Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Passion - Such a fiery word!

Passion - such a fiery word! Sometimes it can be downright intimidating. Yet, it’s one of the most essential pieces in creating a career and a life that’s fulfilling. So let’s try to break it down into easy to manage pieces that we can work to your advantage.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with someone to talk about how they can get more satisfaction out of their career and their life. Things will be going smoothly, they have everything under control, they seem very confident...until I drop the bomb and ask...”What are you passionate about?’’ Well, that’s when things can get tricky. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m talking about G-rated passion here, the kind of passion that makes you want to get up in the morning, want to go to work, want to see a friend, go to an event, etc. Yet, something about the word Passion can make perfectly well-adjusted people suddenly feel intimidated. I know because it happened to me.

There I was, going about the business of being a grown-up, taking things very seriously as I believed I was supposed to do, and someone asked me the very same question. My first reaction was say that I am passionate about my career, family, and exercise (ok, the last one I made up just to sound responsible). I think I felt like those things were mature enough to admit to. But then I realized I felt more, but I was sure that the other things I got excited about weren’t worthy of being on the list. For example, I LOVE going to spas, resort hotels, buying a great outfit that makes me feel good, helping others dress to feel great, listening to my favorite music, eating great food (not necessarily cooking it), empowering others to reach their goals, laughing out loud, finding hope and joy, helping others feel good about themselves, being creative, being surrounded by nature, and working less and playing more.

I could go on and on...but isn’t that selfish? Isn’t that what many of us believe, that once we’re an adult we need to put our silly wants and wishes away and ‘get to work’? Well, not so fast. Because let me tell you that not only can you do both, you can do it and be more successful and satisfied with your overall life.

Studies have shown that passion fuels creativity and productivity. In other words, the more passion you have about something, the more energy you have. And when you use that energy to focus on your goal, you are far more productive.

For example, when I realized that I am genuinely energized when I am empowering others, a light bulb went off and I began to incorporate that skill into my ‘work’. In fact, it became the foundation for my work. And when I began to give myself permission to have fun while doing it...being playful, joyful, and laughing with others, that’s when I found that I had more energy than I ever thought possible. I found I could give a 4-hour seminar, coach clients for another 3 hours, take part in a creative session, and still feel energized at the end of the day. To me, this was a miraculous discovery! I began to want to get up each day and get to work.

Now, keep in mind that I also love to take time to relax, be with my family and friends, and enjoy my favorite things. Well, the great thing is that once I became more passionate about my work, I realized that I could get more of it done in a shorter amount of time and, as a bonus, I felt really good about the work I had done. I had found bliss. The key now is holding onto it. So, everyday I make it my goal to remind myself not only of what I am passionate about, but to add things to my list and continue to find ways to adapt my passion to my work.

Now some people might think this is where it’s a little selfish, actually spending time and sometimes money to search for your G-rated passion? Is that what I’m suggesting? Yes,it is. Now you have permission because it’s an essential thing to do to help you in your career. In fact, recently I went to a convention that sounded interesting to me, there were well known speakers who frequently appear on the Oprah show and I was looking forward to it. Little did I know how much...in fact, when I was in a seminar and turned around to see Stacy London from TLC’s ‘What Not To Wear’ show standing right behind me, I got down right giddy! And when she signed her book for me and we got to talk for a few minutes I felt all of the passion for learning all I could about that industry come flooding back to me. I went to hear her speak, and for an hour and a half I was completely engrossed and took notes like a fiend as she spoke effortlessly and passionately about how to ‘dress right’. In fact, she was so passionate that she spoke 45 minutes longer than they had asked her to and the crowd stayed to listen. I was reinvigorated and ready to work.

Passion is contagious, it is motivating, and it is essential to your well being. Isn’t it time you tapped in to yours? Isn’t it time you began to connect to your passion and Work, play and , live...InBliss™?

Copyright © 2007 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hit The Target on Perception


By Lisa Broesch

As a business image consultant, I can’t stress enough the importance of making a positive first impression.  We’ve all met people we just didn’t ‘connect’ with.  Sometimes it’s hard to identify why, but nonetheless without making a positive first impression, the opportunity to form a meaningful personal or professional relationship is likely lost.  Which brings me to this month’s essential element in the ‘Connect...Like You Mean It!’ series...  Perception.  

Whether it’s personal perception (how others view you) or business perception (how others view your business or the business you work for), we often form an impression of others in a matter of seconds - typically 6 seconds or less.  So it’s no surprise that I am often asked questions such as  "How can I quickly make a positive impact on others?" or "Is it ok to have a sense of humor if I am in a management position?"  The truth is, it all depends on what your target is.  What is your vision of a positive first impression? In other words, how do you want to be perceived? And that’s where it’s time to do a little soul searching.  Because to be truly self-confident, a key component in forming a positive first impression, you must have a very clear image of how you want to be perceived. 

Now, this may sound a little daunting, but with a few quick tips you can start to really form a clear image of who you are and how you want to be seen by others.  So let’s get started!

Step 1 find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes.  Close your eyes and start to really imagine the ‘you’ that you have always dreamed of being.  Really, picture the hair, the clothes, the walk, the look on your face.  Picture yourself going through your day.

Step 2 Now, add in other people and as you do, notice how you appear in the interaction.  Are you serious and scholarly? Courteous, respected, and helpful? Intelligent and outgoing with a sense of humor?  Really notice the details.  Notice also how others look when they are interacting with you...do they look like they appreciate being around you?  Remember, ultimately this is how you want them to react.

Step 3 Next, focus on how you feel as you are experiencing this interaction.  Many people find that they feel very relaxed, filled with hope or a renewed level of self-esteem.  Some say that they finally felt ‘like themselves’.  

Step 4 Once you’ve had a chance to let this settle, open your eyes and make a list of words that describe how you would like to be perceived. Funny, intelligent, well respected, warm, focused, etc.

Step 5 Understand that this is now your target.  If you have found that you want to be seen as intelligent and well respected, then keep that in mind when you talk with others. Make sure that your answers are thought out and avoid being overly sarcastic or flippant. If you want to be seen as confident and friendly, be sure to make eye contact right away and give a nice warm smile whenever you greet someone, even if you’ve met them before.  The same principles apply to your business. Once you have an idea of how you want it to be perceived, be sure that everyone and everything in the environment reflects your vision.  

Step 6 Lastly, consider the environment that you’re in.  Obviously you want to be sure that the image you have in mind is appropriate for your environment.  Typically, I have found that most people assume they should err on the side of being overly reserved in business. But the good news is many employers and clients prefer to work with people who have (an appropriate) sense of humor,  warmth and friendliness.  

The important thing is to find what feels right and to be aware of the message you are sending. That way, whenever you meet someone you are able to Connect...Like You Mean It!™

Copyright © 2007 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC  All Rights Reserved Internationally.   No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Connect To Your Purpose

Let's get back to basics and visit the foundation for making connections…getting in touch with your Purpose. 

Wow, this is possibly the most important element in being true to yourself and forming meaningful relationships with those around you.  It’s hard to commit to something, anything, without understanding why you are doing it.  Why are you in your field of work, why are you volunteering for that particular organization, why do you do any of the tasks that you do everyday?  

It’s important to get in touch with your purpose.  Sometimes your purpose shouts loud and clear and other times it might be a bit more elusive or even seemingly impossible to figure out.   Understand that your purpose doesn’t need to be a grand statement like you see in the movies.  It can be as simple as asking yourself, ‘what am I passionate about? What matters to me?  What do I love to do? or  ‘What do I need to complete in my lifetime?’ 

 Take some time to sit quietly, preferably meditate and really listen to the answer that comes to you.   Be patient, it might not come to you right away.  In fact, if you are a particularly busy person, it may take several sessions to start to get clear on your purpose.   You might have just one word pop into your head – like ‘guide, compassion, humor, strength, etc.’ 

If this happens, think about the word and see if it feels true for you.  If the word ‘humor’ pops into your mind and you find that you really enjoy making people laugh or enjoy when others make you laugh, it might be that your purpose is to bring laughter into the world.  This is a very admirable purpose – what would life be without the joy of laughter?  

Once you start to get a clearer understanding of your purpose, it’s important to start using it as a filter for everything you do.  For example, if your purpose is to show compassion and you’ve decided to work in the field of repossessions, you may be out of sync with your purpose!  That’s when it becomes hard to find meaning in your work and that spills over into your relationships with those around you.  If your purpose is to guide and you are in a customer service position, than you can start to find ways to guide customers by helping them understand a product or policy and explaining it in a way that makes them want to work with you all the time.  This is when you will start to feel like you are making a difference and you will likely be more satisfied.  

My recommendation is to come up with a brief purpose statement such as ‘my purpose is to guide with hope and joy’.  This makes it even easier to use your purpose as a filter for all areas of your life.  If your purpose is to guide with hope and joy and you are a Supervisor, find ways to add more hope and joy to the way you interact with your employees.  I’m certain that they will start to notice and be even more willing to follow your lead.  It’s very likely that your employees will then start to add more hope and joy to the way they interact with clients, customers and co-workers.   How great would that be??  

The point is, when you have a better understanding of what your purpose is you can start to begin making better choices on how you relate to other people and where you may need to make changes in the way you spend your time.  It can also help you realize or confirm the areas in your life where you may already be making an impact and are doing exactly what you need to be doing right now.   The great news is, this is your life and you are the only one who can decide what’s right for you at this moment in time. When you are on purpose, you will begin to Connect...Like You Mean It!

Copyright © 2007 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC  All Rights Reserved Internationally.   No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Meeting Clinton Kelly!

Meeting Clinton Kelly!
Meeting Clinton Kelly - I love him!

Clinton shares a few tips

Karen's "Before" Picture

Karen's "after" picture