Lesson #45 – Offer Your Gift of Leadership to Those Who Might Get Left Behind

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

Ray,

Today has been quite a day! I woke up this morning with a horrible headache so I went back to sleep for a bit. I then got up and got some more of my project done before heading off to class. I then had SD office hours where I went over my SD Scorecard with Rachel and had a very productive conversation! I also spoke with Tina some more. She should have reached out to you tonight. She was hoping to sit in with our meeting tomorrow after PLP but I told her to email you and get your okay as well. That way, like you said, it really is her making the first step. After office hours, I went with a friend and got a massage, which was very helpful in alleviating my headache! I then came home, worked the front desk, did a little work out, showered, and am now off to bed feeling great about an all around productive day!

Can’t wait to meet with you tomorrow!

Alexia

 

Lesson: Offer your gift of leadership to those who might get left behind.

Alexia made sure everyone was taken care of. One of the girls in her group, Tina (I changed the name to protect her privacy), was struggling with time management, participation, and concern about what happens after college. She was overwhelmed by school and all her activities. Alexia took special time to work with her on her goals, and assembled a team of mentors and friends to consult with her, and then Alexia coached her on a daily and weekly basis. She kept the team informed of Tina’s progress and made herself available until Tina was able to successfully graduate.

As a leader you won’t have time to take care of everyone and various followers will drop out of the team for their own personal reasons; but it is worthwhile to evaluate whether someone can be helped, and with a few nudges from you, get back on track. Reach out for help from others and don’t try to do it all alone. Offer to help the person in need, but don’t try to force them to do anything or even expect they will respond. Your leadership is a gift. They may or may not decide to accept your gift. They may not want to take advantage of the opportunities you provide them. But offer your gift of leadership any-way. Helping one person get back on track will make it all worthwhile.

 

Opportunity: Think about who needs a little nudge and a little help from you to be successful.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

How Happy and Successful Do You Feel?

Most people feel relatively happy and successful, and at the same time are looking to become even happier and more successful. It is natural to feel like there is more and to want to move to that next level. It is an instinct that helped our ancestors survive and prosper. The challenge is that many of us don’t know what steps to take to become happier and more successful, or we don’t know the correct steps. See if you identify with any of the examples below.

Have you ever woken up to the alarm and hit the snooze button too many times because you just didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work? Have you ever had that feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach where you can’t imagine going back into that office and facing that sadistic supervisor who seems to want to make your life miserable? What about that crazy manager in the other department who makes your life difficult just because she can?

Have you ever left the office at 8 or 9 pm with four more hours of work to do and three impossible deadlines for the next day? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed you wanted to cry or hide somewhere? These feelings can be especially confusing, given that six months ago you were on top of the world and everything was going great. Sometimes we feel as if we are on top of the mountain; at other times, down in a deep valley. What’s going on?

Have you ever worked and worked and worked to get a promotion or raise you deserve, been really excited for about 30 days, and then wondered when the next raise or promotion would come? Have you ever gotten your life perfectly in line with your dreams, had everything on track, and then sat back and asked the question, “Why don’t I feel happy? I should feel happy; what’s wrong with me?”

Have you ever felt like what you did just didn’t seem to matter and wasn’t as important as what everyone else was doing? Have you felt like no matter how hard you tried you just couldn’t make a difference? Does it ever seem like you are constantly banging your head against a wall and nothing ever changes?

These feelings are all natural and are indications that, armed with a little more information, you can take steps to become happier and more successful. As part of our culture, we learn to chase success as an end result rather than a daily habit. We are taught that the reward for success is happiness, and some day we will get to be happy if we just fight through and spend enough time being unhappy.

Happiness and success are connected. They are intertwined in our actions, but they are not a pinnacle we reach. They are daily habits and practices. They are small things we choose to do every day that eventually lead to milestones of success along a journey that lasts our entire lives. The antidote to the feelings described above is to choose positive actions every day that will help us feel contented and fulfilled, that will help us feel like we matter and can make a difference, and that will help us feel hopeful and excited to get up every morning.

Research also clearly indicates that happier people are healthier, have better relationships, and are more successful. Stress kills. So the antidote to stress, which is the cause for many health challenges, is happiness.

The good news is that there are steps you can take, and choices you can make, to be happier.

ConnectingHappinessandSuccess.com

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #68 Pattern Recognition is the Key to Happiness

happiness_pos_neg #68

Your brain is a pattern recognition machine. It takes thousands of tiny patterns and assembles them to form bigger patterns which you recognize as thoughts and memories.  Your memories are connected to still other patterns that evoke your feelings. Our brain evolved with a bias towards negative patterns so we could quickly recognize danger and when we should be extra cautious. As a result, we tend to accumulate more patterns associated with negative feelings rather than patterns associated with positive feelings.  This negative bias can impact our happiness.

The good news is you can change which feelings are associated with which patterns. For example your thought patterns about work may evoke negative feelings due to a myriad of negative experiences that have occurred throughout your career. But there are also positive experiences at work. With a little effort you can change the pattern connections in your brain about work from the negative experiences and feelings to the positive experiences and feelings.

The next time you find yourself dreading going to work or getting that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, stop and recall the things at work that make you happy. Getting to see your friends, completing an important project, and making a valuable contribution as a team member are all positive feelings that you can connect to your thought patterns to replace the negative feelings. Focus on how the positive experiences made you feel, particularly in a work setting.

Another option is to go to lunch with your friends or sit down with your spouse and talk about all the things you like about work and how positive they make you feel.  It may take 5 or 6 of these sessions before the connections start to switch from negative to positive, but over time you will notice a difference as your thought patterns about work become reconnected to your positive feelings.

The same processes can work for relationships, getting stuck in traffic, and many other patterns that evoke negative feelings.

Once you learn how to reconnect the patterns in your brain to positive feelings, you will be happier and more successful.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Lesson #31 – Make Time for Yourself

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

Ray,

This weekend was exactly what I needed! I was able to spend some time with my friends and my family, as well as get some work done! I was able to spend some time getting my to do list put together and making a plan for the week so that I can get as much done as possible! In addition, I was able to spend some quality “me” time and tons of playing with my dog time! I am feeling very refreshed and ready to go for the week!

See you in the morning!

Alexia

 

Ray,

Today has been a good day! I got up and had my classes then PLP office hours where I got a lot done! (I also have the jump drive Rachel wants me to give you with a copy of your presentation on it.) Afterwards, I had some productive homework time! I continued to try your tips (changing scenery, taking breaks filled with movement, fresh air, and me time, etc). It seems to really be helping me stay productive when I’m working and relaxed during my breaks. And getting out of my room I think has helped my productivity the most!

To add to good news, I have breakfast plans and a massage with Shannon in the morning! So hopefully, tomorrow will be an even better day! Talk to you soon!

Alexia

Lesson: Make time for yourself.

One of the keys to being a good leader is setting a good example and taking care of yourself. Unfortunately, none of us has an unlimited supply of energy. We need to pause and renew. We need to pull back from the world and take care of ourselves so we can be prepared and full of the energy we need to help others. Make time each day to focus on your health. Take time to renew your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy. Go for a walk or call a friend. Rather than sitting at your desk all day, get up and take a walk or find a change of scenery. Go outside and get some fresh air. Take time for a pleasant meal and conversation with friends and family. Take a few moments to contemplate and write down your dreams or the things in life you are grateful for. Make time for yourself to renew your energy and you will find an abundance of energy to lead others.

Opportunity: Schedule some “me” time.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness is a Daily Habit

“Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are”        John B. Sheerin

We want to be content, and we believe that getting that big house, promotion, or raise will be the thing that makes us feel fulfilled. Unfortunately, it is not achieving those goals that provides contentment. It is actually the daily process of working toward those goals that results in contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment. It is not what we ultimately achieve, but what we achieve every day.

It doesn’t work to try to be eventually happy or eventually successful. Life is better if we can find happiness and success every day in our daily adventures. Like John Sheerin mentioned above, happiness is something we are. The nice house will not bring contentment; it is simply a milestone on our daily journey to be happy and successful. The contentment comes from the satisfaction of knowing how much hard work and grit we put in on a daily basis to get the house. The roadblock to happiness and success is not in wanting to reach these milestones. It is that we are waiting for success and happiness rather than implementing it and experiencing it every day.

You can learn habits and techniques that will help you practice happiness every day.

 

ConnectingHappinessandSuccess.com

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #67 – To Be Happier, Sit Up Straight

happiness_straight #67

 

Your posture can impact how you think and feel about yourself.  It even has impacts on your hormone levels associated with resisting disease and your ability to lead. Sitting up straight has been shown to increase your number of positive thoughts and memories, reduce stress, and improve your mood. Standing up straight with your shoulders wide increases your confidence, ability to lead and make tough decisions, and overall can help you be more successful.

How you carry yourself matters. Not surprisingly, skipping through the halls with your head straight and facing forward will increase your energy levels while a slow shuffle with your head down will decrease them.

 

So sit up straight, stand tall and confident, skip or move energetically when you can, and take a few minutes to stretch when you can’t.  Don’t forget to smile. These actions will help you be more confident, lower your stress, bring on more positive thoughts and memories, give you more energy, and most importantly help you be happier.

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Lesson #21 – Make Each Day Productive

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

Ray,

Today was a productive day full of staff bonding, training, meeting with Rachel to catch up on PLP things and accomplishing some McKesson work tonight. I’m now doing journals and am off to bed!

Alexia

 

Ray,

I had a very busy productive day between RA and PLP! I accomplished A LOT in the last 24 hours! And I am now off to bed!!

Alexia

 

Ray,

I had some me time this morning and continued with some exercise this morning. Had RA training and fun relaxing activities today. And after tonight’s SD meeting, I am caught up with PLP stuff for the next week. I just did my journals and I am off to bed!

Alexia

 

Ray,

I completed all my stuff for today, had a successful first PLP SD meeting and Wednesday meeting and am now off to bed!

Alexia

Ray,

Today has been a good day! I went to breakfast and got a massage with Shannon! Then we had a long but productive student director meeting. I also got a few cases read between SD meeting and member meeting. I got a little exercising in and then did nothing but GMAT problems while working desk tonight!

I just finished up my me time and journaling and am now off to bed!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

Lesson: Make each day productive.

Are you making progress on your goals every day? Are you accomplishing the things you need to get done, or are you caught up in the chaos of life? In one of the emails above, Alexia started the day with a good breakfast and then spent time nurturing relationships and taking care of herself. Then she had a productive meeting with her team, the Professional Leadership Program Student Directors. She got her homework done, fit in some exercise to stay healthy, and went to work at her second job as a Resident Assistant and found time to study for her GMAT to help her prepare for her goal to get a combined MBA/Law degree. Finally,  she ended the day with some journaling and making sure she got plenty of sleep. Alexia was not super human. She was organized, disciplined and committed to her goals. Anyone, including you, can have this kind of productive day. Set your goals, clarify your priorities, and create the discipline to follow through.

 

Success and leadership are not a result of one great accomplishment or one big action. They are a result of lots of productive days doing the right things related to your goals day in and day out, over and over again. It has to become routine and habit to know what your priorities are and to make sure you create a little progress on those priorities each day. The big wins are almost anti-climactic because they come after many routine days of taking the actions that are moving you towards accomplishment of that big goal. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to be a leader. Don’t wait for success to happen. Long term happiness is created by lots of productive days strung together that lead to success, not by one big win in a lucky moment. Make leadership and success a part of your daily routine. Make them habits that happen every day and are an integrated part of your life.

Opportunity: Evaluate how productive was your day today and determine how can you make tomorrow more productive?

 

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

How Do Other People Define Happiness and Success?

Happiness and success are connected. They are intertwined in our lives by similar thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.

I’ve compiled definitions of success from leadership classes, coaching and mentoring sessions, and research. Based on the key words used in each definition, we categorized the definitions into one or more representative concepts. The results were clear: People use similar concepts to define happiness and success, and the two are interrelated. Happiness was mentioned in more than 25% of the definitions of success, and the top two concepts in the definitions of success were the same as the top two concepts in the definitions of happiness.

 

Concept Success Rank Happiness Rank
Contentment (contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment) 1st (tied) 1st
Others (building positive relationships & creating a better world) 1st (tied) 2nd
Achievement (and accomplishing goals) 3rd 4th
Happiness 4th N/A
Wealth (and financial stability) 8th Not Mentioned
Success N/A 7th

 

“Happiness is more than a mere pleasurable sensation. It is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment.”          

Mathieu Ricard

 

The concept of contentment, which includes contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment, was the top concept mentioned in the definitions of happiness, by a significant margin. It was also one of the most identified concepts in the definitions of success. Different people, in different environments and at different times, all came to similar conclusions when they defined success or happiness. Basically, they all agreed that feeling content, satisfied, and fulfilled in our lives is foundational to being successful and to being happy.

The next highest-ranked concept in the definitions of both success and happiness was others. Others includes building positive relationships with friends and family, contributing to the community, and helping make the world a better place. So most people place a high value on how we help others when they define happiness and success.

The concept of achievement, which includes achieving or accomplishing goals, was the third most mentioned concept in the definitions of success, and was the fourth most mentioned concept in the definitions of happiness. Achievement is part of success, but most people also believe we will be happier if we are achieving.

Interestingly, the concept of acquiring wealth or financial stability was a distant eighth for the definitions of success, only mentioned 6% of the time; and it was not mentioned at all in the definitions of happiness.

When we started this research, our assumptions were that most people would include the concept of acquiring wealth and financial stability in their definitions of success. What we found was that the concept of contentment was significantly more prevalent than the concept of wealth in their definitions. They indicated that money in the bank, a nice house, or a nice car, are all just means to help them feel contented, fulfilled, and satisfied.

How do you define Happiness?

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Defining Happiness

What we are talking about when we say “happiness?” Happiness means many different things to many different people. Our focus is on happiness as a higher-level pursuit or achievement. Several authors and philosophers have captured this concept:

 

Mathieu Ricard, a Buddhist Monk with a degree in Molecular Genetics, and author of the book Happiness says “Happiness is more than a mere pleasurable sensation. It is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment. A state that pervades and underlies all emotional states and all the joys and sorrows that can come one’s way.”

 

Mahatma Gandhi said “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

 

Gandhi also said “Man’s happiness really lies in contentment.”

 

Robert Ingersoll stated “Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence.”

Deepak Chopra said “Happiness is more than a mood. Its a long-lasting state that is more accurately called well-being.”

 

Wayne Dyer, a self-development author and speaker, explains that “Happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think.”

Margaret Lee Runbeck, another author, wrote “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”

Over two thousand years ago, Aristotle proposed that “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

 

George Sheehan, a doctor and author, wrote “Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing.”

And finally, John B. Sheerin said “Happiness is not in our circumstances but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are.”

They all describe happiness as something that is within you, something that you create, rather than something that comes from external forces.

What is happiness?

  1. Happiness is a feeling of contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
  2. Happiness is a sense of inner peace vs. external restlessness.
  3. Happiness is an on-going state of well-being vs. a fleeting experience.
  4. Happiness is a state of mind, rather than an event or activity.
  5. Happiness includes bad as well good experiences.
  6. Happiness is internal and not a victim of external experiences that we can’t control.
  7. Happiness is created, not received.
  8. Happiness is within our control.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Happiness Hack #66 – Set New Goals

happiness_newgoals #66

Goals give us something to look forward to and get excited about.  They energize us and get our creative juices flowing.  Setting goals is not just about what we want to accomplish, it is about how they make us feel.  Knowing where we are going gives us confidence and helps us quickly take those first few steps in the morning.  Just thinking about the possibilities of what we might accomplish helps us believe in and be happy about the prospects of a positive future. Goals help us clarify our priorities and be more confident in our decisions.

Take few moments to set a few new goals. Reaching for them and even just thinking about them will make you happier and more successful.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.