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The relationship between pleasure and perfection

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. – Aristotle

Samantha sent a message to her girlfriends that she needed help for an upcoming event she was organizing. Everyone was ready to chip in with their expertise and help. Then another message came in. “This has to be perfect.” 

Perfect for who?

Perfect by what standards? 

Perfect by you?

Perfect for those involved? 

No one who is coming knows what is supposed to happen. Thus, if something doesn’t happen no one will ever know. (It’s the secret to tell every bride organizing a wedding.) 

Too often, our “perfection” is about what others perceive us to be. We are too worried about what others will think about us or how they will judge us. 

Perfect has nothing to do with being perfect. It’s about an image we want others to have of us. It’s built around fear. 

Instead, how can you add pleasure and fun to what you’re working on? What can you let go of to make the process more fun and pleasurable? 

Asking others to help in your perfection only causes more stress on others. It’s time to make life more pleasurable with less perfectionist tendencies.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Make Your Life Epic

As a young teenager, Jeff Hoffman put a large poster of a Ferrari on his bedroom wall. He dreamed of fast cars. His mother noticed the poster and said “Son, you’ll never have that.” 

From that moment forward, he was on a mission to make this happen.

Then, he put a poster of a woman sitting on top of the red Ferrari. His mother replied, “you’ll never have her either.”

He never wanted a ceiling on what he was capable of.

Jeff went on to finish his engineering degree.

At his first job, Jeff was called into his bosses office. His boss said, see that car in the parking lot, he does the most for this company. He gets here first and leaves last. That’s what company dedication is all about.

Jeff felt perplexed. He thought, I’m efficient to get all my work done in 8 hours instead of 12, why should I be told this. All Jeff could think about was how he could buy two cars, leave one in the parking lot and use the other car for actual use. Jeff thought this was a clever idea to trick his boss. Later that week, Jeff resigned. More hours is not better. He’d rather be effective with his time.

From that point on, he decided to figure out how to make his own money. He also wanted to travel the globe.

Upon traveling one day, there were major flight delays due to a storm that covered half the nation. Stranded travelers waited hours in line to rebook their airline tickets. A light bulb went off. How can he solve this problem?

Jeff developed the kiosk at airports for self-check in. Soon, every airline called him to their international headquarters to evaluate the product and install it at their airports.

Jeff became the globe trotter executive.

During this time, he bought that Ferrari. Although, he decided upon black instead of red.

Become bigger than what anyone tells you. Or, if you’re a leader, parent or head of any group, recognize that you can help people think big and play bigger.

Break that glass ceiling.

Match your actions to your dreams. The universe will conspire to make it happen.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Stopped in your tracks

Ever get baffled when something unexpected stops you in your tracks?

Yesterday was a rare warm, 70 degree day in the middle of winter. No winter coat. Beautiful sunshine warming the skin. The entire city hit the hiking trails outside Denver to soak up the sun and fresh air in the mountains. 

As I hit the trail, there were small patches of ice. No biggie I thought, I’ll side step around it.

Slowly as the trail crawled up through the steep canyon, the air became cooler, the ground harder.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a sheath of ice appeared on the steep trail.

People ahead of me on the trail turned back. They didn’t want to fall. Others put on spikes over their shoes and walked easily across the ice.

I stood there without spikes for my hiking shoes wondering how I can get across?

This wasn’t the first time I’ve ever come across a roadblock on a trail or even in my life.

With each obstacle, there’s only three options.

Turnaround. 

Or, 

Take a step and see how far that takes you.

I slowly moved my foot to the first small piece of rock that popped out of the ice. My body gently swayed as my weight transferred to that foot.

I didn’t fall. Yeah.

Now, Let’s connect one more step. After about 30 steps, I slowly made it to the other side of the trail.

How often do you stop when your path gets harder?

How often do you resist taking that step because you may risk a fall?

Growth only happens when you take that courageous step. Couple it with a leap of faith, you will arrive on the other side every time.  

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Nothing is guaranteed.

Tragedy struck at only 42 years of age for the famous basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. It’s a stark reminder that nothing in life is guaranteed including life itself.

As a child, I watched loved ones died suddenly without warning.

My father died 6 weeks from diagnosis to death.

My best friend died a week before high school graduation, almost instantly when a car pummeled through a stop sign that t-boned her convertible.

Another high school friend was raped then murdered, then left on the side of a road a mile from my house.

All died too young without any notice.

What this teaches you is that life is precious. It’s only here once.

Don’t wait to take that vacation.

Don’t wait to start that new career.

Don’t wait to express your true heart’s desire.

Express love daily.

Express gratitude for the bad moments that taught you a new way.

Express gratitude for the little things.

See the beauty everywhere, from the dense fog on a cool day to the dandelion growing in the crack in the sidewalk.

Now is the time to plant the seed of your dreams.

Now is the time to nourish what you already started.

Now is the time to let go of anything that you’ve been clingy to from anger to grief to frustrations.

Now is the time to believe you can do anything you put your absolute attention and focus on.

What if you became something greater than you ever expected?

What if you seize this moment?

It’s time to call a loved one and tell them how much you love them.

Smile at a stranger today.

Be more patient with a colleague or co-worker today.

Appreciate more about life today. 

Live life as if there is no tomorrow. 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Prepared for that call?

Professors geared up for the yearly research submissions to national conferences. Their jobs and movement up the ranks at the university depended on the number of research publications accepted every year. 

The research must be stellar. 

The research must add more value and discussion to the research and implementation discussions. This gave policy experts more reason to fund our programs and ultimately pay our salaries. 

Crunching numbers was my expertise. As an undergraduate, I presented research findings at international conferences. Something few young students ever did. 

Supporting five academic professors and their research findings was a large task. Daily meetings with professors ensued as the abstract submission deadline came closer and closer. 

Then, that call came in. 

That type of call that you already knew something was a bit off. 

There was a slight hesitation in picking up the call. 

I immediately jumped to conclusions. 

Was this a pissed off professor wanting to look at the data with one more variable? 

Were more changes going to cause a dramatic change to our submissions?

This was different. This phone call had an eerily different vibe.

“Hello?” 

“My Dad is getting rushed from the hospital to a higher level hospital two hours away in a larger city.  Upon further review of scans, my Dad needed quadruple heart bypass surgery, a little more than a stent. This small town in upstate New York didn’t have the skill set nor equipment to perform this surgery. It’s scheduled for tomorrow morning after they stabilize him.” 

The nervousness in his voice was apparent. With his only parent left, this was no small deal. His father was much older and may have complications during surgery. 

I was in the middle of a big deadline. What am I suppose to do? I’m only 23 and want to do a good job. Eek!

I did the only thing I knew. 

I booked a 6am flight to Albany for the next morning. I’d arrive during surgery. I packed up my laptop and left a note for my boss that I’d work on the statistical analyses while my boyfriend’s father was in surgery. They would have everything they need before submissions were to go in. 

Unexpected events happen with no warning. 

How would you respond? 

What are you teaching your co-workers about the importance of work versus life events? 

Be prepared to respond to the unexpected. Where possible, create buffer zones of space to handle the unexpected. 

While the relationship didn’t last, my ex boyfriend said he’d never forget the kindness and forethought for being there when life took a sharp twisted turn. 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

This gets in the way of your abundance. ​​​​​​​

Silvia scolded Arthur for not putting the groceries away before the frozen foods began to defrost. Arthur turned around shooting shot Silvia a darting glare. He was tending to their little girl’s cut. She fell off her bike right before the couple got home from the grocery store.

This was not unusual. Silvia constantly told Arthur what to do and when to do it. At times, Arthur felt as if he was a robot. Arthur realized this belittling over the years wore down his strength.

Silvia had an opinion for everything, how to do laundry, how every project should be run, and even how you should live your life.  And, don’t ever ride in a car with her. She’ll tell you how to drive, too.

Silvia always thought she knew the right way. This controlling aspect was her way of creating certainty.

Controlling equals certainty. This is a scarcity mindset.

What Silvia was really doing was living in a constant state of fear. She was afraid that if something did not go according to how she wanted, she could not handle what would come her way.

Arthur finally put his foot down. He told Silvia that if they don’t start working together to make decisions about their household and parenting that he would leave. He gave her six months to identify ways to change her behavior.

Over this time period, she began letting her husband take on more of a role at home and with their child. At work, she let co-workers take on more responsibility without interference from her.

Silvia no longer felt she had to do it all herself. She became more energized and more excited for her day.

She recognized that the only behavior she can control was herself. She learned to respond to circumstances instead of reacting to them. Instead of controlling, let go of the expectations of a predicted outcome.

What Silvia discovered was a new way to live and work. As she let go of her controlling nature, she experiences more joy and abundance.

If you want abundance, let go of a certain outcome and allow something even better to flow you way. The results will blow your mind.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

2 Ways to Fully Commit to your Dreams

Have you ever seen a person show up to an event that is completely distracted? You gently observe them and know the person doesn’t want to be here. The person can’t make eye contact. They can’t wait to leave. Their mind wanders in conversations and doesn’t engage. They are physically present yet their mind is somewhere else. This happens at work meetings, parties, and even family dinners.

 

This is the Walking Zombie Effect.

 

Too many people go through life going from one thing to the next without any purpose, no heart, no meaning. They’re physically present but mentally they are far from present. 

 

Let’s take a deeper look. Pull out a journal and answer these two important questions.

 

What kindles your spirit that makes you come alive?

 

What can you talk about forever?

 

Tip #1: Live from heart-centered purpose

When you choose to engage in an event, come with a full-heart or don’t come at all. Know why you’re going. Bring the enthusiasm that gets others even more excited about what you’re doing or what you’re talking about. Living from a heart-centered purpose is contagious.

 

Next.

 

Sheila approached Kathy to bake brownies for the church fundraiser. Kathy was the go-to person who helped everyone with everything. Sheila knew she could easily get help from Kathy. She always said yes.

 

Yet, this time was different. Kathy said, no. Kathy told Sheila, she’s taken a hard look at all her commitments. She tallied up that she volunteers more hours than she works in a week and still takes care of her family. Kathy, slightly floored, acknowledged Kathy’s prior assistance.

 

Tip #2: Stop overcommitting

When you become depleted and exhausted from saying yes, too much, you are actually saying no to your own health and well-being. People respect you more for setting your own boundaries. This allows you to go more in-depth on a few things.

 

What are two events that you can say “no” to this week?

 

“Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment.” Vince Lombardi

 

What’s your level of commitment to your dreams? 

 

Full commitment comes from knowing what lights up your soul and acting upon it daily. 

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Achieve more by doing this. Start your year here!

Most people want to be more, do more, and achieve more in the year and decade to come. Makes perfect sense, right? The problem is that you focus on the wrong thing to make this all happen. This is how the let’s get healthy ends after the first 30 days of the year. Fitness gyms actually oversell their memberships since they already know a large percentage of people will never last past the 30 day mark.

When you focus on the achievements you want to have, maybe a salary increase, a new car, or maybe fit into your favorite dress or pants again, this is all based on external rewards.

Yet, there is a secret trick that the super successful and fulfilled know.

Achievement comes if you know the underlying reason why it is important to you, the relationships it will affect, or how it will make you feel better in the long run.

To achieve more, you have to grow as an individual first. Yes, read that sentence again. The internal work comes before the external rewards appear. The tree will never bear fruit unless you first plant the seed and then continue to nourish it.

Think about this.

Ten years ago, what was it like to be in your presence?  How did you treat yourself? How did you treat others? How would someone else describe your demeanor then? What aspects of you have changed since 2010? Are you a different person now than you were then?

Take a moment and write this down.

Now, let’s dig deeper and put this all together.

Here’s an example to see how this plays out and break this down.

1)      Achievement goal: Increase salary by $10k

2)      Reason this is important: This will allow you to move into a more spacious home, giving each person in your home more space to relax every evening. Furthermore, this gives you a place to have downtime and not be distracted by others in your home. By having more peace of mind and space to unwind, you will be a more effective spouse, parent, and company employee. (Did you get this final part?)

3)      Becoming Goal: Focused attention, Mindful of others, Bold action

Notice what this does. If you stay committed to BEING someone who is (1) Focused, (2) Mindful, and (3) Bold. The internal begets the external.

For this year’s goals, who must you become to achieve your goal?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

 

The best gift to give anyone that costs nothing

Paul’s son, Dylan, a fourteen year old walked in the front door with his head down. Dylan said, Dad, my grades aren’t good. A tear came to his eye wandering if he would get yelled at. 

Paul wanted nothing more for his son than to live a better life than he did. 

Paul looked straight at his son and asked, what can we do together to change this around?

Dylan slowly raised his head and looked his Dad square in the eye and said, “I need you to believe in me.”

Paul reached for his son and said, “You are far more capable than you realize. You’ve already gone through more schooling than me. I believe you can do anything that you set your mind to go out and do. I believe in you more than you believe in yourself. 

Dylan felt relief.  A sense of awe wrapped around him. He picked his chin up, smiled and said, “I can do this!”

Instead of bashing another person’s dream, give them the support to booster them forward.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!


Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

A bonus skill that coincides for holiday gatherings.

While communication is evident in almost everything we do, most people never take the time to dial this in. And, even more so, this one aspect of communication takes the most effort.

This is one thing we should all be taught in school, basic to advanced degrees. This aspect can change relationships at home, work, and within your community.

Let’s dive in.

Listening Level 1:

Sue started talking in depth about how she suddenly lost her mother to breast cancer.  Sandra interrupted and said me, too. Then proceeded to state what her life has been like since the tragic lost.

Level 1 is about relating someone else’s experience to your own. This often occurs as you start telling what happened to you and completely disregarding what the other person was even saying. The conversations become about you not them.

Listening Level 2:

Bob shares with Bill how his wife cheated on him. Bill states “That sucks, man. I’ve been in your shoes before and its no fun. How can I best support you right now?”

Level 2 is a combination of making the conversation about the other person and yourself. Bill first empathies with Bill then states his own relatable state. It ends what support the other person needs.

It’s listening. And, it is more than hearing words. There is actually three levels.

Listening Level 3:

Lisa discusses with Linda that her child got kicked out of school. Linda replied with, “Lisa, that’s not easy. What support do you or your child require right now to get things back on track? There’s a few programs I can put you in touch with that I already work with. Would you be interested in that?

Level 3 is about making the conversation more global in nature. First, there is an acknowledgement of what happened. Empathy, then what can be done on a more global level.

Bonus tip!

Whether, it’s a political discussion, a religious discussion, or anything where you may have a differing opinion, always seek to understand what makes the other person think that way. Learn to recognize that a difference of beliefs does not make them wrong.

These tips will make any conversation run smoothly and acknowledge the other person. This builds respect for each person.

Want help in this area? Please reach out to me.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International