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This one tip will make you a better leader

We often think the more we do, the better we advance our careers and lives. We constantly give to others and stay busy non-stop. We run from meeting to meeting and can barely think by 2pm.

We eventually feel drained, exhausted, and unappreciated. This translates into

  • Unhealthy behaviors – Ever eat the entire cookie bag? Ever gain 20 pounds in 6 months?
  • Reactive tendencies – Ever express anger to someone who didn’t deserve it?
  • Isolate ourselves – Ever pull away from the things you love because you had no energy for them?

It’s time to stop the madness! Here’s how:

Take short breaks every hour. 1-2 minutes. This will energize you from head to toe. Yes, it’s literally and figuratively that easy.

  1. Stretch. This opens up your body and allows you to relax. When we’re tense, we get uptight and moody.
  2. Move your body. This increases your blood flow and circulation.  Walk to Starbucks. Stop at the door and turn around. All you really needed was the walk, not the extra caffeine and sugary snack.
  3. Close your eyes. Your eyes are constantly strained form looking at electronic screens.

Why does this make you a better leader? If you start employing this practice, your team and colleagues and superiors will take notice. You become a role model for better health and increased engagement. Who doesn’t want a better functioning team, ready to be more effective, and leave on time at the end of the day?

This is your time to have the energy, engagement and effectiveness every leader wants. Self-care is the new role model style. Take care of you to have more energy and motivate others.

What are three more things you can do during these very short breaks?

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

One special key to growth

Linda’s jaw dropped, her stomach rumbled, and her heart began to race. How am I supposed to do this, she thought?

Linda was unsatisfied at work. She was bored and wanted to take on new initiatives, yet she didn’t have the skills for it. She craved that big step forward. Linda led a few small teams but never an international team with a $10 million+ budget. She discussed the role she truly wanted to play with her boss who eagerly had a project waiting to be led. Within minutes, she became the Team Lead to build a new technology platform for a big client.

Linda thought, what did I get myself into?  I won’t sleep for the next year. She said thank you to her boss, went back to her office, and took a deep breath. She asked herself the following:

  •        What skills do I need to keep the team engaged and on track?
  •        What resources does the team need?
  •        Who has successfully walked this path before and can mentor me?

All it took was an hour of planning to figure this all out. She started making phone calls and setting this in motion.

Assess the gaps between where you are and where you want to be. Plan for and fill your gaps to reach the next stage of growth in your career, life and relationships. This is the key to growth. Plan for what you want to grow into.

Will you schedule an hour this week to do this?

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

How to create space for BIG opportunities

Do you have time, energy, and resources available when that BIG opportunity comes your way? Or do you struggle to get through each day? I want you to have the space for something big and miraculous.

Exactly one year ago, I became a global speaker in India in front of an audience of 500+ people. It didn’t happen overnight. There were many steps that created the space to allow for the opportunity. Here’s what happened and how you can do it, too!

Clear out the weeds. What no longer serves you in your life? What can you pull out so the nutrient rich soil can help something else grow?
Personally, I started saying “no” to areas where I was spread too thin. See the post from last week on how to do this.
Plant the seed. What do you really want? Who knows what you want? If no one knows what you truly want, how can the universe conspire to help you?
I was dreaming of speaking on a big stage in another country for sometime. There was an initial outreach for interest in doing something like this. I said yes, keep me posted. The formal invitation did not arrive till about six month later.
Nourish the seed. This is about giving your full heart and energy to something you’re passionate about. It’s time to nourish your dreams!
Since I already began clearing out the too many projects on my calendar, I created the space required to develop the keynote, practice my speaking skills, and learn how to take my motivational speaking to the next level.

There are four months left in 2018. How can you apply the above steps to each facet of your life?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Do you Celebrate Your Contributions?

Brian took pride that his project team and dedicated employees brought forth the company’s first major product to market in record time. Before the press releases even went out, Brian already was planning their next big product. His all-star team slowly went from ecstatic to dejected. Another big project with more hours, more time, more energy. Ever been a part of something huge that no one celebrated? It sucks, right?

His amazing team started dreading coming to work each day and started missing deadlines for investors. This all-star team slowly dissolved, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

As human beings, we all want validation and acknowledgement.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Acknowledge what you did accomplish each day in a journal. Too often we beat ourselves up for not getting enough done. Look upon this list at the end of the week and give yourself a pat on the back.
  • Take time to celebrate every 90 days (bare minimum!), preferably every month. Go do something fun that brings joy into your heart.
  • Identify ways to celebrate others – spouse, kids, friends, family, colleagues, team? Who doesn’t want someone cheering them on?

It’s only when you truly take the time to assess and measure how far you’ve come, that you can truly acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. You’ve done way more than you ever give yourself credit for. Take time to celebrate the amazingness that you are.

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Why saying No is the most important thing you can do

We live in a time of unprecedented access to information, news, and opportunities.  This is awesome, yet leaves us overwhelmed and exhausted. What do we do?

Everything you do is a choice. It’s your choice. Let’s take a closer look.

Jessica was constantly fatigued and always on the go. All she wanted was time to relax and recuperate. Sound familiar?

She reviewed her time allocation over the past three months and was astonished to realize that she spent over 30 hours a month on volunteer leadership boards.  30 hours! That was in addition to her regular job as Project Lead. She loved what these non-profit boards were all about, but it was taking a toll on her health.

Jessica took a deep breath and asked herself, Where can I make the most impact? She chose to resign from two leadership boards, so she could still be part of an organization that she truly believed in and go deeper into that one role. By doing this, she gave herself almost 20 hours back in a month. That’s almost one hour a day.

We can become anything we want to (within the law, of course!) yet, most squander this gift by saying yes to activities that don’t truly fulfill our deepest desires.

What does saying “No” give you?

Space.

Space to breathe and identify what’s truly important.

Space to recuperate and recover from your other meaningful and impactful work.

Space and a sense of openness that allows you the opportunity to say “yes” to something that comes along. that’s truly exciting for you.

 

Start saying “No” more so you can say “Yes” to what lights up your heart.

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Stuck in sameness?

If your same routine brings about struggle, it’s time to switch it up! Do you fall into the ABCs of “stuck”? If yes, we’ll discuss a way to get out of it.

Afraid to change. Too often we crave certainty that we would rather stay afraid, activating our reptilian brain.

Blame others. It’s easy to say it’s someone else’s fault. In any situation there’s your truth, their truth, and the real truth that is somewhere in the middle.

Complacency.  It’s easy to get lazy and fall into routines that no longer serve you or those around you.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Albert Einstein said it best, The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

Here are three ways to get out of it:

Add challenge: Open a door knob with your non-dominant hand. If you regularly run 5 miles add 5 miles uphill. When we have a challenge, our problem-solving skills go into hyper mode

Be expressive: When do you specifically tell people exactly what you want versus hoping others will read your mind?

Increase newness: Drive home a different route. Smother your spouse with affection when you arrive home. Call a friend and ask them to try a new restaurant for dinner.

When we incorporate challenge, expressiveness and newness into our lives, work environment, and daily interactions, we start to grow. We establish new neural connections in our brain that cause us to think and act differently.

I challenge you to do one of the above for one week. See how different you feel. See what you notice. How can you then employ this in other areas in your life, work and interactions?

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

 

Tired of rushing around all the time?

Everyday, you go from one activity to the next. It’s from meeting to meeting or from work to a hectic home life. This constant rushing around takes its toll. Do you ever take a break? You even feel that you need a vacation from your vacation. Sound familiar?

1)      Build in breaks during your day.

If you’re frequently in meetings all day, schedule 45 minute meetings. Use the in-between time to move your body, stretch, or take some deep breaths. Your body will love you for this.

2)      Block out time for which you schedule nothing.

Yes, absolutely nothing! Yes, read that again. Absolutely nothing.

We are addicted to being busy. This doesn’t mean we are being productive. Be intentional with every moment. Scheduling time to do nothing, take a nap or do what makes you come alive in this time.

3)       7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

When you only get 5 to 6 hours of sleep at night, your cognition performs as if you were drunk. Do you really want to operate your car, conduct a meeting, or have an important conversation in this state? Probably not. Imagine being more effective at work if your cognition was faster? What would that do for your work, life and relationships?

Rest is how we rejuvenate. Rest is how we keep our vitality. Rest is the key element that allows us to perform better, faster, and more effectively.

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

3 Tips to Make Massive Progress

Jacqueline startles as her morning alarm goes off for the third time. She jumps out of bed with a sense of overwhelm, scared to check how many emails are in her inbox and what’s the news catastrophe of the morning. Her sense of overwhelm soars and her heart races. Ever felt this way?

This is how progress stops in its tracks. It’s a recipe for disaster.

It’s time to start making massive progress.

Give this a test run.

1)      What is one activity that would create massive progress for you over the next 90 days?

This is one activity. Not three, not five. ONE! Yup, only one.

2)      Commit publicly to this activity by publicly posting.

This keep you accountable for your actions. If no one knows that you have a big goal, how can they support you in your endeavor? It’s easy to slack off when no one knows what you want.

Post in the Courageous Path Facebook group and we’ll keep you accountable.

3)      Take bold action every day.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” – Confucius

By taking the first step, you are telling the universe you are ready for what you want. One hour a day on your big activity is 90 hours on your big goal. How far can you progress with 90 hours intensely focused on one activity? Remember, action is not jumping out of a plane. Let it be easy. For example, call someone who has expertise in the area you’re going and see what their lessons learned were.

Take the first step. It will change your life for the better.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Do you teach people how to treat you?

The store is about to close and you can tell the cashier is exhausted after standing for eight plus hours. You hurriedly put your goods on the conveyor belt and a vivid image of your last visit comes to mind. You remember the cashier helper turning over all the goods so the bar code was easily accessible for scanning. You decide to do the same thing. As the cashier rings you up, you jokingly tell the cashier that you learned how to help her get home faster (by putting the barcodes face up.) She smiles, nods her head, and starts laughing. She says, “Thank you. This is quite helpful. It’s wonderful that more people are starting to do this.”

This simple act made two people’s lives go by easier and faster.

As you go through your day, where do you get frustrated that people don’t understand you? Where can you teach someone how to treat you?  

Here are four tips to get you started:

1)   Do not assume someone knows something or knows what you want.

Say exactly what you want. Never assume someone knows what you want. Clearly convey exactly what you want. If you want your salad dressing on the side and not mixed in, say so. The vast majority of people want the other person to be happy. Tell them how to do so.

2)   Clearly convey expectations and deadlines.

“Expectation is the root of all heartache” – William Shakespeare

Expectations are a double-edge sword. (A) With no expectations, you will never have disappointments. Yet, (B) setting expectations too high, someone will never meet them. The key is for expectations to be mutually understood and conveyed. One way to do this is at the end of a conversation, summarize what your understanding is and confirm the path forward.

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”  – Stephen Hawking

3)   Listen.

Actively listen to what someone else is saying and talking about. Understand their intent and reasoning. If you have a different opinion, acknowledge their view and state why you think your option may have a different set of benefits.

4)   Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” Tony Gaskins

 

You’re the best role model to show others how to interact with you. Do you treat yourself with respect, appreciation, or understanding? If you don’t, how can you expect others to do the same for you?

Over the next week, pick one of these tips and implement it on a daily basis. At the end of the week, see if your interactions with others become smoother. You deserve to be treated well and so do others.  

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

How to Find the Good on Bad Days

Ever had a bad day? Or, several bad days strung together? Its sucks, right? Whether it’s the jack-knifed tractor trailer causing a three hour commute home, train delays, a screaming kid on a flight or even food poisoning, these are all lackluster situations beyond your control. Yet, when you get home, you project your bad situation onto a loved one. You raise your voice, get angry, or complain as soon as you walk in the door.

Have you ever been on the receiving side of someone else’s bad day? Not fun, right?

It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to dwell on a situation that created upheaval in your life. Yet, few of us “take time to smell the roses”.

Instead of complaining or projecting your anger onto someone, ask yourself this.

What’s the opportunity in this?

A long commute may be the time needed to calm a brain that’s been overworked or overtaxed all day. It may be a time to practice some breathing techniques that calm you.

Food poisoning may be the universe telling you that your body really needs some rest.

What can you do to find the good on a bad day?

Listen for a kid’s laughter. Watch the leaves rustle in the wind. Notice beautiful flowers pop on an otherwise boring landscape.

How you choose to see the world is up to you. Today, what do you choose to see?

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC