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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

Real commitments

Leo strived everyday to be the best for his company. he was known as the “Get it Done” guy in management.  He was known as the guy who could get any project back on track. Yet, at what cost?

While confident in his ability to do anything, how he did it royally pissed people off. His staff felt the need to absorb his verbal out lashes since his track record and building the business soared.

Every year, Leo got huge bonuses and knocked off another accomplishment to his resume.

A new CEO came on board and looked into why certain employees got sick, which in the long run cost the company millions. Most of these employees worked on Leo’s projects. The stress and verbal abuse came at a hidden cost.

The CEO asked Leo, what’s the top three values he strives for in any interaction with his teams. Leo stood their star struck. His body tensed up. He didn’t know what to say. It quickly came up with be on time, budget and resource.

​​​​​​​CEO shook his head. That’s the outcome. How do you show up as a person? Are you demanding yet helpful? Are you caring?

Leo relaxed and fell back into the chair. He never thought about this. Leo only thought of himself as the highly sought after Project Lead and husband to his wife.

He mixed up an accomplishment identity for who he really was. He showed up as an unthoughtful jerk ready to steam roll over anyone in his way.

The CEO said your next raise depends on the three words you choose to show up in your interactions with others. You will  be rated on if your team believes you show up in this manner.

Too many of us lead with an accomplishment identity and forget who we really are in how we show up everyday.

Real commitment is showing up as your best self.  Don’t have an accomplishment identity.

As you plan the next 90 days on your life, career, and relationships, how will you live into your words in how you show up? Do this and you’ll have miraculous results. 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Where intention meets action

It was December 2017. Dazed and confused, I looked up at the departure board at Denver Airport. After almost four months of travel, leaving every week and a half for a new destination, I could not remember which city I was traveling to this time. I’d been to Seattle, Phoenix, San Jose, San Diego, and even to India twice.

A little voice in my head said, this has got to stop!

With a deep sigh, I asked myself what was the purpose of this trip, hoping it would jog my memory on where I was going.

Yes! Now I remember. I am heading home for an early Christmas on the east coast with my family. Jezz….Definitely a brain fart type of moment.

With a giant smile on my face, I realized this was the last trip I had planned for the year.  After the plane took off, I took out my journal.

What do I want in 2018?

1)      Identify the root cause of why I was on supplements and get off supplements.

Reason: I was too young to be on all these supplements at my age. 

2)      Be more selective in my travels.

Reason: I’m more effective if I deep dive in certain areas instead of being spread thin. I decided to only travel for fun for the first three months of 2018.

By April 2018, a team of health practitioners identified the root cause of my underlying health issues, heavy metal toxicity. With faith in non-ordinary treatments and following some strict protocols, I fully got off got off supplements a year and a half later. The universe doesn’t always give you the timeline you want. The more important part was that I got the results I wanted!  (More on that story another day.)

The remainder of the year consisted of very selected business travels. I made my health my number 1 priority. I can only serve others when I’m feeling healthy and energetic myself.

What does this mean to you?

The time to plan 2020 is now. As we enter the last month of this decade, it’s more than planning for the next year. It’s about planning for the next decade.

How can you make 2020 the best decade of your life?

For 2020, how can you make 2020 the best year of your life?

“When you take action with a clear intention, the universe will conspire to make it happen.”

This comes down to a simple formula: Intention + Action + Faith = Magical Results

​​​​​​​Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

The one thing you forget to be thankful for

How many of you are thankful for the unpleasant moments in your life?

Harriet yelled at John in front of twenty members of the executive team. The room fell silent witnessing this spectacular outburst from a C-Suite Executive. The silence was so strong you could hear a phone vibrate with notifications

John’s face swelled with hues of pink while he attempted to maintain composure from the verbal attack. It took every ounce of strength to not get angry back at Harriet. In his mind, he thought, one day this will be a pivotal moment in my life. He took his seat waiting for the rest of the meeting to end.

Later that day, John started listing everything he had done for the company. And, better yet, what suggestions he made that Harriet never agreed to. That day, became the day he would start his own company with the culture he wanted to instill and challenge staff to a new level.

John took anger and transformed it into a meaningful step forward.

That Thanksgiving, he gave thanks for a horrible and humiliating experience. This allowed him to truly propel forward to where he wanted to go. The next steps were uncertain. His heart was strong. His passion was big.

This Thanksgiving:

Be thankful for the bad experiences for this taught you what not to do.

Be thankful for the unpleasant people for they teach you how to show up in the world.

Be thankful for the body injury for it taught you to appreciate life.

Be thankful for the burnout, it taught you why self-care is important.

Be thankful for the failed projects, it taught you movement is more important than doing nothing.

Be thankful for the unfriendly relationship, it taught you how to communicate.

Be thankful for the embarrassing situation, it taught you how to laugh at yourself.
And, most of all, remember this, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

Fail fast. Fail often. Integrate. Be thankful you made a move, even if the outcome wasn’t what you wanted. 

May you receive abundant blessings this Thanksgiving!

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

This causes pain

Chad excited for his promotion got to work early. His role of Director came with the pay raise and corner office he always desired. The extra money would allow for house upgrades his wife had been wanting for years.

With enthusiasm setting the tone, Chad couldn’t wait to hold his first staff meeting and propose a vision for his department.

One by one, his department colleagues came into work. Each brought a slight curious anticipation about what changes the new leader may make. Within thirty minutes of his last departmental colleague’s arrival, Chad’s stomach began to churn. He was reluctant to organize a meeting.

He began to question whether his new direction would be right. Would his team fully embrace the direction shift he wanted to propose and implement. Given his emotional status, Chad thought it would be better tomorrow once everyone’s emotions settled down.

Day by day, he kept putting the meeting off.

Then, a week went by.

Then, a month.

Suddenly he was called into the Vice President’s office.

The Vice President asked what the issue was in implementing the changes. Chad could barely look the VP in the eye. His words turned into a mumble on why he hesitated to implement. With anxiety worsening, Chad called in sick the next day.

Hesitation causes pain.

What’s one small step you can take today?

Make a courageous choice and take that step today.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International