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No Complaining

No Complaining

No Complaining

I’m glad you’re here.  In the spirit of the time of year, I want to offer a gift, mixed with a challenge.  This idea is founded by Will Bowen of www.acomplaintfreeworld.org, details below.  The reason for this gift is that there continues to be more and more evidence to connect our thoughts, statements, actions and feelings to our overall experience of the world. This challenge offers the opportunity to consider our statements, if only for three weeks.   Basically, no complaining.   One strategy in tackling this seemingly insurmountable task, is practicing gratitude.   We all have much be thankful for.  Ok, I’ll start.  In this card you’ll find a few reasons why I am grateful to have you in my life.  I hope you find this gift intriguing and interesting enough to experiment with.

Love,

Michael

The paragraph above was the beginning of a card I wrote for about 20 members of my family this year, as well as some other loved ones.  I wanted to take the opportunity to give back some gratitude and a chance to put some intention into action for the New Year.  I learned about this through A Complaint Free World, here is a video that is worth a watch about this project.

The basic idea is that you get a bracelet that stays on your wrist until you can sustain 21 days without complaining.  Every complaint means you switch wrists and the timer starts over.   According the website, they say that this experiment typically takes 4-10 months to complete! What a great opportunity to challenge ourselves!

We often here about studies on changing our mindset, practicing mindfulness, being positive or other non-tangible pieces of advice.  While I am totally on board with the previous suggestions, I like this 21 day challenge because it has an activity attached to it, which I think helps to build the likelihood for success.  Whenever we are practicing a new way of thinking or feeling, there should be an associated new way of being or doing.

I was really thankful for my family’s response to this gift as it seemed very heartfelt and appreciative.  There were some tears shed, lots of joking and I think some added thoughtfulness about our individual attitudes and statements, which was my hope.

However, I don’t think that just passing out bracelets and offering the challenge would have been as meaningful without the added gratitude.  With every bracelet I gave I wrote a personalized note regarding why I was thankful to have each person in my life.  I believe that expressing gratitude as a part of this gesture was important because it was an example of how to pursue the task of – no complaining.

If you are reading this blog, then you most likely have everything you need. You have shelter, food/water and probably some people in your life that you care about or care about you.  There is much to be grateful for.  Expressing gratitude is one strategy in combating the pattern of complaining.

Care to experiment?  The next time you notice yourself complaining, see how this could be shifted into a statement of gratitude.  Alternatively, practice expressing gratitude more often and see if that shifts how much you are complaining.

Wishing you a prosperous, fun, challenging and growth filled 2016!

Best,

Michael

 

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive a FREE tip sheet with Five Strategies to Build Motivation!

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Career for Recent Graduates

 

Career for Recent Graduates

Career for Recent Graduates

I was recently reminded of the stress, curiosity and overwhelm involved in finding a job after graduation.  Determining how to navigate a career for recent graduates can be a daunting task with many questions, it certainly has been for me.  There seems to be a definite commonality among this experience, whether its high school, college or graduate school, there is the all too common question of “what’s next?”

What I’ve learned along the way is that taking stock of my values, strengths, and longer term goals has always eased the process.  I wondered what may have been helpful for me to hear in the earlier parts of my career.  I came up with a few suggestions and some interesting data that I think may have been valuable for me to hear and hopefully is valuable to others in the midst of transition to or through the work world.

  • Don’t be afraid to take action  

I recently read in the Wall Street Journal that according the Bureau of Labor and Statistics – 50 percent of people between 20 and 24, have been with their current employers for under a year.  The message here is that the job you are starting out with, may not be the job you stick with forever.  Taking the first step towards developing your career can help to build your own understanding of strengths, weaknesses and areas you are truly passionate about.

This same rationale may apply to graduation from graduate school or any serious educational commitment that results in embarking in a new kind of career.  Taking action towards this new career is the first step.  The real learning occurs after we take this step.

  • The goodness of fit of the opportunity

Considering basic information (location, hours, salary etc.) when looking at the possibility of a new job is a start.  To truly understand if it is a good fit though, you must first ask yourself what is your longer term objective with this job.  The nature of jobs change over time.   Understanding your own goals, both inside and outside of your career, will help in determining if a job opportunity truly fits with who you are.

  • Decide the “deal breakers”

Deciding what your “deal breakers” are could be done by asking how the job will get you closer to your longer term career and personal goals.  In addition, exploring what kinds of sacrifices you are willing to make to meet your goals may be an exercise to review.   Another way to explore this may be to look at what challenges you are willing to accept, in addition to or instead of, framing the experience as what you are willing to sacrifice.  Having a clear vision of what you want, is of course the first step.  Once you understand your vision for what you would like out of your career and personal life, determining deal breakers will be easier.

  • Stay the course

We often get distracted by all the bright and shiny objects in our world.  Stay the course of what your longer term goals are and this will help you to ignore the irrelevant input.  Be careful of FOMO (fear of missing out).   FOMO can come in many shapes and sizes and may be related to work, friends, socializing, internet crazes or many other distractions.  Having a process for working and ways to avoid distraction may be helpful in holding momentum towards your goals.

 

Thanks!

Michael

 

P.S. If you are curious to learn more about personal development, workplace challenges, interpersonal dynamics, goal achievement and a wide variety of other topics, sign up today! www.www.arcintegrated.com/newsletter.  It’s totally free.

You’ll also receive a FREE tip sheet with Five Strategies to Build Motivation!

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Trusting Your Intuition

 

Trusting Your Intuition

Trusting Your Intuition

Here is a challenge I’ve been having this week. How do I determine the difference between what my gut says vs. an old pattern I have or the difference between recognizing an intuition vs a fear?  So why not write about it.  There are definitely some questions I find helpful when exploring if/when to trust your intuition.

But before we get into tips let’s look at some research around intuition.  According to  an article on Psychology Today – two different studies reference people’s ability to “intuit” correct answers, in very different scenarios, before the answers were provided.  This was measured by a physical response that was happening as a reaction to the answer.

Another study looked at intuition as it relates to major life decisions, such as buying a car.  In some studies it shows that people who have trusted their intuition first often end up happier than those that analyzed thoroughly and decided against their own first instinct.  However, there is of course some debate about this.  Psychologists and scientists continue to debate the nature of intuition.

Some believe that intuition comes from a reptilian part of the brain that is tapping into some unconscious awareness of danger.  While others look at intuition as a tapping into the unconscious, but in a way that looks at stored information that is available to us but perhaps lost from our conscious mind.

Regardless of the debate, it seems that there exists large bodies of literature that at least agree on one thing – your intuition is worth listening to, for a variety of reasons.

I often live by my intuition…perhaps too much at times.  So finally, here are some strategies that I think are helpful to explore when looking at ones intuition –

Evaluate how this relates to old patterns –

To consider trusting your intuition vs an old pattern of decision making, evaluate it.  Does the decision fit into a habit or pattern for you, or is it an instinct that you have?

Fear wrapped up in intuition –

When there is a hunch towards a decision, make sure that the hunch is not just preventing a direction that may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable.  Of course, this should be weighed with reason, but determining if it is intuition or fear that is driving the decision may be beneficial.

What is the impact of this decision in 5 years or 20 years –

Trusting your intuition can be hugely beneficial! So can weighing out the implications of your decisions.  For instance, if this decision won’t make that big of a difference in 5 years, then perhaps it’s ok to move forward.  On the other hand, combining intuition with some logic may be worth exploring if this decision will impact you in 20 years.

If I don’t trust this intuition will the result be regret or potential failure –

Remember, logic and reason is great, but so is taking risks.  Ask yourself if the decision will result in feeling scared, or regretful for not doing something different.  A little fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  A great quote by Lucille Ball –

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done”

How has my intuition been accurate in the past and where has this led me –

Looking at past gains and failures may be advantageous.  Making a list of the times intuition has led to positive results may help to instill some confidence in trusting yourself.

 

How has intuition worked for you?  I would also be curious to hear from anyone who chooses not to trust their intuition.  Please share or comment below.

Thanks,

Michael

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Dealing with Uncertainty

 

Dealing with Uncertainty

Dealing with Uncertainty

This week as I was searching for a topic to write about, I felt uncertain.  It’s not like there is a lack of things to choose from in the personal development, counseling or consulting arena.  There are a ton of topics to choose from.  However, I was feeling uncertain.  So, why not just write about it.  I think as a culture we are dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis.  Having access to 1,000 choices in every avenue of life will do that.   However, there are strategies to battle this uncertainty.

Feeling stuck is common.  We often are wanting a change from a career, a hobby, a relationship or a habit.  In my experience, getting caught in the weighing out of which decision to make can sometimes be exhausting. So how do we deal with uncertainty?

I was talking with a friend recently about a new relationship they are in.  We were talking about the draw to this new partner, the things they have in common, the fun they have etc.  When the idea of how or if to move forward came up, I had thought to ask the question – what is the motivation to be with this person?  Obviously we feel connected to others, we fall in love or we have a connection that isn’t so strong.  So my curiosity is about where this connection is coming from.  Understanding our motivations may help us to deal with uncertainties and move on from a place of “stuckness.”  Understanding what motivates your direction is a good starting place, below are five more tips to resolve uncertainty.

Five Tips to Resolve Uncertainty

Learning to Follow Your Gut – This may seem obvious but there is lots of power in understanding what our instincts tell us.  Since there are so many options in most things we come across, this may distract us from our own wisdom. Practicing ways to reflect on our own thoughts or feelings like journaling, therapy, meditation or some daily practice may help in learning to follow your gut.

Take a Break – It’s easy to get caught up analyzing a choice to death.  Analysis Paralysis.   Walking away from a decision or giving yourself a temporary break from deciding may offer up some new clarity in which direction to choose.

Unbiased Third Party – Speaking with an unbiased third party like a coach or counselor can be an effective way to work through a decision.  Having someone who does not know your situation may be able to offer questions or insight that a friend or relative may not see.   Sometimes when we are asked a unique question this helps to switch our perspective and make things clearer.  

Meditate – Meditation is a great tool to help with staying present.  More and more we see the benefits of meditation in reducing stress, anxiety and even have an impact on us biologically.  Being present is another way to tap into our own understanding of what is the best decision for us to make, and what our own intuition tells us.  In addition, meditation may also offer relief from dealing with the discomfort that often accompanies uncertainty.

Get Up and Move – The mind/body connection is present in everything we do, even when we are dealing with uncertainties in life.  When we are unclear about what decision to make, this creates a particular stagnation in the mind, and perhaps even in the body as we sit and weigh all the pros and cons of our decisions. Getting involved in some kind of regular exercise or even simple movement may trigger a new way to look at the problem.

What will you decide to take action on this week?

Share or comment below.

Thanks!

Michael