Everything happens for a reason. Really?

This is a statement we hear from many people; usually when something less than happy is occurring.  Someone loses a job and their friend tries to make them feel better by saying

“Everything happens for a reason, you’ll see.”

Even when the worst, such as the death of a loved one happens, someone will undoubtedly utter those words; “Everything happens for a reason.”

I, for one, don’t believe this.  I don’t believe that towns get decimated by a tornado, for a reason.  I don’t believe that those we love die, for a reason. I don’t believe that a person who loses a job, loses it for a reason; at least not a reason that is meant to benefit him or her.

Now, if believing this is comforting to some, then who am I to tell them not to believe?

However, I see one downfall to this belief.  I’ve seen people wait for the “reason” to be revealed to them.  In the meantime, they are unhappy and depressed by their current situation. I also simply can’t believe that some awful things could possibly happen for a reason. For example; could a parent who loses a child to a drunk driver lose that child for a reason, even if the outcome that they can go on to become an advocate against drunk driving?  That would just be too incredibly cruel.

There is another way to think about it.  From my point of thinking, I am the Boss of ME!
This means that how I respond to both the good and not so good in my life is by my own choice – not some undefined fateful reason.

I believe it is our own determination, actions and motivations that can create a purpose out of the difficult situations in our life.

It is all about choices. 

One can choose to look for the reason or wait for it to be revealed.  Or, one can choose to find a purpose – to create a purpose.

From my point of view, the parent who loses a child to a drunk driver chooses to create a purpose but I can’t, just can’t believe that was the reason. The person, who loses a job and decides to create their own business, goes on to be successful did not lose their job for a reason. Rather they made choices that lead them to a better place.

To me, this is more about personal leadership and life choices. I think my outlook is more empowering and life affirming. It takes the thinking as a victim to one who chooses to be a victor over circumstances. It takes us from depending on fate to creating our own future.

As always, I look forward to your comments and ideas.

WOW- Would you believe it?

WOW! Would you believe it?

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It is possible to find enough time for yourself and get some sanity!

It is possible, in this crazy world, to find peace of mind!

It is possible to find your passion and live by it!

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Learn more….
Sign up for a FREE 30 minute session with Gayle, NOW!

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Are you leading your life or following it around?

How Do You Know?

Do you have days when you are very busy but not sure what you’ve accomplished?
Are you frustrated with what you are doing – personally or professionally – but struggle to see how it can be different?
Do you have trouble saying NO – even when you really want to?
Do you avoid making decisions because there is just too much information to digest?
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Are you ready to incorporate your core values into your daily life?

Are you ready to say yes to daily sanity?
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If you’re ready, let me help you become The Boss of YOU!
If you’re ready, I’ve been there, there done that and found my way. I can show you how!

If you’re ready…..but maybe you’re not.
If you’re looking for some to just listen and let you vent, then, you’re not ready for what I have to offer.

But…If you’re Ready -  Really Ready…

I’ll help you find the solutions that are right for YOU!
I’ll help you design a plan for YOUR success.
I’ll help you to eliminate any barriers in your way.
I’ll be your partner through the entire process and THEN….

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Note: This coaching is meant to be brief and solution focused.  The client is in control of the outcome with direction from the coach thus taking full responsibility for their ultimate choices.

Note: Coaching is not counseling or therapy.  I have therapeutic experience but this is not the focus of a coaching session.  If you and I decide counseling is more appropriate for your needs at this time, I can help you find a good referral.

Civility! Really?

And it begins with us! Each one of us!

For some time now, I’ve become concerned with the lack of civility I see, too often.  I don’t know if it’s a result of so much being done on-line or that we’ve become so casual, in life,  that we’ve become desensitized to other’s feelings.  I say we, because I’ve caught myself being less patient, less tolerant and, yes, less civil, at times.

For me, it tends to be when I’m in the car.  In discussing this with someone, the other day, he made an interesting observation that we depersonalize the fact that it’s a human being driving the car, we simply see the car.  I have begun to remember that if I honk, glare or even call the person a name they can’t even hear, I’m referring to another person, not just car.

Of course, as we continue in this election year where there is much incivility in our political process, it’s almost impossible not to notice and even get caught up in it.

I’d like to point out a woman who has become my hero; someone who is the epitome of civility and grace, even in the face of great difficulty.Some time ago, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords announced her resignation from Congress in order to focus on her own recovery.  This is not an act of selfishness but one of great sacrifice as she recognizes that she cannot give the people of Arizona or the United States the time and effort they deserve while she continues to get well.  She also vows to come back and I believe as President Obama said “I’m confident we have not heard that last from this great woman.”

So, what does this have to do with civility.  There are two things that come to mind.  The first, is the level of civility immediately after the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, killing six and injuring several others. Everyone, no matter what side of the aisle, were saying positive things and seemed to be coming together.  Unfortunately, that did not last for long, especially once the primaries started.

The exception to this, is Congresswoman Giffords, herself.  During all that has happened in the past year, she has not had unkind words for anyone.  There has been no blamed placed, not even toward the shooter.  Rather the congresswoman has chosen to focus on taking the high road, as she reportedly has done throughout her term in congress. She is clearly a class act, both personally and professionally.

My goal is to be more like Congresswoman Giffords.  I will face the world with courage and strength; I will work hard to do what’s right, not only for me but for those around me and mostly, take the road of civility as often as possible.

I know that there is only so much we can do about other’s behaviors, even those in government.  But, in the spirit of  “I’m the Boss of ME!”, each one of us can begin to look at our own behaviors, biases and really pay attention to the words that come out of our mouths.  As I’ve said in other posts:  It is important to:

Let’s each one of us take responsibility for ourselves and act as a model for others, but everyday, in both big and small ways.

This is my plan! Won’t you join me?

You can start your day over, at any point!

Having a rough day?  In a bad mood? Blew your diet? I hear so many people say they’re having a terrible day.

Guess What!

You can start your day over, at any point!

Why wait for tomorrow?

It’s all about CHOICE!  No we can’t choose what just happened or the fact that we decided to have that left over piece of cake for breakfast.  What’s done is done!

You can choose a new attitude or new behavior, right NOW.  Here’s a few suggestions for starting your day over.

STOP: You spilled something on yourself and now, you’re late for a meeting. You can’t find your keys and the dog just won’t do his “stuff”.  The first reaction is to move faster. So, now you’re running around like a crazy person. Just STOP!  Just for one minute.  Breathe!  Now start over.   If you’re already late, one more minute won’t make you much later but it can make a difference in how you are when you get there.

Take a break: Everyone getting on your nerves. Get up and move.  Take a walk.  Even if just for a short time, be somewhere else. If you can’t physically be somewhere else (your in a meeting or on a plane, etc.) take a mental break.  Just breathe deeply and go to a “happy place” for a minute.  This will allow you do some of the next suggestions.

Think better thoughts: If you ate that piece of cake, stop beating yourself up.  If you overslept and were late, stop beating yourself up.  If someone else was annoying, stop renting them space in your head. We all make mistakes.  Stop the negative self-talk.  Let’s face it, if others spoke to us the way we sometimes talk to ourselves, we’d stop spending time with them.

Do something nice for yourself: So, you ate the cake? (is there a personal theme happening here?) Don’t go and eat cookies – I mean after all, I already blew it! No, eat something healthy.  Take a walk at lunch.  This will get you back on track.

Do something nice for someone else:  There is nothing like getting out of your own head to change the way you feel. The other day I needed to get into another lane in traffic.  It seemed like no one was letting me in and I was getting pretty irritated.  I did finally get in but still was annoyed at those “inconsiderate fools”. So, the next person who needed to get in line – I let them in.  If nothing else, I felt pretty good about ME!

What do you do to “Start your day over” when it’s not working well?

Or, contact me directly to talk more about this topic:

 

 

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole 
France 



To dream the impossible dream!

But, is it impossible?  Does it have to be impossible? I think everyone has dreams. So what makes the difference between those who simply continue to dream and those that make those dreams come true. Looking at this quote, it seems that it can also be reversed:

 ”To accomplish great things, we must not only dream but act; not only believe, but plan.”

If you have a dream but are not acting on it, you must ask yourself, “Why?” What’s getting in the way? Many times, it’s the second part. Many dream but they don’t believe. And some who believe they can make a dream come true still don’t act. What gets in the way?

We need to dream big, but start small.  We need to believe great things, but plan for getting there. No matter what the dream, these concepts are fully dependent upon each other for a person to have the best chance at great accomplishments.

Do you have a dream? What is it? Do you believe you can accomplish it? Make a plan. Get started.

And, remember, dreams are better shared and so are the challenges of getting there!

What’s your excuse?

What’s your excuse?

From excuses to solutions!

I’ve had times when I’ve wanted to blame anything and everything for the problems I was having.  In fact, in the past, I had more than I’d like to remember.
Favorite excuse making statements:

It’s just the way I am.
Life’s not fair for me.
I had a tough childhood.
It’s the economy -especially today.
Everyone else is doing it.
If everyone would just stop bothering me, I could get my work done.

and my favorite:

I wouldn’t have if you didn’t…..

You know the kind of thing. It’s all too easy to blame other people or circumstances for your problems.It’s easy to fixate on some aspect of your personality, shrug your shoulders, and assume that you simply can’t change.

Are any of these really true? And even if they are, are they insurmountable. Well, that’s up to YOU!

Being a leader in your own life involves taking back responsibility.

Guess what!
You really are in control of you.  Yes, you are!

Want to be victor instead of a victim in your life?  Want to be in charge? Well, here’s the good news!  You can be victorious over outside events.  Here’s the not so good news!

 
It takes work!

And, it all comes down to choices.

You didn’t just get handed the life which you’re living today – you helped to created it. Yes, things happen over which we have no control.  However, we do have a good deal of choices in how we manage those thing and this is where the power is.  If you want, really want you can make changes – both big and small.

Being a leader in your own life might means that:

  • You acknowledge that you can change your behavior – if you’re willing to work hard.
  • You find ways to get out of tough situations (like being in debt).
  • You look for solutions to problems which keep cropping up – like being distracted by colleagues.
  • You take responsibility for your behaviors and what comes out of your mouth.  No one makes you do or say anything.
  • You get honest with yourself – even when it’s hard – especially when it’s hard!

What are you doing to stop making excuses and start making choices to
Be the Boss of YOU!

Please share your thoughts with me and other readers.

Failure to Respond

I’m struggling where to start and end with this message. I have a message to share yet am careful not to overstate or exaggerate and yet, still, I think the message is one of importance.

There seems to be a tendency that I’ve been observing for some time now and it’s really quite annoying, in its selfishness and lack of consideration. It certainly doesn’t lead to a great sense of civility. I’m talking about failure to respond or, even worse, responding without commitment.

Awhile back, a woman who created and runs a wonderful small business group, planned a networking lunch. The event location charges a per person fee. If someone responds as attending and doesn’t show up, the fee is still charged. Unfortunately, several people did this and the organizer was stuck paying for them. I realize this can be rectified by having each person pay prior to the event. What bothers me is that people would respond and then simply not show up – no notice, no explanation, etc. Is it just me, or is this just rude?

If this were only one incidence, I might not be addressing it. However, I put on an event last week. I had 10 positive response and only 3 people showed up. I didn’t pay per person so I wasn’t out of much money. I did, however, plan for enough coffee and pastry – thus giving quite a bit away, at the end. I also spend a good amount of time being sure to have enough hand outs and materials for everyone. So, in this case it wasn’t just money but time, as well.

And then there are times when there’s no money cost but time costs. I was talking to a friend today who’d agree to help another with some last minute things she needed for a project – something she would normally charge for. My friend set aside a good part of her weekend to be available. Not only didn’t this other person, not follow up on her request, she never called to say she did not need these services. Again, how rude!

Is it really that difficult to understand that if you say you’re going to be somewhere and for some reason, you can’t be there, that you give the person expecting you a heads up?

What is it about our current culture that allows this type of behavior to be so common? Is it the casual atmosphere of the internet thus creating a less than personal connection?

This is just one of the things I’ve bee noticing that is impacting positive civility. I don’t know about you but I find it irrigating when I’m speaking to someone on the phone and its apparent they are busy doing something else, at the same time. Am I not important enough to get your full attention?

 

And, let’s not forget the person you are actually with who spends almost as much time on their phone as they do talking to you. I know I may be a bit “old” in that I remember when we called someone and if they didn’t answer, you actually had to call back – yes, even before answering machines. And, yes, I like the conveniences of today’s technology. But…I also know that there are few things that are so important that one needs to answer every phone call, despite being with a friend, being in a restaurant or simply being in public where the rest of the world is just not all that interested in someone else’s private life.

So, tell me. Am I really as “old fashioned” as some might think or am I on to something in thinking these things are, as I said earlier, simply rude?

I’m Not My Fault….

“I have no choice!”  I can’t tell you how many times I hear this statement and most often, it’s a lie, a real untruth.

We all know people who view themselves as victims of life events?  There may be times when, we, ourselves, feel like victims of life events. We may feel stuck; in a job, relationship or other situations. We too often think there’s little we can do about it.  So, the person who believes they have no choice stays where they are, does what they’ve always done and is generally unhappy about it.

HOT Flash!  We have many more choices in life than most realize. And, yes, there are times when something happens over which we have no control.  And, yes, it can be very easy to blame those things for our situations, unhappiness or lack of growth. Because after all, if what happened was not my fault, then, I must not be my fault either.

One may have little or no control over external events or even other people but one always has the ability to choose how to deal with those things.  Yes, even those who truly believe that they are not their fault and “have no choice”, because there is a second half to this quote…

“I may not be my fault…but I must become my own responsibility”

The trick is to first take the time to what’s important to YOU!  What are YOUR values, at this point in your life. For example: several years ago, I was in a job and knew it was drawing to a close for me. I had an interview for a job I was quite sure I would love. The problem was the amount of travel. I was a single mom of a teenager. Being her mom, getting to her events and embarrassing her by cheering too loud at her soccer games were my priorities. I then took a good look at the job I had.  I worked less than 2 miles from home and less than 5 minutes from her high school. I had a boss who never asked me to be late to a soccer game or complained if the school nurse called. Suddenly, I didn’t see my job as a place I had to go to but one I wanted to go to.  It met the values I had at the moment.  As soon as my daughter graduated from high school, I become free to make different choices based on my changed values.

At this same time, I worked with someone who continually stated how much he hated his job but had many, many excuses as to why he couldn’t make a change. He made a good living and had a family to support.  He couldn’t see taking a job where he may not make as much yet, his lack of a higher degree was keeping him stuck. When I suggested that he was then remaining at the job to make the money.  He was unable to view it this way and instead continues to play the victim. l He was clearly stuck and unable to see his unhappiness as his own responsibility or something he was ultimately choosing by making no choice, at all.  Was there a perfect solution to his unhappiness? No, he would have had to make a sacrifice of some sort, at least for a short time.  However, if he’d chosen one of the other options, returning to school for a higher degree, taking a slightly lower salary to do something else, these sacrifices would have likely lead to a more satisfying life in a fairly short time. Rather, this was about 12 years ago.  I left his job 11 years ago and this co-worker is still there, doing the same thing and likely still not happy but sure that he is “Not his fault….”

Like my co-worker, too often when there’s not a perfect choice, people move to the extreme of thinking there is NO choice.  When people weigh their choices, even if there is no perfect choice, it is empowering.  We still may not be doing exactly what we want, but we are doing what we choose, as I did when I remained at that job.

PS: The job I interviewed back then, became available again shortly after my daughter graduated high school and I happily worked there for 10 years before moving on the “Becoming the Boss of ME!

Introduction to the Civility Project

Welcome to the Civility Project

I found several formal definitions for the word civility.  The one I like best is:

“Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process.”
 (Institute for Civility in Government Co-Founders,
Cassandra Dahnke and Tomas Spath)

And, I believe…

It begins with us!

Clearly, to be more globally productive, civility needs to mean more than simply being polite or having manners. I once worked with a man who had great manners and the appearance of civility but he was also the type who might pick your pocket while he was shaking your hand. This is not civility.

Unfortunately, we are currently seeing the opposite in the political debates.  The discussion is not focused mostly on the issues but rather have evolved into name calling and personal attacks. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not isolated to politics. We see it in the work place, at sporting events and in every day settings.  Just the other day, I had not gotten in the correct late to make a turn. I put on my blinker and waited.  Apparently, another driver thought this was quite a heinous mistake and they let me know with a much less than civil gesture. Now I realize that perhaps that person was already having a bad day and took his frustration out at the first opportunity and that happened to be me.  Thus, I chose not to personalize or return his behavior.  In other situations, it can be harder to make that choice such as when one is bullied or repeatedly treated poorly.

Now, as those of you who know me, know that the concepts of personal choice is my passion. While we cannot insist that others be civil and even legislating civility doesn’t guarantee it, we are all able to make our own choice.

Dr. C. Daniel Litchford of LDS College has compared the choice of civility or incivility to Robert Frost’s poem: The Road Not Taken:

“Two roads diverged in a…wood, and I…took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Just about every day, we are faced with situations where we can make a choice to respond with civility or not. As Dr. Litchford states, Each day we’re making choices; you stand at the fork in the road.  What voice were you listening to, to respond that way or to act that way or to say those things?” He further states If you hear the right voice and you make the right choice, then you zero in on options that affect decisions..”

Unfortunately, too often the road not taken is the road to civility. So like Robert Frost, I am making a commitment to take the road less traveled – the road of civility.

I’m hoping by doing this, others will be encouraged to do the same.

This is one road on which I would not mind a traffic jam.

Please join me in this discussion on civility. 

This is one road on which I would not mind a traffic jam.

How can you increase the civility in your own life to continue on the path and

Be the leader in your own life?

(comments welcome and encouraged)

Contact Gayle, today, for more information or to have her speak to your organization!

Today, I simply choose to share something personal.  Despite my feelings of loss on there anniversaries, I find true gratitude, daily, for the life of this wonderful man, who gifted me with his love, encouragement and passion.  My goal is to live this gratitude every day, thus keeping all his gifts alive in my heart, soul and actions.

THOUGH NOTHING CAN BRING BACK THE
HOUR OF SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS,
OF GLORY IN THE FLOWER,
WE WILL GRIEVE NOT,
RATHER FIND STRENGTH IN WHAT
REMAINS BEHIND


My Darling Keefe,
Today you would have turned 60.  Tomorrow would have been our wedding anniversary.  While, yes life has gone on – not a day goes by when I don’t think, at least for a moment, of what was and what would have been, if you were still here with me. So many plans, so many hopes, so much to look forward to coming to a crashing halt just over 9 years ago. I miss you, still. I love you, still. You, forever have a special place in my heart that cannot be fully healed or ever replaced.
Rest in peace, my dear – I remain, your true companion, Gayle

Contact Gayle, today, for more information or to have her speak to your organization!