A blip…

Or that’s what the past..cough…2 years has seemed like.   Sure, I got married and became the stepmom to two wonderful girls, moved households and built my practice, but TWO YEARS??????  Sigh…
And now I’m back.  My latest experiment feels like the perfect re entry point to blogging.  Along with some of my fabulous Next Step Partners colleagues, I am experimenting with a new mindfulness practice–at the beginning and end of each day for 3 minutes each I am doing the following (straight from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are):

Start with your breathing, feeling it as it moves in and out.  Ultimately, you can expand your awareness to observe all the comings and goings, the gyrations and machinations of your own thoughts and feelings, perceptions and impulses, body and mind.  But it may take some time for concentration and mindfulness to become strong enough to hold such a wide range of objects in awareness without getting lost in them or attached to particular ones, or simple overwhelmed.

At the beginning, stay with your breath, or use it as an anchor to bring you back when you are carried away.

My version may be slightly different than my colleagues–the 3 minutes, twice a day piece is what we are all trying.  I’m on Day 2.  I did yesterday’s mindfulness moments both on Amtrak. Stay tuned…

Do you count what counts?

LOVE the Bhutanese.  They eschew GDP for GNH (Gross National Happiness).  They strive to measure intangibles and to “create conditions that will allow happiness to occur.”
See hotelier and author Chip Conley, CEO of Joie de Vivre, talk about this and how he incorporates measuring what matters into his business in the link below.

[ted id=889]

On Motivation…Again.

A friend sent me this animated RSA talk given by Dan Pink.  It’s similar to his 2010 TED talk with the spectacular addition of animation by the RSA folks.

The message: want creative, motivated employees? It’s not about the rewards–it’s about finding ways to tap into their intrinsic motivation.

What’s in a name change?

Booth Class of '94 Reunion
This past weekend was my 15th B-School reunion at Chicago Booth.  Only when I went there it was Chicago GSB.  It became Chicago Booth last November when a well to do alum donated $300 million to the school.    Hey, for $300 million I’d change my name too.

Change is so often uncomfortable.  Even when it relates to hallmarks of our pasts that have very little to do with our current experience.  My friends varied in their reactions to the name change and to the beautiful and modern Charles M. Harper Center (that itself was named the Hyde Park Center until May 2007) that became the home of the GSB…err…Booth in 2004. At least two refused to call the school Booth.  One waved in victory the lone GSB t-shirt she found on the clearance racks at the book store.    Still others picked out some new gear proudly emblazoned with Chicago Booth.    Many of us were wide-eyed and perhaps just the littlest bit awestruck as we toured the sleek hallways, the majestic and light-filled winter garden, the spacious student lounge and amenity-rich center.  We laughingly recalled walking barefoot in the snow, five miles to and from school each day. Uphill.  In both directions.  I must have told the story a dozen times of my last visit to campus during which I spied with envy the wonderful upgrade I found there then: an ATM in Stuart Hall.  Clearly others had dreamed far bigger than I had.

Climbing Back On The Wagon

So I fell off the blogging wagon…after only two days!!  Last week I had some fabulous ideas and then when I could grab a few minutes to write, only drivel spewed painfully forth.  My entire week was like that.  Every goal I set took inexplicable hours to complete instead of the mere minutes I had allotted to them.  My list grew ominously large and dark…my personal demons raged: How can you be successful if you cannot keep your own goals moving forward???? Look at your list…you are way behind on so many items and you still have the pile of paperwork to wend through to get your accountant going on your taxes…you call yourself a businesswoman?
And then I stopped them.

I breathed.

I reevaluated.

I asked how else I might look at my week and what I could learn from it.

And I did.  I followed the path Marilee Adams calls the learner path.  She suggests that in considering how something impacts us we have the choice between the learner path and the judger path.   The learner asks questions like:

–        How else can I think of this?

–        What else is possible?

–        What can I learn from this?

–        What are the next action steps I should take?

So I did.

I acknowledged that I had been productive and prolific in my client work early in the week.  I listed the things I did get done.  I realized that perhaps my time goals on some of my objectives were perhaps a bit unrealistic.

I noticed that those days I had identified very specific goals went more smoothly than those for which I more or less winged it with a vague idea of on what I wanted to make progress. I determined that the next action steps should include planning in my every day.  Making sure I follow the sensible path of Ready…Aim…Fire.  Because when I get trigger happy and just fire, much of what comes out is drivel.