Serendipity – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Let me explain more…
I posted a photo of some gorgeous yellow lilies I had taken a photo of at Farro Fresh (one of my happy places), on Instagram late Saturday afternoon with my ‘Word for the day’ – ‘Happiness’: on Sunday morning I sat in church and listened to the Pastor speak on….’Happiness’!
How serendipitous 🙂
I can’t give you the whole message but I will share a couple of thoughts that I took away from the morning. It seems only right after the chance occurrence 🙂
“You can’t reach forward if you don’t let go of the past” – talk about hit you hard straight up!
Now letting go can be difficult. Letting go of people, ideas, expectations, desires; letting go of bad habits, false beliefs and unhealthy relationships… the list goes on. Every day, every moment presents an opportunity to create ourselves anew, to shrug off the baggage of the past, open ourselves up to the possibility of the moment and take action to create an incredible future.
Although we can understand this intellectually, knowing it and living it are two very different things. I have and do struggle with this however my self-awareness of this helps me when I get really ‘cranky’!
Here is my Top Ten Action list for letting go to get you going:
1. Pray. Find stillness, breathe. Praying is action. Our mind is much harder to still than our body. Our lives are busy and fast paced, filled with external noise and distractions. Clarity comes from quiet. Praying, even in small amounts, will make room for the next 9 steps.
2. Understand. Take time to reflect on your own history as a third-party looking in without judgment: simply observe. Understand that you are not your past. Understand that the situations and patterns and people in your life created your experiences, they didn’t create you. Knowing and understanding your past and some of your patterns will help you to recognize why you hold on and repeat self-destructive behaviours. Understanding creates awareness; awareness helps you break the cycle.
3. Accept. Accept your history and the people who have been a part of your history; accept your circumstances and remember that none of these define you. Acceptance is the first step to letting go and setting yourself free. Carrying bitterness, anger or animosity burdens no one but you.
4. Empty your cup. Consciously and actively work at letting go of your story; your judgments and ideals, the material things, all your stuff. They have no real value. They do not make you stronger, healthier or more powerful, and belief in them is a delusion. Pour out your expectations of how, who, where and what you should be as they, too, are part of a story that holds you back from simply being. Once you let go of this story and empty your cup, your life purpose will open up and flow.
5. Align. Take a moment (or many moments: you’re worth the time) to write down the following:
i. Your core beliefs/values
ii. Your Life Goals
iii. The actions that you are taking to pursue those goals.
Now take an honest look at your core beliefs/values and determine whether or not they align with your goals and actions. If not, ask yourself: is it time to create new core beliefs, set new goals OR take new action? What actions must you take to align your actions with your beliefs in order to attain your goals. Write down 3 actions that you will take this week to get yourself moving.
6. Be flexible. Set Goals and work toward them but if you are flexible — that is, willing to let go of the end result — aligning your goals and true purpose with the greater good is righteous action. Be flexible; allow the path to unfold as it will, opening up to opportunities. Flex and flow with the current of life.
7. Contribute. When you find yourself lamenting about your past or angry about your present or brooding about your future, find a way to making someone’s day better. Offering a smile to someone as you pass, opening a door, baking a cake for your neighbour: these simple actions can have lasting impact and help you to put your situation into perspective. Contributing to the well-being of others is the best way to align with your true self.
8. Believe in yourself. Believe in your purpose. Believe that the universe is unfolding as it should and that you have a divine role to play. Believe that holding on does nothing in fact but hold you back from that purpose.
9. Love the process. Have fun. Be playful, cheerful and positive. Love yourself, love others and love this life. It is a gift to unwrap each and every day.
10. Be grateful. Be true. Once you have taken all of these actions, just be.
Your current situation is not your permanent destination so here’s to letting go of the past and embracing the future.
Often times we get bogged down in life with all the pressures of paying bills, stress at our jobs or just life obstacles. We forget to enjoy and embrace the present time and the current stage we’re currently in. During this past holiday season, I’ve heard people say things like “Why am I not happy […]
I had a wonderful opportunity some years ago to have some Life Coaching. I hunted out the material this weekend and read through what I had committed too. It made interesting reading for me and I realised how far I have strayed from that ‘Extreme Self-Care’ that is necessary to keep myself alive; in body, mind and spirit.
Spiritual well-being – inner security, sense of peace & centeredness
Work – my life is not my work?
Fun & Leisure – interestingly I had not made any comments on this section.
I wrote down the key things for me and what I was going to commit to doing or I had already working for me:
Relationships – I spend time with people who make me laugh, and I have relationships with people who stimulate me intellectually
Environment – I listen to my favourite music, and my home neat, & well-organised
Body, Mind & Spirit – I exercise regularly, and eat healthier. I set aside regular time for solitude & silence and find a safe & healthy outlet for my emotional wellbeing
Get a piece of paper out and write down what makes you feel good – it is a good exercise.
What the recharges you? Part of your life begins to die if you don’t look after it. Some of us feel guilty if we don’t stop and do something that replenish our soul. We all need to discover what replenishes us and then just do it.
I was pondering this topic while observing my new team working. It’s an interesting concept and one that I need to explore further as I begin the somewhat daunting task of pulling a group of people together, and forming a self-managing, & high performing team.
To give you all a brief overview I am now into week 6 of my new role, leading a team of 15 individuals – aged between 21 and 52. I am the 3rd ‘Head of Department’ in 12 months, and started where my team sit just 6 months ago.
Now I did start from the bottom (so to speak) and some might say have risen to the top of the pile quite quickly – however I did have experience in managing corporate bank branches, and when the outgoing Head departed before lunch one Monday morning, I was asked if I was ready to step back into a management role?
The advantage of having done the ‘base’ role and been relatively successful at it, (enough so that I was promoted into a slightly more senior role after a few months), is that I have an understanding of not only the tasks within the role, but the ‘pain points’ for the team members.
For instance, that perception of not being appreciated by the wider business; one of the first team meetings I ran a ‘Traffic Light’ discussion around “with the client at the centre ” what could we/should we ‘Stop’, ‘Start’ & ‘Continue’. It was an interesting exercise for me to hear what the team was feeling and to start my understanding of ‘their big picture’.
- Coming in early and staying late to get the job done
- Splitting the whole team for team meetings
- Being statistics driven
- Training sessions
- Reviewing our client calls & giving us feedback
- Engaging with the client & understanding what they need
- Being supportive of each other
- Giving team more credit – we are the backbone of the business
- Task rotation
- More communication between department teams
These are a few of the ideas that the team came up with that are amongst a whole lot of takeaways for me as the new Head of Department, and certainly more than enough feedback to filter, take onboard and look at what I can realistically impact in the short-term.
But back to my first thoughts on this concept of discretionary effort. What does this actually mean?
And did I get some clues from this Traffic Light session of how to get this happening?
It is the level of effort people choose to exert in service to their colleagues or clients at work – or not! Employees are paid for the fundamental tasks that he or she has been hired to do – the discretionary effort is the level of effort people could give if they wanted to above and beyond the basic requirements of the job.
This month is known as the busiest period of the financial year for the business I am in – it is the time in which we communicate with every client, either by email or by post. Communication that creates a lot of inbound calls and emails full of questions, requests and more questions!
With volumes so high, the pressure has been on. Some of the team have responded by offering to work a bit later, or come in a bit earlier. I have noticed a couple taking a shorter lunch breaks, and another asking if there was anything else she could do to help out the team. Some individuals have just got on with the basic tasks, have become less communicative, taken days off ‘sick’ and been generally disengaged.
I read that you can’t pay people enough to remember to go the extra mile but you can produce a work environment in which your employees will choose to go above and beyond themselves.
I wonder how much the age of an employee plays a role with this subject of discretionary effort? – without going into the depths of research right now, it is known that the three generations of X, Y and Boomers are fundamentally different in how they approach the workplace. (Best not get me started on this subject – 3 children all raised in the same house, 10 years apart in age, all with very different work ethics and expectations of what work ‘should’ be like!)
Opportunity: a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something – a chance for employment or promotion.
Back in January I wrote a blog I named: An Update – Job Hunting. I want to fill you in on what’s been happening since I secured that job, and actually it is part of the reason I have not been ‘blogging’ so much recently.
Six months ago I secured a role after a tough period of job hunting – and to be fair – it was a role that I accepted with not enough enthusiasm but with plenty of gratitude. It wasn’t my dream job to be honest it was a starting point.
I found the work interesting initially, however it wasn’t too long before it became repetitive. I persevered and thought if I could just push through until the end of the year I’d look for another job then. About 3 months after starting an email came around asking if there was anyone interested in an opportunity to step into another role. I immediately put my hand up and began a 4-week trial to test my ability to do this new role.
I tackled this new challenge in the same way as before – I put my head down, and quickly learnt what was expected and set about delivering it. I was offered the role on a permanent basis and after starting in early December I was promoted on the 1st April.