Saturday, August 29, 2009

Perfection vs. Wholeness

A funny thing happened to me last week. I had one of those weeks where I just found myself pushing, pushing, pushing to be perfect & please others. Of course, perfection being that crazy little animal that it is...I fell short each day. In the goal of pleasing others, I was just trying to give myself a version of instant gratification. (I.e., quit trying to put a bandaid on a broken fire hydrant).

After some deep thought & "vision boarding," I went to a great yoga class that had a fantastic theme. Sarah, my yoga teacher, gave us the challenge of "Perfection vs. Wholeness." What does that mean? It is highly applicable in almost any work situation or home situation.

Perfection: this equals the art of trying to 1) please others and 2) be perfect, with no other goal to strive for. Here's the problem with that: perfect just isn't possible. With perfect, comes pushing for something that is out of reach - through that push, you forget to see the accomplishments & strides you made along the way. All you remember is, "me, me, me." Celebrations become just another "step on the chain" of the travel to perfect (a city that doesnt exist.) Trust me, I've searched - perfect is not a purchasable destination on Orbitz. CheapUnfoundTickets.com, maybe...

Wholeness: the art of completing oneself, mind...body...and spirit. Not only is wholeness attainable, it is also completing a journey. Remember that game, Trivial Pursuit? There was a pie that players had to fill with wedges from all sorts of categories - making the ultimate "whole" pie. Arts, Culture, Sports, History...you get the picture. "The Well-Rounded Individual."

We should strive for the same in life - adding wedges as we complete important life goals & milestones.So the next time you have a day that you say to yourself..."arrrgggh, i just cant seem to make this PERfECT!" scratch it out of your brain. Perfect isn't a place you can go - and it might look like some Shangri-La, but let's be real...it ain't a sandy beach with a Grey Goose martini & a cabana boy waiting on you. Get real! Make it substantial instead. Go fill up your life pie and make it whole.

Take the "Perfection vs. Wholeness Challenge" this week and let me know how it goes! I'm still in it...filling up my wedges. This weekend, I added the wedges of humility, honor & stoicism...great to learn, but always a work in progress.

See ya rock stars!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dealing with "The Unexpecteds"

Ever had a last minute houseguest? Someone you haven't seen in a long time, don't mind giving hospitality...yet REALLY wish he'd picked a different week? In biz & in life, we have "The Unexpecteds" stop by a lot. Whether in business meetings, calls, events or situations - in some of our lives, they seem to drop by every day!

I had one of those weeks, so its a great topic. You can't plan ahead for those "whoa, now what" crazy times, but you can certainly control your reaction to them.

Top 10 Tips for Hosting "The Unexpecteds"

1) Remain calm. You can either choose to freak that they showed up, or think clearly on how to handle. Keep your cool...always keep your cool.
2) Breathe. This helps #1 as well. Before you respond to phone calls, emails or someone showing up on your doorstep...deep breath.
3) Find a solution. It's easy to get sidetracked when you have "unexpecteds" show up...especially if you are a very "black & white" problem solver like me. Get your brain back in focus by creating a series of potential solutions.
4) Think of comparable situations. Has this happened before? Or anywhere? If so, use it like a "case study" in real life - how did you deal (and did you deal well with it?) What would you do to improve the situation the second time around?
5) Keep it relative. No matter what, there are worse off situations happening daily in the world. Someone throwing an unexpected situation/event at you...isn't 1) world hunger, 2) an epidemic or 3) global warming...for instance. Meaning, everything, in little chunks...is solvable.
6) Go run. Or walk. Or jump. Before you tackle the inevitable, you need some serious endorphins. So rather than hitting the snack bar, hit the road...literally. Walk, run, exercise for 20 minutes - it'll free your head, get your positive chi running and get you focused!
7) Count your blessings. Much like the "keep it relative," this one is a lesson in, "you've got a lot to be thankful for." Even when something/someone gives you a wallop to turn you in a new direction, look it as just that - a new direction. You aren't necessarily veering off course - you could just be getting back on the right GPS.
8) Be spontaneous & live in the moment. Change is good, like they always say...it really is. You can't stop it, you've just got to live for each second of the change. Let it happen and just "be."
9) Drop your schedule. Since the moment has probably changed your momentum anyway, it's a good idea to forget the other "pre-planned events" on your schedule. You need to focus on this "unexpected," and deal with it to the positive - rather than push it under the rug.
10) Maintain professionalism. No matter what, don't lose your cool. Keep your composure and look at the bright side...you'll emerge with a new friend. Once the "Unexpecteds" leave your house, you'll be that much more prepared for the next situation!

As a recent book I read stated, "The oceans refuse no river." Be accepting of any situation, and you'll be a pro! To your rocks, rock stars...time to climb!