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Welcome to the Pause Blog which features strategies for boosting energy, fueling enthusiasm, inspiring insight, rekindling spirit – and my reflections on life in general.

PAUSE GEM #44 – The Not So Classic BMW & Art Cda 150.1

June 28, 2017

Editor’s Note: As they have for the last couple of years, your summer Pause messages will feature the ‘Best of Pause. These GEMS are readers’ favorite messages from earlier years. Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to our list, I hope you enjoy them all. After Labor Day, your Pause messages will once again feature all new info and resources.

P.S. – Also, be sure to scan right to the end of this message. You’ll want to be sure to catch the details on my Canada 150 Summer Art Project and the unique Provinces of Canada paintings on offer each week.

REFLECTION & ACTION: Nothing damages the morale of a workplace more than a collection of individuals whose response to every situation is to complain and criticize from the cozy confines of victimhood. “Isn’t it awful? How dare they? What were they thinking? Someone should do something about this!”

A recent conference participant, in a session I was delivering on encouragement and appreciation in the workplace, described this group as her BMW’s. Not the classic high priced automobile – but rather the folks who specialize in Bitching, Moaning, and Whining.

Her abbreviated description generated a considerable number of guffaws and knowing looks as other attendees nodded their heads in recognition. It seems the BMW problem is familiar to many. There might even be a few BMW’s ripping up the streets in your world.

So what to do and how to handle them? (more…)

PAUSE – 17.12 – Going Big Is Not Your Only Option

June 14, 2017

Reflection: ‘Go Big Or Go Home’ is one of the most harmful pieces of advice floating around the ether sphere.

It implies that the ONLY way to live your life is to bet it all on a roll of the dice – to bungee jump off the highest cliff – to risk and risk and risk again!

It also implies that if you don’t live with this maxim as your guide, you should hang your head, stick your tail between your legs, and cower shame-facedly in hiding at home.

Bushwa!

Yes, there may well be times to go big. Challenges stretch us and build our confidence. We start to see ourselves as the kind of person who attempts ‘that’ – whatever ‘that’ may be for us.

Still, there is every bit as much value in the world of small. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.11 – Are You Ready To Take A Chance?

May 31, 2017

Reflection: Do you ever feel like your life hasn’t quite worked out the way you imagined it might? That there is something missing from the mix?

Do you ever feel like you’re being held hostage by your commitments? Show up at work, manage life at home, contribute to the community? Or whatever your version of the daily grind may be.

It’s a sure bet that ignoring those twinges of discontent is a first step on the road to bitterness and resentment.

There may never be a better time to take a chance on something new. Something that fuels your spirit and feeds your soul. Something that puts a spring in your step and a light in your eyes. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.10 – Wading Your Way Through The Waiting

May 17, 2017

Reflection: How comfortable are you with waiting? I’d say as a society it’s not one of our strengths.

From the small things – like waiting for our coffee, waiting for software to reboot, or waiting our turn in line. To the big deals – like waiting for test results, waiting for the perfect job or partner, or waiting to figure out life’s purpose. We want the result and we want it now.

We don’t like sitting in confusion. And we stress ourselves out when we’re stuck in uncertainty – when progress seems slight.

However, we can experience less angst and stress when we find ways to become more comfortable with waiting, and when we allow whatever process needs to unfold the luxury of time to do just that.

 

Action: How then to wait with greater grace and ease? (more…)

PAUSE – 17.09 – Kindness Costs Us Nothing

May 3, 2017

Reflection: A recent conversation amongst friends led to an exchange of stories about odd behaviours. Of course, those would be odd behaviours exhibited by others, because nothing we ever do is odd at all!

The most unusual contribution to the conversation was the story of a condo neighbor who grows a bit more confused each day and exhibits some of the early signs of dementia. She has taken to propping her front door open, and positioning herself in a chair where she can see all the foot traffic in the hall.

As people come and go throughout the day, she waves and greets them like long lost friends each time they pass by. Most of us agreed that would be an annoying neighborly behavior to have to deal with every day.

However, the friend who shared the story – who lives down the hall from the woman with the open door policy – simply smiled and remarked, “Kindness costs us nothing.” (more…)

PAUSE – 17.08 – Appreciating What Shows Up In Your World

April 19, 2017

Reflection: The last two weeks have delivered quite an eventful ride here at the OK Corral.

Health issues landed me in the ER for eight hours and hospital for a couple of days. I’ve been tested, scanned and scoped with no specific diagnosis other than the possibility of a virus. However, I am feeling better and back to functioning once more.

My 91-year-old father moved from their home (where Mom with nursing support had been looking after him) into palliative care. He passed away after a week of further decline concluding with three days of around the clock bedside support from members of our family. A celebration of his life, funeral service, and burial were held last Thursday.

My husband, Dave, is retiring from his work with the Government of Saskatchewan on the very day this message is published. Over Easter weekend, we marked the occasion with a family dinner and a Friends And Family coffee party – both planned by our two daughters. Dave is looking forward to the freedom of his future days; and I am happy for him.

However, since my business office is also at home and I’m accustomed to having the space all to myself, I’m just a tad apprehensive about being together all day long. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.07 – Stretching Can Be Good For What Ails You

April 5, 2017

Reflection: How excited are you and your colleagues about your career and your work? And what fuels that sense of engagement?

These are the questions I’ve been asking LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) as I prepare to speak at their upcoming provincial conference.

  • Here are some of the practices they described:
  • Paying attention to the good they are doing
  • Actively mentoring new nurses – in both the technical skills and the ins and outs of professionalism
  • Taking advantage of symposiums and upgrading events to keep up with new practices
  • Arranging to work alongside knowledgeable colleagues who are skilled at sharing what they know
  • Volunteering for assignments that stretch their skills
  • Taking on admin and leadership tasks to test their abilities in new areas
  • Thinking beyond the status quo and proposing changes that would improve service to patients and clients
  • Saying yes to opportunities to serve the professional association

(more…)

PAUSE – 17.06 – Is Busy The New Rich And Famous?

March 22, 2017

Reflection: What do you think? Is a crazy busy life with no time to spare the new status symbol in North America?

Sadly enough, that just may be the case! Several recent pieces of research found that we now admire and hold in higher esteem those who present themselves as overloaded and run off their feet.

In one experiment, participants read letters from a fictional friend. In Letter A he complained about being crazy busy with no time to relax and watch TV. In Letter B he described himself as relaxed, spending time watching sports on TV. Readers ranked the busy friend twice as high on a scale of wealth and social status as they ranked the more leisurely friend. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.05 – It’s Never Too Late To Appreciate

March 8, 2017

Reflection:  Last Friday, March 3rd, was Employee Appreciation Day. Did you note it? Did you mark it? Or, did you miss it?

If you marked it, good for you! If you missed it, worry not! You now have a 51-week head start on planning a thoughtful gesture or two for next year’s Appreciation Day.

People love to be celebrated on ‘their’ special days. That’s true whether you are an employee, a volunteer, a boss, a mom, or a dad. However, cards, treats, lunches, and bouquets of flowers once a year only do so much. It’s what happens on the other 364 days of the year that determine whether people truly feel appreciated. (more…)

PAUSE – 17.04 – Focus In The Face Of Distraction

February 22, 2017

Reflection: Focus in the face of distraction! That was how a group I recently worked with described one of their most frustrating challenges.

They’re not alone in this. We live in an age of distraction. One research survey found the average time between interruptions in the modern workplace to be three minutes.

Not all of our distractions are created by others. The same survey noted that 44% of interruptions were self imposed. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. We allow our grasshopper minds and our desire for novelty to lead us from here … to there … and there … and there, too!

 

Action: So, how do you make more focused progress in the face of distractions? (more…)