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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SUMMER SPECIAL

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That’s a total savings of $ 175.00

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! I’m 100% confident you will benefit from your membership. If you decide this is not for you in the first 30 days, let me know and I will gladly refund your money.

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First 30 minute session is FREE
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To sweeten the pot, just a bit,

I’ll throw in a few bonuses!

Bonus # 1: Another 30 minute FREE session with me (on the phone) to follow up on your plans as you implement them. (approximately one month post coaching)
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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.

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!

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!

“If you put yourself on the back burner, you may get burnt … or burn out.” Karen McMillan

Do you feel guilty at the thought of taking time for you?  Do all the things you need to do – mostly for others – get in the way of finding that time?  Then you must learn to say NO to that guilt!  It is not just a gift to yourself but it is also a gift to those you love.

You are just as deserving as others to have your needs met and to meet them yourself, when appropriate. Taking time out to care for yourself sends a message to you and the others in your life that you view yourself as important thus expecting the same from them.  I think it also acts as a role model for our children at home and for employees at work.  Research clearly shows that those who take care of themselves are more caring and more productive. Don’t those in your life deserve this as much as you do?

So, taking time for you is not selfish. In fact,it’s important to realize that an empty vessel has nothing to give. When you are worn out, frustrated, angry, etc. you aren’t giving in a way that is caring and helpful.  Rather it creates significant unhappiness, a low sense of self and underlying feelings of resentment.

Are you afraid of how those in your life will react when you begin to take time for you? At first, they may be surprised and perhaps a bit resistant.  However, as you learn to see this time as essential – and it is – you will not feel the need to defend your need or justify your actions. In fact, you are not as indispensable as others – and even you – think you are.  Some in you life may even find they can do for themselves things you thought only you could do.  A gift to you and to them! Making time to eat right, get exercise and even getting enough sleep will ultimately benefit all involved.

What are the things you’ve been neglecting? What do you need to do to claim some time to attend to these things. What might you need to say no to in order to find this time? Make a commitment, this week, to identify at least one thing you want or need to do – just for you. Tell those that need to know that you plan to take care of you.

Then….DO IT! No excuses!  No procrastination!  See how it feels!  I think you’ll like it!

Living a Life of Grace

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It’s a way to live.  ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear 



Grace has many definitions depending on whether you are looking at the biblical or the secular.  Today, I’m going to use the secular concept of being graceful.  For this purpose the most common definitions I’ve found are:



(1) A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.


(2) Disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

Others have defined grace as a form of elegance.  This is not necessarily the ability to dress elegantly but to act elegantly. I’m sure you know people who look physically graceful and elegant and do not follow this up with behavior.  This could be described as writing a check with presentation that is not cashed with behavior. Then, I know people who are quite unconcerned with outward appearances, yet behave with incredible grace and elegance. Of course there is occasionally the one who is able to combine both of these attributes.  I was lucky to have loved such a person.  He had an elegance of appearance while at the same time treated everyone he met with a sense of dignity and grace. He spoke to the person who takes out the trash the same as the person who owns the company.  I aspire to be more like him, in this way.

A quote from Albert Einstein that I particularly like is:

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
 Albert Einstein

Now those of you who have been following me for even a small amount of time, know that I talk repeatedly about self-care, so I don’t advocate blindly living for others but to have a passion for some sort of giving back to the world and a sense of wanting to improve life for someone other than oneself.  Without this, there is little extrinsic purpose, and life – no matter how seemingly full- will be empty and void of the needed values for real grace and elegance.

 There are large acts of kindness but courtesy can be very small acts.  A simple smile or saying thank you for the small things others do for you can make someone else’s day. When put this way, we can all be graceful and elegant, everyday. Yet, how many of us – including me – who consider ourselves to be kind and considerate, get so busy that we forget these small courtesies?

Clemency, on the other hand, may be the hardest form of grace.  To forgive others and to overlook small acts of irritants; to be non-judgmental and accept others is one of the most graceful of all acts. Too often, people hang onto even small perceived injustices.  Notice, I’m talking of the smaller acts of others, not those that are life altering. Yet, much research shows that being able to forgive, even those more offensive acts creates internal grace that would likely be demonstrated in outward acts as well.

Grace becomes a place where our personal ethics and values integrate with our daily behaviors. Simple acts of kindness are easy and when practiced become unconscious. That’s when one is really finding grace in their life.

There are many ways to develop grace and elegance in your life.  Here are five that I find most helpful.

  • Let go of those thing over which you have no control
  • Let go of those things that won’t matter tomorrow or next week
  • Accept that you are not always right nor do you need to be
  • Do something every day that is unselfish and truly for the benefit of someone else
  • Find gratitude every day, in the small and the big things.


Please share with me some of the ways you find grace and elegance in your life….

 

 

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