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Plant your seeds now for the future

As longer days give rise to warmer temperatures, nature signals the farmer to prep the soil for this year’s crop. It’s time to weed the soil and purge anything that may inhibit the growth.

The farmer begins to till the soil and prep for planting the seeds.

As the farmer reviewed the stats from his crop last year, he was disappointed. With adverse conditions, extreme heat and less rain, last year’s crop grew to only 60% of its potential. His family had been growing this crop for decades. It was the same routine, process and easy to follow. Yet, one more year of this limited growth would put his family farm in jeopardy and suffer greatly. He didn’t want to burden his family with this.

As he went to sleep that night, he asked to be guided what to do next. What can be done differently?

He woke at 4:30am with a brilliant stream of information.

The farmer jumped out of bed, ran down the stairs, grabbed a paper towel and began scribbling down a series of information. After thirty minutes, he pieced together five paper towels with his newly created plan for his farm.

He let out a joyful sigh. This is brilliant! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. He didn’t berate himself, only to acknowledge there’s a great way forward.

Most people often wait until life sends chaos into our life to change.

Spring is a sense of renewal.

What’s working?

It is time to clear the weeds and rid yourself of anything that’s no longer working in your life, career, or relationships.

With cleared land, you can plant any seed you want. It’s your choice.

Spring is a sense of renewal.

The only question for you is, what does your heart want you to create and bring to fruition?

If you didn’t like how the crop grew last year, it’s up to you to change it.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Your identity is being questioned

Most people associate their identity with what they do. You are a mother, father, project manager, engineer, scientist, artist, director, psychologist, etc. Yet, when circumstances change, people begin to question their identity. Suddenly, you feel lost.  If you start to do X versus Y, you somehow now have a different identity and don’t know how to act. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a closer look how this plays out.

After thirty years, Sara retired from NASA as a project manager. She received countless awards for performance. She helped manage and put into orbit global satellites that tracked weather patterns across the globe. The research from these satellites informed international policy. Sara was proud of her accomplishments.

As Sarah said her goodbyes, there was a fake smile present. While she knew it was the right time to leave, she didn’t know what was next. The gurgle in her stomach didn’t allow her to enjoy the abundant food at her retirement party. The smile protected her from talking since her throat was semi-closed from anxiety. Sarah felt the insecurity about the unknown permeate her entire body whenever someone asked, what will you do now? Her whole life has been tied to NASA.

The next day, Sara met up with a non-NASA friend. Her friend, Kim, noticed something was off. Kim, asked Sara, what’s going on? You’re withdrawn instead of excited about what’s next.  Sara pulled up her head from looking down at her feet and looked Kim in the eye. I’m scared. NASA was who I am.

Kim leaned forward in the deep green velvet chair and darted,  Bullsh*t, with a genuine smile!!

Kim continued on, Sara, what made you a great project manager?

Sara suddenly relaxed her shoulders and said confidently. I communicate extremely well with people. I see the vision for the future five years down the line. I troubleshoot issues that others never foresee. I kept a positive attitude in the office even when projects had major setbacks. Colleagues knew they could trust me.

Kim replied back, Sara, listen to this closely. Here’s what you said. You’re a fabulous communicator, visionary, troubleshooter, positive, and trustworthy. This my, dear friend, is who you are. These are the values and traits that you bring with you anywhere you go. What you do doesn’t matter.

As your circumstances change, your character comes to the forefront.

Your character, ie, your identity, is not what you do.

With these fast changing times, with updates by the hour, what you do is not as important as how you want to show up in the world.

Your assignment:

Part 1: Who do you want to become?

Think of the values you want to embody, e.g., trustworthy, reliable, loving, etc.  

Part 2: Pick the top 3 and rate yourself daily.  

Regardless of what’s going on, I’m here for you and your teams. How can I best support you right now? 

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

 

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

The 2F Factor Contrast

Imagine rafting down the infamous Horseshoe River in the Grand Canyon.  You come up to the famous u-shaped section. The river magically disappears through darkening shades of red and orange. With a sense of anticipation, you wonder what is around the next bend. Will there be large rapids to navigate? How do you best prepare for the unknown?

Every aspect of your life, career, and even relationships are similar.

Water is malleable and bounces around the harsh corners of a river. It cuts deep into the banks and carves out a wider dimension. The water simply flows against gravity.

The funny thing is this. Sometimes, we over paddle trying to force certain things to happen or sometimes we get lazy thinking things will change on its own.

Have you ever tried to get somewhere faster and nothing seemed to work? The more we force something, the more exhaustion ensues. Or, we think circumstances will change all on their own.

A quick assessment for you:

1)      Where are you over paddling and forcing something to happen?

2)      Where do you need to look up from the daily grind and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you?

3)      Where do you need to slow down and enjoy the flow of what’s going on? Taking each new step with a gentle ease and grace.

This is the Force or Flow Factor. The water in your world has the same current. Where’s your sweet spot?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International

Ever feel you live a split personality?

Sheila shows up at work with a stoic face. No one can read her deep pain that she carries. She wonders if she is doing enough? Was that recommendation received well?

She walks stern down the hall. Colleagues can hear the hard thumb of her heels hitting the ground. No one can ever figure out what she’s thinking. They often wonder how to approach her. She walks with confidence and a relentless pursuit of accomplishments. She beats deadlines, astonishes her colleagues, and is always assigned the big clients.

Yet at home, she can barely schedule a thing. Her friends worry about her and that she never takes time to join them for dinners or social gatherings. Shelia only reaches out occasionally or last minute. When she does enjoy company, she’s down to earth, relaxed and full of fun. Sheila cracks jokes and makes silly faces at strangers.

This was far from how she was at the office.

Ever feel you live this way, too? Completely different at work versus home. What gives? What brings upon the disparity?

It’s time to rise up and be the same person no matter what environment you are in.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

 

What’s your ROI on time?

The morning sun pierces through the curtains and strikes your eye. You startle wondering what time it is. Were you late for work? Ah, remembering the sun now brightens your bedroom earlier in the morning you calm down to know you actually woke up early. What a pleasant surprise.

Do you give yourself the extra thirty minutes to sleep or get out of bed? You decide to get up and do those routines you’ve always thought about but never had. You remember that phrase, “It’s not what you know, its consistency to implement that matters.”

With the birds chirping, you pull out a beautifully designed journal covered stating, Seize the day! You smile while thinking this is what happens when you wake up early, peaceful and not in a rush.

As you take a deep breathe, you start journaling about your top priorities personally and professionally. You start reconnecting with why you love your career. Suddenly the anger from the past week dissolves.

As you leave for work, you reflect how peaceful your morning was and vow to start waking up a little earlier. You walk into work smiling and engaging in conversation with colleagues. They notice you have a spring to your step.

Later in the day, you recognize everything you didn’t do this morning. Check your phone, watch the news, read your social media feed. The morning was all yours. This was the best investment of time you’ve had in years.

Choose to spend each moment wisely. Time is a precious resource.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

 

Don’t Wait Until It Burns Down

As Notre Dame Cathedral erupted with enormous flames in Paris yesterday, all I could think about is the legacy we leave behind.
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In your life, career, and relationships, what are you building that will stand the test of time?

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Every day you have the basic responsibilities – food, shelter, take care of our loved ones, and our career to support all of this. Yet, many of you forget about the real impact that we live every day. How you show up in the world is a choice only you can make.

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When something tragic happens, how we choose to handle the event that saddens us creates our own legacy for others to follow. What choice of character do you want to hand down for generations to see?
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Resilience is key.
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Ask yourself these important questions:

·        Will you stay forever stuck in the moment that tragedy hit?

·        Will you forgive those that hurt you?

·        Will you create open space for something new to happen?
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Today more people are worried about keeping their electronics charged than how they show up to deal with the world’s challenges. Let’s change this.

​​​​A structure can burn but no one can take away your character or resolve that you have as an individual.
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​​​​​​​Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!
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​​​​​​​Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

What I Learned From Sharing the Stage with a Billionaire

Six months ago, I let out an exuberant sigh. Suddenly, my spine aligned swiftly and I sat up tall. I got up and walked with more vitality. A light bulb went off. I identified exactly where I wanted to go with my business. I wanted to use my voice to speak on stages. Every person I met, I said exactly what I’m looking for.

Plan: Design the life, business, and relationships you imagined.

Then, the call came in. Lora, I want to recommend you for an interview at a charity fundraiser in front of a thousand like minded people. The self doubt rolled in. Am I ready? Is this the right time?

I was scared. That’s exactly why I said yes. It’s the growth opportunity I wanted. This was the audience I wanted to be in front of.  Everything I previously did lead me to this special invitation.

As the interview day approached, I asked myself, What was the core message I wanted to share? How can I come across with the energy I wanted to convey?

I practiced what I wanted to say not knowing what questions would be asked.

To ensure I had the energy, I took the time to be well-rested, ate right, and exercised. In addition, I made sure I had body work done so that my muscles were open and relaxed and not tight.

Practice: Prepare with excellence.

The big event came. I put on my dress. And dang. My dressed was ripped. What, how did this happen? Can I get away with it? No. Luckily, I was prepared and brought an extra dress. How prepared are you for when something doesn’t go as expected?

I showed up engaging and curious about everyone there. I brought enthusiasm and excitement to every conversation and with each person I interacted with. I had fun, lightening up everyone I chatted with.

Ryan Long, the event host, called me on stage. It was my time. I was me. I didn’t pretend to be anyone else. I choked up when I started talking about the deaths early in my life. I shared laughs and even challenged Ryan – What are your non-negotiables in life? I discussed why self-care is important. I had fun challenging people to take care of themselves so they can give more.

Play: Have fun while achieving.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. What attitude shift can you bring? Or, how can you bring more play into what you do on a daily basis?

I shared the stage with billionaire founder, Jeff Hoffman, Priceline.com and Les Brown, best motivational speaker in the world, Les Brown. They both shared these same concepts. They’ve turned their profits to then serve.

Plan, Practice, Play, is the model I use to help you think big and play bigger.

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


Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Are You Overcommitted or Fully Focused?

The ecstatic enthusiasm consumed Mary’s body. She felt electrified for the first time in months.  Her prior days were consumed with unbearable workdays and deep family matters that stole her time. This led to a sense of depletion. Mary’s eagerness to break this cycle and socialize again was unprecedented especially for an introvert. She longed for the deep rich soulful conversations that energized her. This Saturday night was it – a friend’s special birthday celebration. She couldn’t wait to have fun again!

Then another birthday invite came. Then a going away dinner invite came. Then a baby shower invite. Suddenly, Mary felt overwhelmed. How do I possible go to four parties? I miss all these wonderful people. Perhaps I can go to each party for about two hours, make my appearance, celebrate my friend, then head to the next soiree. Mary felt blessed to have all these opportunities yet unsure how to make it all happen. She wanted to be everywhere and do everything.

Mary headed off to the first party and never left. Her conversations were deep, rich, and surreal. She felt as if she knew everyone for years even though many she met them for the first time. Mary’s in-depth listening made her lose track of time. Mary was fully present and focused into each moment, listening intently to each word of the other person. She conveyed her own fun stories and bore new friendships and reignited old ones.

Where in your life are you over committed?

How can you be fully focused instead of scattered?

What results would occur if you were fully focused on one activity?

It’s time for your to be laser focused not a scattered sparkler.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

 

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International