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Time For Your “Mind Gym” – How Do You Use Your Imagination?


 

visualize

Are you aware of how you use your imagination? Have you unwrapped, yet, your gift of visualization? This is just a reminder of a powerful tool many misuse or forget to use. Most negative states are partly maintained through mentally replaying horrible scenes. Most fears are retained through imagining scary predictions of the unforeseen.

But what if we alter the contents of those pictures or movie displayed on our internal mental screen? How would it feel like if we were to imagine better outcomes and unleash the power of our inner creativity machine? All limitations, obstacles, and unmet needs were always the inspiration for creative ways to survive, to thrive, and to fulfill certain dreams.

Most Olympic athletes relied on visualization to create successful moves before performance so that winning is granted faster. Arnold Schwarzenegger imagined, since childhood, his becoming Mr. Universe and eventually becoming an actor. Walt Disney, similarly, used what he called “imagineering” to create his entertainment empire gradually after.

And if we really think about it, how do you explain our eventually enjoying the TV, the radio, or phone calls to a remote location? Someone somewhere used their imagination till they actualized its manifestation. The end result was the luring initial temptation.

Ideas of all major inventions did not remain in one’s brain hiding as a seed. They were nourished with active attempts to fulfill specific needs. Trial and error initiatives to make things happen are part of the process till one succeeds. One tool mostly used from inception till the end is creating images of how any restriction one ought to transcend.

To start with, give it some thought as to how you can be happier. “There’s a lot of power in simply imagining a better life filled with bliss. Many often miss to visualize exactly just “how” to effect this.” ~3Ds

Your mind cannot differentiate between what’s imagined and what’s real. It is no secret that visualization automatically changes how you feel…

You can reinvent your future, relax your body, energize it, or imagine succeeding on any interesting goal.

Use your creative imagination as your positive outcome visual control…

With or without Your Personal Coach

Dania

PS. You can watch me demonstrating “Guided Visualization” as a stress-busting tool live on LBC here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8Iz3Ry2EBQ&list=UUOQcFEEskw8OGYvA4FA89rA

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Choosing to Moving Forward (2) – Few tips


2co5riqI received some insightful feedback on my earlier post on ‘’Choosing to move forward” and this enthused me to elaborate more and offer some helpful tips around the topic. I previously discussed the disparity between two groups of people. The first choose to move forward on the job and the second surrender to their frustrations into an emotional tail-spin. Clear self-knowledge providing the stage for a future vision can be the critical factor differentiating those who are more active in seeking the change.

 There’s a saying that “Goals are dreams with a deadline”. So, if you find yourself having to tolerate dissatisfaction; and lack the ability to induce change, pose there and ask yourself: What is the ideal job for me? And where am I now? If the gap between your ideal job and your current status is huge, then it’s a call for action. Here are few tips to make you invoke a process of an “AHA!!” moment and work on a dream to come true. These rely on my personal experience, prior research, and extensive observations:

 1. Ask yourself “what am I so passionate about? What are you talented at?” Decipher what makes you tick. Think of your role model. Observe how h/she acts? If you have an answer, skip to tip number 5.

2. If you have no clue what your passions are, then explore your options. A quick reflection on the most fulfilling activities you engage in can provide you with a clue.

3. Still stuck? Nothing seems to be appealing? Put yourself out there and try new things. Be really open to cease any opportunity that comes your way. You can’t know if it’s a potential passion if you don’t try.

4. Still can’t find it? (Boy!! There might be an underlying depression lurking in the background J. No seriously, investigate if you do by seeking psychotherapy). If not, your character needs to fit somewhere; try to explore further what could be the best fit. Keep trying.

5. When you identify your passion, dream on. What would your ideal “you” be doing on the job driven by such passion? Include all the details possible. Engage all your senses. Vivify that dream (i.e. make it alive).

6. Consider the actions needed to make that dream happen. Make a list of the different possible options. Have a plan.

7. Commit to taking actions a step at a time. If you’re the type who procrastinates, share your vision with someone who would hold you accountable (e.g. a friend you can trust, or a coach if you can afford it J).

8. Take the actions necessary to move forward. When one thing doesn’t work, try another. No disappointment can be coined as a failure; it’s only feedback that some other strategy can work better.

9. Assess and revise your plan as you proceed. Plans may evolve and branch out the more you give them good thought.

10. Be persistent. It’s very easy to become discouraged when all attempts do not come to fruition, so keep that dream alive. Enjoy the process of learning while keeping an eye on the destination. it’s just another adventure.

  Alas, no one is affected enough about your frustration more than you are. No one will care enough more than you do. Spare others, on the receiving end, the toll of your whining and complaints. You wouldn’t want your nagging to drive others away from you. From what I know, we are more drawn to others who are cheerful. If the situation permits, you can always share with close ones your attempts to move forward despite the dispiriting results. In such conversations, you might, as well, be offered new insights about different alternatives that could work. You can be the maestro of your of your life if you choose to. The sound of music heard relies heavily on you, so create your own life. Make your own symphony. Have a dream….

 Note: Stay tuned to my next post on moving forward on the personal level (even if all prospects appeared dim).

 

Choosing to Move Forward (1)


The other day, as I waited to meet a friend at my mostly frequented coffee shop, I had an interesting brief conversation with the waiter on duty. He just opened up to brief me on his latest news. “I applied to this famous hotel chain and am hopefully quitting this place” he said. He then continued to list his frustration with his current job and how there was no room for promotion there. At the age of 38, he found himself needing to advance forward instead of being stuck in the same monotonous job. He presented more reasons that moved him into taking action towards change. He had a vision of a better fit to his aspirations and I thought that “Wow!! This is a really healthy sign of thriving on the profession”.

 

I compared that waiter to a friend of mine who excessively whines of monotony at the work place; yet, does not do anything to change or add flavor to what she does. Despite my constant attempts at directing her towards exploring the options there, she would be very resistant to suggestions of all sorts. She might be too afraid to trying something new, or move out of her comfort zone. There must be something appealing in her current employment, but she surely wouldn’t openly recognize it, or look for it. She was oblivious to her power of making choices to effect some change.

 

Such varied responses between frustrated people on the job prevail to varying extents. Some of us choose to deal with the problem and are proactive to move forward; others choose the easier path of whining that they have a problem. It’s as if things could change to the better by a magical intervention, but would they? Could we hope for remedy if we do not solicit it, or even take action towards it? The choice to progress needs to stem from a burning and motivating desire to grow. No one can instill it for someone else. Surely others can nourish it along the way, but it has to be already there. Do you have a vision of the best self you want to be? If so, my guess is that you’re on the path of moving forward…..

 

Guard Your Reputation With All Arms


oaktreeGlass, China, and Reputation, are easily cracked, and never well mended.
 ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

A quote well thought of indeed. Businesses, groups, and foundations all try to establish a cutting edge reputation to advance forward. Wouldn’t you, as an individual, work on developing your own reputation on both levels: personal (or perceived character) and professional (in terms of achievements)? Your reputation represents your social evaluation; and hence, constitutes a portion of your basic identity. Because you are not invisible and are bound by civil interactions, your reputation matters. Like it or not, it follows you like a shadow everywhere you go; consequently, is one of those assets you need to maintain well-polished.

 I started pondering about this concept as I observed an interaction that took place between one of my colleagues and her superior. The latter was aggressive, sarcastic, and haughty as she denounced my colleague with reprimand over a really trivial matter. I stood there speechless about the notorious image that superior was portraying. I wondered why she degraded her own personal worth as such despite being professionally at a competitive advantage. It made me realize that some of us don’t really care about having a well-rounded reputation. In some aspects, they act on whim and let themselves be driven by uncontrolled inner forces. A little thing like that told a lot about that supervisor. Despite the many finer professional qualities of her in hindsight, I couldn’t but become myopic and map the shortcomings of her in that brief encounter. If I am asked to assess her now, I would say: she is professionally outstanding, BUT…so and so…. That BUT, being said, negates anything that preceded :(.

 Have you ever considered that your reputation maybe the only immortal aspect you have? Not only do you form judgments of yourself, others similarly form an impression of you. These accumulate to form your reputation. It forms in the past, is maintained in the present, and continues to compound in the future. You will forever remain a target for evaluation, as people take short-cuts in describing the person you are. From mere chatting, to gossip, to scandals most people might entertain, warn, or take your case as an example as they converse. Keeping that in mind, you might as well plant the seed for a sound reputation and nourish it with your attitudes and behaviors. It’s not something ephemeral; rather, becomes like an oak tree taking years to grow, but once well-rooted, stands tall and endures.   

  Some people are not concerned with social evaluation. So what if I deviate from social norms this one time, or do the things that I consider right despite opposing social consent – some would be tempted to say. Ones reputation is very fragile and it would take painstaking efforts to restore a crack there. I, personally, would rather remain alert and guard my reputation with both hands. My reputation determines how others will relate to me in any role I partake. I do care about being consistently held in high esteem. My reputation is among the few things I’ll pass on to my off-springs. I do care about nourishing that oak tree – strong, enduring, and ever green. I live with others and for others.  I, therefore, formulate a set of standards to abide by in my behaviors and deeds; would you want to do the same too? After all, don’t you think Benjamin Franklin was right when he said:

 

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.
 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

I Got Promoted… Oh, Shsh-t!!


              A dear friend of mine recently got promoted to the position of the CEO of this reputable huge firm. I met with her just yesterday to discuss the great news only to find out that she was terrified by the news. Shock waves of worry were still coloring her perception of her pinnacle  professional accomplishment. Instead of being a chest-thumping Tarzan, she was dejected. I found her gritting her teeth mulling about the tantalized situation that firm was in. She thought that the prospects of enacting a directional shift towards growth were poor as demonstrated by the successive CEOs handling that same post. I saw things differently; and started dissecting with her the different aspects of her worries. She was disempowering herself with negative thoughts and bleak attributes of the situation; and that needed to change. She can’t decline such an opportunity and has all the right to worry, but whining about the problems surrounding her added responsibility did not serve her much. We first changed the term “problems” into “concerns”. We then started focusing on how to dissolve or solve those concerns. She had already begun that, and as we sat there more solutions surfaced.

                  Our dialogue led to an attempt at adopting a more empowering stance; thus, allowing more reign for positive thoughts. What she needed more than ever, now, was to muster all her energy and arm her self with few pivotal basics:

a) Faith. Fate/life (not the board members) has chosen her to have this post. There is something precious in there for her (a lesson, a reward, or an experience). She needs to trust what the cosmic energy is giving her! It is meant for a reason. A more “let’s look at it as a challenge” stance is to be adopted. Why not explore the marvels of having achieved and have a taste of being there at the top? She has worked real hard for a post that by now she deserves. She has all the expertise and the right credentials.

b) Positive beliefs about her yourself. Henry ford once said: “Believe you can, and you can; believe you can’t and you’re right”; and this is not just a quote. Accumulated research suggests that those who believe in themselves (and their capabilities) do succeed; those who are hesitant and are doubtful don’t often make it. Even if she had doubts in some areas, she is better off in focusing on what she is good at. Weak areas can often be delegated to subordinates to handle, or rectified with time.

c) Knowledge. She needs to get hold of all sorts of information needed for that new post. A gradual expansion of her knowledge data base was a requirement now more than ever. She needed to allow herself sometime to recap on filling the necessary gaps. She can’t possibly know all the details in the world, but can surely be selective. A supportive team can be the perfect back up providing her with the required essentials.

d) Experts, family, & friends: She, lastly, would need to contact those who were in a similar position and learn from their mistakes. Consultations with field experts were to be prioritized; Furthermore, modeling professionally the success stories of prominent figures would be an asset and a good guideline. At the same time, she needed to stay surrounded by family members and friends. She now needs additional eyes and ears to redirect her once she drifts away with the added responsibility. Family members and friends love her; and she needs to be open to their suggestions on a personal level.

                In addition to equipping herself with the above resources, she needed to utilize additional strategies to succeed on her new endeavor. Our discussion touched on:

1. Having a clear vision of what that new role entails. Moreover, it was important for her to establish the legacy she wanted to leave behind. All outstanding organizations have clearly stated “Vision” and “Mission” statements. They hang these everywhere. Why wouldn’t the same apply on us as people? She needed to write these in her journal. It facilitates goal setting in order to achieve the mission. Research suggests that 97% of those who achieve their goals actually write these down. It keeps one focused and organized. No one has to be overly rigid once the goals are specified (reassessment and revision can be undertaken as the need arises). Clarity is a key to success.

2. Added responsibility might lead to over-working herself. She needed to keep an eye on “her-self” as a person (with all her extended roles as mother, wife, friend, etc…..). No one on his/her death-bed ever wished having worked more. All regret the precious moments not spent with loved ones. Some work-family balance needs to be struck and stays in check.

               We discussed more specifics that worried my dear friend; and addressed each in sundry ways. When one impregnates action steps to any area of concern, the seeds of more solution focused coping emerges. It’s OK to acknowledge worries, but more importantly to process these and de-emphasize their grandiosity. As my friend and I departed, I deeply wished my friend to have become more galvanized to face a “challenge” not a “nightmare” as she perceived it to be. I assured her of lending my full support. I know it is really difficult to coach friends, but I just couldn’t resist the urge to be there with my “coach hat” on. As I mentally reviewed the points we discussed, I considered these applied not only to the case of her promotion per se, but to handling our professional roles any time along the way of progress…..

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