what it says, as I have no memory of what I wrote!

On the figurative side, I discovered much about  myself. My prison is no longer a day job; although I consider myself blessed to have escaped from more than one that was not the place for me. What a blessing to fully understand one’s purpose in life! No, my prison is truly self-constructed, bars created from beliefs about who I am and how I show up in relationships and what those beliefs and behaviors mean for what I will experience and accomplish in my life.

Self-awareness is the starting point for making any meaningful change in one’s life. Higher levels of awareness allow you to make choices, intentionally, with thought given to your desired outcomes. I’m working at a higher level of awareness now, and intentionally thinking and moving differently within the important relationships in my life. For now, at least, those particular prison bars have been erased.

While it’s unlikely you will travel to, or spend any time in prison any time soon, I encourage you to spend some time with pen and paper in reflection. Consider what imprisons you. What’s keeping you from fully living into your passion and purpose? What small step can you take, with that new awareness, to change your reality?

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No wonder I haven’t had clarity on how to best make the decision — I’ve been asking the wrong question!

Have you done this? You ask a question, or pray to whatever higher power you appeal to, looking for guidance and direction. When the idea or answer pops into your head –“Boom! There is its!” — you look toward the heavens and say, “Really? Are you sure?!”

Questioning the very response to that which you have been seeking! It’s really kind of comical when you think about it; at least it is to me.

So, I’ve become aware of some training that will allow me to add some additional tools to my coaching tool box, which will help me better serve my clients in achieving greater levels of self-awareness, resulting in higher levels of performance, and achieving whatever it is they endeavor to do. So, I asked the question: Should I or shouldn’t I enroll in this training?

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

The answer to that is obvious isn’t it? It’s either yes, you should, or no, you shouldn’t. Either response can be equally argued for, I’m certain. There are pro’s and con’s to either response, up sides and down sides to every option.

It would be similar to asking “is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do or say?” There will be pro’s and con’s to whatever answer you come up with for that question, as well.

Is this the right thing or the wrong thing to do?

The question I should have asked myself is this: Will taking this action move me closer to my goal? If the answer is “yes,” I should enroll in the course. If the answer is “No,” I should not enroll in the course. It’s truly that simple.

Will taking this action move me closer to my goal?

 

You see, I can talk myself into it and out of it within the same conversation. I can argue with myself about whether it’s a responsible use of my resources, or if I should save them for something else. I can view it from a perspective of scarcity — I have only so much time, energy, and money to invest in growing myself — or from a perspective of abundance — I will grow immeasurably from this experience, serve my clients more fully, therefore growing my financial resources over time as a result of this additional benefit I can offer.

Asking it that way, the answer is obvious. I should enroll in the course, continue to grow, and serve my clients. The only question now is, which location to register for? That one will require a little homework on travel costs!

I hope you now have a new perspective on how to evaluate the many options that appear in your life, especially when you’ve asked for guidance and direction. Rather than questioning the source of the answer you get, consider how doing or not doing whatever it is will serve you in your purpose.

If you don’t know your purpose, you have a different starting point entirely. From personal experience, I highly recommend working with a skilled coach or mentor.

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I want to add value to you in 2014, and I hope to do that in a number of ways. To begin, I want to offer you my e-book, The ‘What Matters Most’ Manifesto, available on Amazon.

I wish for you a meaningful, satisfying, and fulfilling year ahead, and that won’t happen by chance. You must be intentional about it…and this e-book is intended to get you in that mindset.

This short, easy read is yours for free on January 2 and 3, as a Kindle download.

This doesn’t mean you have to own a Kindle, you merely need a Kindle reader, which you can use on a smart phone or tablet (I use it on both my iPhone and my iPad).

Feel free to pass it along and share with others, as well.

Please be kind enough to review the book on Amazon when you’re done. I truly want to know what you think of it.

May you enjoy good health and much prosperity in 2014.http://www.amazon.com/What-Matters-Most-Manifesto-ebook/dp/B00GTXGX6W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1388595713&sr=1-1&keywords=laura+prisc

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Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.  ~Henry David Thoreau*

This is so true; don’t you think? Consider this…how would your life be different today if you hadn’t believed in yourself?

How would your world be different today if other leaders hadn’t believed in their potential, their vision, their mission?

What if:

  • Abraham Lincoln hadn’t believed slaves should be freed?
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr., hadn’t believed a man could walk on the moon?
  • Martin Luther King hadn’t believed in the dream of equality for all?
  • Susan B. Anthony hadn’t believed women should vote?
  • Jonas Salk hadn’t believed polio could be cured?

These are just a few examples; given time, and putting our heads together, we could probably come up with a list that would span countless pages of how others’ (and our own) beliefs have changed our lives, our communities, and our world.

Regardless of what stage of life — and leadership — you may be in, know that the first step you must take to move forward is the believe in yourself, in your dream, and your ability to accomplish it.

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.  ~Charles F. Kettering

Do so, and success will surely follow.

Do so, and you will change the lives of more people than you can imagine, at levels you may not even be aware of.

Do so…we need you!

___________

Note: This concludes this 12-month, focused Intentional Leadership journey. Thank you for accompanying me. Remember, it is a journey; even though our study together is ended, it doesn’t mean you must or should stop working through this process. This work, this guide, is archived for you on this site, and you are welcome to revisit it — even go through the whole process, or pieces of it, as the need arises — at any time in the future.

*From the Intentional Leadership booklet, by Giant Impact.

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