Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “self help”

Get busy living, or get busy dying


Get busy living, or get busy dying 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Resistance to change. Do not get stuck on the left side of the “U” – for long

Life is too short for long pity parties. This week made me think of my best college friend who passed away too early due to cancer. She was such a fighter. When your life suddenly changes because you have just found out you have a challenging medical condition you can either keep feeling sorry for yourself, or you can already see the new path and plan that goes along with it. Some folks just get stuck in the anger, grieving, and resistance mode: “Why did this happen to me?”, “I just do not believe this!” It can lead to a state of utter confusion and self-pity. And it is a pity when you do not get out of that mode.

Feeling sorry for yourself however wastes time and lets your brain go on a down spiraling path to severe depression. Neither is helpful if time is of the essence. I will never forget the incident where my mom was sharing a hospital room with a woman who was exactly in this state of mind. Her illness was severe and her outlook on how long she was to live did not look great at all. When nurses and doctors asked her what she wanted to do she constantly changed direction. When she was alone with my mom or visitors she was constantly complaining about the medical staff, her condition – nothing seemed to work out right for her. It was painful to watch, especially when she snuck out the room to go downstairs for a quick smoke in order to “calm her nerves down”. Calm your nerves down, but stress your body even more with the effects of smoking? The woman went in a circle of self-destruction – she got really busy dying.

Compare this with my mom who had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer 9 months prior. At the beginning of her journey of the long goodbye that is cancer, she had been given a few weeks to live. Not our mom, nope, she would have none of it. Hope and faith let her go through the anger, grief, and resistance time period really quickly. Plans were made to see specialists, treatments, and she even got new glasses to be able to see and read better. She had not gotten new ones in decades.

In the end cancer finally claimed her life 10 months after diagnosis. At the time the above mentioned story happened things were already not looking good at all, but my mom found the time helping the woman with advice, thoughts and prayers. The irony puzzles me to this day. Bottom line though was that mom was always busy living.

When things look bleak it may be easier succumbing to self-pity. Two processes are at work here. One is how a sudden major change goes through a U shaped process (explained here in more detail) and what you are going through is normal: Resistance, anger, grief, etc. That is the downward side of the U on the left. There comes a time when you hit the bottom of the U (figuratively speaking). You can either swing back up to anger etc, or start looking at the upside to the right leg of the U. It is the onset of careful optimism, hope, and exploration of opportunities. The other main process is that you have a choice. Are you choosing to get busy dying, or are you choosing to get busy living? What will be your choice?

Ralf

The one who rest, rusts or how running away from a tough choice is not a good idea


The one who rest, rusts or how running away from a tough choice is not a good idea 

Life is pretty much like a tread mill: Even though it is exhausting to be on it, you really have no other choice than to keep running once you are on it. No matter how fast you are running you are not really getting any farther – you are stuck in many ways. The final lap is only coming around when our life ends. Not very uplifting, huh?

There are good portions to this as well though. It’s your choice to get on or not; if you do not like the current treadmill version you are on then get OFF of it! Upon getting on another one, what speed will you pick? Will you pick an incline once and a while? For how long will you exercise away at it? What is the sense of it in the first place? When will you get off it? Will you jump off or slow down little by little? Why can you not apply what you know and build a completely different version of a treadmill? Tough choices are part of life and giving up because they are difficult to make are simply a fact of life. Get used to having to choose and do not give up because you feel like you are not fit enough to deal with some of the consequences.

Like it or not, if you are on it just to go into idle mode, you will never really get anywhere. Exercising your body will push your soul besides of building up your stamina. Isn’t that why we are made to keep in motion and be in good shape (mental jogging included)? You have to make a few hard decisions about all the aspects of your life. Choose mental toughness and building up your endurance by exercising. The one who rests, rusts.

Ralf

Never mistake having a list with leading a life on purpose


Never mistake having a list with leading a life on purpose 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Being productive and doing as much stuff as possible is important in our work life. This race for more, faster, better, etc starts as early in school. We are groomed to get stuff done. Doing is more important than being. Or is it?

Problem is that working your bum off and getting stuff done can easily distract you from realizing what is truly important to you. Years can go by and you can easily go head on into a midlife crisis.

So periodically stop what you are doing for a moment and ask yourself that if what you are doing is truly filling you with energy for a long time to come.

Ralf

A workforce change is coming that any entrepreneur should pay attention to


A workforce change is coming that any entrepreneur should pay attention to 

The “Gray Tsunami” will hit your workplace within the next 5 to 10 years. And it will be a hard hit. Baby-boomers and GenXers will be retiring in record numbers. It is already challenging attaining and retaining talent and that is likely going to get even worse. The youngest workforce called Millennials should be rolling in. Problem is that they may not be interested in joining you.

There are two key issues to overcome. First of all, you the entrepreneur is shunning this part of the workforce. You do not like that they are the most entrepreneurial, they maybe too aggressive with their career goals, and that they may need a lot more attention than your current folks. The other issue is that your company has no idea how to keep this terrific talent at your workplace.

Both issues are so easy to resolve and you would be a fool not to embrace them with open arms. They are awesome multitaskers for starters. They grew up with technology from the day they were born. They were challenged and put under so much more pressure education and expectation wise like no other generation before. They thrive in a good company cultures that embraces them and they can be loyal like no other generation before them. That leads me to three key items that your organization must be able to provide to them in order for them to be attracted enough to join you and then to stay around:

  1. Purpose: Like no other generation before them they like for their time to count for something. Is it worth their time to spent time with you and your company? How will this make other people better off? Is the organization willing to do something for community and environment?
  2. Structure: They embrace structure. This means everything from training plan, to career building. While Babyboomer and GenX folks may be excited by hearing their leaders giving them the freedom to “go figure it out yourself”, Millennials thrive in an evironment where there are hard and soft rules how you want them to handle tasks and finding solutions for everyday problems. They excel at sharing information and solutions – how cool is this?
  3. Career pathway: Millennials are very keen on finding out early what their career advancement may look like and how to get there. They may be to overzealous, but they are very excited to put the effort into their careers and they can be very loyal to an organization that is willing to help them get there. The only effort the business leader must make is creating the career pathway plan how their employees can get there.

According to a study published in SmartCEO recently manufacturing has the 4th oldest workforce. This will mean these folks with be aging out at impressive numbers within the next 5 to 10 years. Companies had better figure out a better way embracing the up and coming new team members, or they will lose out to business leaders who make the effort preparing their organizations accordingly. Please welcome all age and education groups into your organization, or you will face significant issues in attaining and then retaining talent.

Ralf

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