My One Thing: Creating Alignment in Our Lives

How You Can Create Alignment Between Your Personal and Professional Lives, and Create a Life Part 1

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In November of 2019, I went to a Nationwide Conference for practitioners of non credit education. There was a lot of valuable information at this conference, and a few book recommendations. I read often, so taking on more reading, with an already long list, is not something I do often, yet the book, The One Thing, caught my attention.

The book caught my attention, as everyone, professionally, yes, and even personally, have lots of things they want to accomplish. And, sometimes, when we have too many goals, we are unable to concentrate and move anything forward.

The basic premise of the book is to focus on that one thing that will move you forward, either personally or professionally, and let go of the rest. Yes, yes, easier said than done.

However, it got me thinking about a new series, where the goal will be to convey the one thing I’m focused on that day, week, month, quarter, or even year. And, then?

Well, most importantly, what I’m learning. Where have the obstacles been, and how did I get around them, or how did I let go as needed.

I think it will be fun, and if you find it interesting and educational, I’ll keep it going. What’s first? Good question.

One that is part of my work of the year. I would even go so far as to say it is my one thing this coming year. What’s that?

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Creating Alignment

Alright, so I’ve now been in my current work position for 3.5 years, and, in that time, there has been much change. Some created internally, and some, as we’ve all experienced, created externally.

However, the change is created, the important takeaway?

Change always comes. It is part of life. An unavoidable part, as much as some people would like to remove themselves from change as often as possible. And?

I understand. Change is difficult. Yet, there is a paradox here. What’s that? Change is also beautiful. Truth.

In addition to being in my current role at the community college for 3.5 years, I also developed myself during that time, both personally, and, yes, professionally. And, the more I develop, the more I see alignment between all aspects of my life. All of them.

And, that, quite frankly is just simple fun. Many people, as I once did, create a distinction between their personal and professional lives. These distinctions, however, can leave people feeling frayed and stressed when Monday, or the first day of their work week, rolls around. This does not need to be the case.

Photo by Tamara Gore on Unsplash

However, it takes time to get to a place where you can see alignment in all that you do. I’ve been working on it for 3.5 years; and, I’m closer, yet still have work to do. And, that’s okay, for it’s in the work we do in life, whether personal or professional, where the experience of life lives. And, that’s being alive.

Now, what tools have I used to create alignment between both my personal and professional lives. Good questions. Let’s take a look.

  • Vision – as I’ve written about before, having a vision, or declaring a purpose for your life, both personally and professionally is a key ingredient in creating alignment between your work life and your home life. Here are a few that I’ve used over the years.
    • To increase access to higher education for everyone.
    • To increase access to higher education for everyone by making leadership development, creativity, inspiration, and personal transformation available to every business, employee, and community member.
    • I live to create new access points to education and knowledge, and part of those access points is dissemination in print and in collaborative contexts, such as leadership and coaching individuals, teams, and organizations.
    • Develop, Inspire, and Transform.

Alright, that should do. As we can see there are definite similarities and dissimilarities between these visions. Still a work in progress. Yet, the fun part about creating a vision, or purpose, or mission statement, is seeing your vision iterate over time. Super fun, innovative, and expansive.

  • Goal-setting – as I’ve written about before, having tangible goals that live inside of our visions is of utmost importance. If you don’t have goals, you will not create movement on your vision. Here are some of the goals I’ve created for both my personal and professional self.
    • Pull community members and business leaders to us by providing them the why.
    • Create new relationships with community members and business leaders.
    • Priorities that are tied to the vision and mission.
    • Continue to improve and document all processes.
    • Publish a novel.
    • Increase my fluency in Spanish.
    • Travel to Spain.

Now, we can see how there is alignment, and, maybe, non-alignment between the goals and the visions. For the purposes of our discussion that matters less, than that there are goals declared. For it is in the declaring of goals, and setting our intention, that there will be movement in an area, that movement then becomes possible.

Funnily enough, sometimes you can set a goal, and totally forget about it, and you will still see movement in that area of your life if you pay attention. Why? Because you’ve set your intention that something be so, that you want to create movement in an area of your life. Intention is powerful.

Photo by Keytion on Unsplash

Alright, that’s all for this installment of the One Thing on creating alignment. In the next entry in the One Thing, Creating Alignment, we will look at how to take out goals, and create clear, and sometimes not so clear, objectives and priorities. Why is this important?

You can think about creating alignment, starting with a vision, as part of a larger process, which is like starting at the top of a funnel, and working your way down to the actions you take every day.

Because creating alignment is a part of my work of the year, it will take a couple entries to complete. However, as I’ve mentioned, this series will be an exploration of my One Thing, sometimes, of the day, week, month, quarter, and, yes, year, which is where we are starting.

I’m already thinking about a One Thing entry on baking. Hm. How fun would that be?

Remember, creating a One Thing simply means developing the ability to focus and create action around a vision or purpose we’ve intentionally created for ourselves. And, that vision might be for the day, the week, the month, quarter, or year.

It’s a paradox. In one way we can say it’s less about the timeframe and more about the focus you create on that which you want to manifest for yourself.

And, on the other, we can say, timing matters, as the more alignment we create between our personal and professional lives over time, the less of a distinction between these two realms there is; which I can say from personal experience is pretty powerful.

#creating-alignment, #creatinggoals, #creatingvision, #goal-setting, #huamndevelopment, #intention, #leadership, #personaldevelopment, #professionaldevelopment, #selfdevelopment, #selfimprovement, #theonething, #thepowerofintention

Haiku #1

Slowly, the rain falls,
we rejoice in the moment.
And then it is gone.

Photo Credit

#haiku, #life, #love, #nature, #rain, #sun

Wind

Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

You
touch me so,
even when I’d
rather stay in tow,

and resist
Your earthly gaze.

For it is You out there
in the haze,

preparing the way,
for us to see
again.

Even

when we are unsure
about the road
to take, You
clear
a

path,

and a friend
we make.

It’s
Your honesty, and
transparency
that will leave

a legacy,

of times
when hope
was squandered

and people
often foundered
for an idea to hold
onto.

Yet,

You stay, and
present
what is, at times,
considered second best.

However,
in those moments,
we are merely confused.

And, yes, my friend,
it is,
a part of the
human condition.

To try and
understand,
what, at times,

is, and, may remain
a mysterious
transition,

which
we may leave
to Your guidance.

And,

the history
of a legacy,
which we can

clearly feel, and
face
as You nestle
us in Your tender

embrace.

#poetry, #humanity, #humanness, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #wind

Train

Image credit; Rodrigo Curi @ Unsplash

Together we stand on the
Tracks again, without noticing the
Time it takes
To meander into
The rainfall of uncertainty, and, yes also possibilities
That

Run together, just like the tracks up ahead
Rife with news, and details of a new life,
Radiating on the lines, you can almost feel them humming with
Robust anticipation,

And, a sense of mystery
Anew, and
Altogether renewed, my friend, was it
Always so clear, or is it merely because we
Are beside each other again?

Inside I wonder, while outside there
Is thunder, on the horizon of my mind, and
I think about the possibilities, and get excited
Intuitively knowing they outweigh the

Nebulous uncertainty, which comes
Now and then, however
Never fear, for we are together at last, on a line with
No past, only a bright future up ahead, as we hold hands, and
Notice the feelings we share, which are, and always will be our common thread.

In response to the WDYS #63 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.

#poetry, #holdinghands, #intuition, #linesoflife, #poem, #poems, #togtether, #tracks, #train, #wdys63

Simple

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Scintillating, as the
Sun rise, and the
Sparkle on a
Sea crested wave of bliss

Is keeping things
In perspective, a key
Inside all things, my friend, as is the
Inner-knowing, of the

Moonrise in the early dawn of
Morning, as the shadows play hide and seek
Magnificently with our genuine desire for
More games to begin, and yet

Playing games, and becoming
Perplexed, only causes more confusion, so
Please consider the simplest form of
Purchase between the two delivered to you, and

Love each for their unique gifts, as you
Languish in the sea salted air, and
Learn to tell the difference, a
Legendary affair of marked resistance and acceptance, is

Ever
Evolving, and
Energizing, our
Earthly
Existence

#poetry, #life, #love, #poem, #poems, #simple

A Blogger’s Diary 1/3/21: On Writing, 2 New Series, and Reflecting

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Alright, as we embark on a new year, it only seems fitting to, yes, take a look at last week’s writing real quick, and then? Well, we’ll take a look at two new series I am working on for this new year; one launched, and one in production. And, then a small reflection on this past year, and my hopes for 2021. Let’s get started, shall we? Good. Here we go.

Writing

Though I did work a little last week, I was on official holiday, as it is the only time each year that the college closes. Meaning, I had more time to write. A few more posts were published, and I did some writing for future weeks, which was really nice. Here then, is what was published last week.

Nice. Funnily enough, one of my favorite posts this week was the baking post. Different, and fun. Next week? Yep.

I’ve got two posts scheduled already, one for Friday morning, and one for Saturday morning. The former is the second installment, though it is written as the first, in the My One Thing series, which I’ll write more about in a minute, and then the latter is the second-half of the second installment in the Leadership series.

I also have several poems written, and am also working on scheduling those in advance. Though, again, with poetry, I like the space to create on the fly, as insights occur. I’ll be managing that balance as we move forward this year.

Alright, new series time.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

New Series

I describe the insight behind the My One Thing series in the upcoming installment. Yet, real quick, will write that I am excited about a series that will cover, and capture, a moment in time, and expand out to, well, life, I suppose. The main idea behind the series is to focus and write about My One Thing of the moment, or evening, morning, afternoon, day, week, month, quarter, year, or longer.

You can see an example of this new series in the baking post above. And, the second?

I’ve been looking into and researching haikus, and I have to say they are quite beautiful. I’ve read many from your amazing blogs, and am currently reflecting upon creating a haiku series.

Though I love the stream of consciousness involved in poetry, there is also something quite magical about a 5, 7, 5 syllable sound pattern that is exquisite in its creation and manifestation. I am going to create a few haikus over the next week, and then, we will see.

Alright, how about a quick reflection.

Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Reflection

As I look back at last year, I see a lot of pain, anger, frustration, worry, sadness, grief, and, well, many other emotions and actions, which I definitely felt and worked through this year, and I know were present for people around the world.

We were taken on a world upending, in many ways, tour de force of the power of nature. And, though the aforementioned emotions and actions were a reality, I did also see other emotions and actions in play this past year. Such as?

Acts of kindness, generosity, love, compassion, empathy, reciprocity, and many more. Yes, it was a tough year, yet even in that toughness there was also beauty.

Which leads me into my hopes to see more kindness, generosity, love, compassion, empathy, and reciprocity this coming year. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a lot of work to do in this country from many perspectives, equity and justice being one of them.

I look forward to progress this year on the continual dismantling of the, still in place, systems and structures of oppression in this country; and, I have hope that the vaccine will, at the very least, prepare a runway for us all to be back together again at some point this year.

Until then?

Continue to take the actions we can to create the world we all want to see and live in. It doesn’t matter how small or large the actions are. It’s not about that. It’s about taking that one step, that one action.

And, on that note, I’ll leave you this week with a quote that speaks to that point.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” -Dalai Lama

AZ Quotes

Have a lovely upcoming week everyone.

#2020, #2021, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #newseries, #pandemic, #reflection, #socialjustice, #takingaction, #writing

A Developmental Moment #3: Creating Vulnerability, Movement, and Traction

3 Reasons Why Vulnerability is A Key Ingredient to Creating Movement and Traction for Ourselves and the World

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I’ve written about vulnerability often this past year. Why? Well, I do believe that vulnerability is one of the most important gateways to our own development. Pretty simple really.

Vulnerability conceptually is simple, as most things conceptually are. However, practicing vulnerability, well, that’s a whole different experience.

We can talk about concepts often and at length, however, when we put those concepts, like vulnerability, into practice in our lives, they can often feel very uncomfortable. And, vulnerability is no exception.

Yet, it is so important for each of us to find new ways, which are safe, to put vulnerability into practice in our lives. Safe? Meaning, where we are with people we trust and can rely upon. Important, as when we are vulnerable, we are bearing a side of ourselves that is, for lack of a better way to explain it, raw.

Raw, meaning, that these sides of ourselves have not been exposed to, what can sometimes be harsh conditions in the world, so we must take care when we practice our vulnerability.

Now, when we find those spaces and places where we can be the vulnerable-selves we know ourselves to be, so that we can grow and learn, there are many things we will get back from our environments, and ourselves, which makes practicing vulnerability quite the exquisite experience. What, prey are those things?

Right. Well, in this article we will explore three of them. Three reasons, as I think about it, why it is important for us to practice vulnerability regularly, so that we may grow into the next iteration of ourselves.

Ready? Good. Here we go.

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1. Learn

Wow, how important is learning? Pretty important, right? Yep, I agree. Well, to learn more about the world, and the people in it, we must first, learn about ourselves. And, being actively vulnerable is key. Why?

Because we get to learn about aspects of ourselves that were previously unavailable. For instance, if you are nervous about public speaking, as I once was, and you always resist public speaking, well, you will never learn about the experience of public speaking. And?

That’s perfectly okay. However, if you are interested in tapping into a reservoir of untapped potential, then being vulnerable in the area of public speaking will be a gateway to your learning more about yourself as a public speaker.

The only way to become a public speaker is to do public speaking. You can read every book that was ever written on the topic, and still never become a public speaker. Whereas book knowledge is helpful, it is in the vulnerable practice of public speaking, for example, where we create the possibility of becoming a public speaker.

Photo by Product School on Unsplash

2. Know

Now, as we practice vulnerability, and venture into environments that we previously resisted, we learn more about the experience of, staying with the previous example, being a public speaker. And?

Then, we get the experience of knowing what it is like to be a public speaker. Again, the only way to know what it’s like to be a public speaker is to become one. Meaning, to take one step, or one action, toward the realization of your goal to become a public speaker.

And, guess what? You get to control how big those steps are. When we actively participate in being vulnerable, we set the pace. It’s iterative. It takes time.

There was a time when I was terrified of public speaking. And, I mean terrified. Then when I was about 28, I wanted to become a leader in the company I was working for at the time. Well, there is lots of public speaking in leadership. Lots of it. And? I took one small step at a time. One step, led to the next, and so on.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

3. Grow

And, the steps I just wrote about? That is growth. That’s what it looks like. You set a goal outside of your comfort zone, knowing you will have to be vulnerable to get there, and you take a step each day, or every other day, or once a week, or month.

Again, you control the pace.

Growth is an experience. It happens in the world by taking actions that we’ve not taken before. And, to take actions we’ve not taken before, especially when we are fearful or anxious, requires courage, yes, and it requires vulnerability.

Courage and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. In fact, there is a super cool quote I’ve drawn upon a few times from Brené Brown that speaks to this truth. Here it is.

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” -Brené Brown

Book Riot

Powerful. And, it’s been my experience that vulnerability and courage are linked. In fact, I believe they are one and the same. You cannot be courageous without being vulnerable, and you cannot be vulnerable without being courageous. They are one.

Photo by Dimon Blr on Unsplash

Movement and Traction

Now, as you learn more about yourself, and begin to tap into your vulnerable areas, you also begin to know more and grow more. These three, learning, knowing, and growing are also linked. And, the concept that lies behind them? Yep. It is an experience.

When we are in action, and experiencing life, living our life in vulnerable ways, we are creating movement. Movement for ourselves, yes, and for those around us. Meaning, when we move our own development forward, we move the development forward of the people around us.

It’s the way it works.

And, when we continue this pattern? Well, traction will inevitably follow. Meaning, that as we continue to grow, and those around us grow, we create contexts never seen before. Seriously. It’s not possible that they’ve been seen, because you are doing things you’ve never done before. Beautiful.

It’s inside of this movement and traction, and these new contexts, where the possibility to change the world lives. And, I mean this literally. The world is always moved forward from contexts that contain both courage and vulnerability.

And, remember you do have the power to change the world. We all do. What does it take?

Learning more, knowing more, and growing more in contexts that were previously unavailable to us. And, creating these contexts takes courage, yes, and vulnerability. So?

Be courageous, embrace your vulnerability, and change the world for the better. One action at a time.

#courage, #grow, #growth, #know, #leadershipdevelopment, #learn, #life, #movement, #personaldewvelopment, #professionaldevelopment, #traction, #vulnerability, #vulnerabilityandcourage

Growing

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

A mythological
quandary, one
indeed,
for the ages.

As we turn
the pages, of
our shared history,
and begin
to investigate
the trouble about.

For
growing
is hard work,
has been for all time,
so, don’t be glum.

Rather, know
that
we are all confused
at times
when the pain comes.

As if
there’s a problem
with the sum
of our emotions.

Know,
our emotions
are in the right place,
just as they are.

Radiating
like waves
through a sea
of beatitudes
and, yes,
also platitudes,
as we mourn the self
we once
were.

See,
not all of us
were told that
growing is hard,
and to expect
to fail, and even
fall,
like a dancing bard.

And, now?

Let down
your guard,
be with
the moment,
and go that extra yard.

Knowing
all the while
that everything
is as it should be,
as you
are like the sun,
glowing, and
forever growing, my son.

#poetry, #emotions, #growing, #growth, #life, #love, #poem, #poems

Creating Developmental Opportunities for Ourselves and Our Teams

6 Questions All Leaders Should Be Asking Themselves Right Now

Photo by Joshua Hibbert on Unsplash

As I continue to write the, well, second-and-a-half, installment of the Leadership Series: Why Developing The Self is Always The First Step in Leadership, another idea occurred to me. What occurred to me? Good question.

In fact, the idea lives inside of the first few installments of the Leadership Series, yet overviewing it in this article makes sense to me today, so here it is.

As we develop, there are six questions to ask ourselves, which can lead inward toward more awareness about who we are as a human being. And?

Well, as I’ve written about in other articles, the more we understand our own humanity, the more we can understand all humanity. Super helpful from a leadership perspective, and, well, a whole life perspective.

Without further ado, here are those six questions

Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

1. What Do I Think?

Understanding yourself begins with getting a handle on how you think. What are your thoughts about the current reality, the state of your team, and the state of your life; a better question, maybe.

In order to lead teams effectively, we must first inquire into ourselves. When thoughts arise, it’s about letting go of the judgment we have about these thoughts, so we can understand them. When we can understand our thoughts, we are more effectively present to ourselves, and all of those around us.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

2. How Do I Feel?

Emotions come and go. They are here, and then they are gone. However, human beings have a tendency to hold onto emotions, like thoughts, and carry them around throughout the day. This need not be the case.

We can learn to effectively have emotions, feel them, understand them, talk about them even, and then let them go, which is a large part of my own internal work today. And?

Just like our thinking, when we understand our emotions, we are better equipped to understand our own emotional states, and what led us to those states, and ultimately we are better able to understand the emotional states of the people around us. Important.

Photo by Jessica Da Rosa on Unsplash

3. How Do I Speak?

Several months ago I wrote the article, 4 Reasons Why Language is Power. And, it is true that language is very powerful. Therefore it is important to understand how we are speaking and what we are saying. This may sound simple, and, for some of you, this may be the case.

However, human beings have a tendency to use language as a currency without considering the replenishment of that currency, as if it is in a never-ending supply. And, whereas we can continue to create language as we like, we should question the necessity of the language and the communication that follows.

As I’ve written about many times, communication is key, as is the importance of making sure we are clear about our communication. It is far more important to communicate clearly than it is to communicate often.

Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

4. What Do I Hear?

As we get clearer on how we think, feel, and speak, we will begin to hear things that we may not have been previously present to.

For instance, someone on your team, or close to you, may say they feel great and that all is well. Yet, you may hear things in their tone of voice that tells a different story. It first takes being clear on yourself, and then you can begin to pick up on inconsistencies in behavior, speech, and emotion. And, guess what?

It may be your own inconsistency that you pick up on first. Actually, this is very likely. And? It’s not a demerit when this happens. It’s okay.

It does mean that investigating, or inquiring, into the inconsistency between our behavior, speech, and emotion is needed. Understanding why there is ant inconsistency, to begin with. Important.

Photo by Bruno Martins on Un,splash

5. What Do I See?

One of my favorites. As I continue my own development, which includes my own personal inquiry, a life coach, and a super dynamic and inquisitive team, I see so much more. More about my own humanity, and that of the teams. It works that way.

And, when you can see more facets of the human being you are, you are in a position to effect more change. More change for yourself, for your team, and for your organization, institution, or business.

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

6. How Do I Act?

Being in action is so important. And, how we act tells us, and everyone around us, a lot about who we are as a human being. How we act will, in fact, tell people how we see, hear, speak, feel, and think. For, ultimately, it’s the actions we take that say the most about who we are as human beings.

For instance, we can create language about creating and effecting change, however, without action, the language is just language. Action is where concepts in language become reality. Simple.

And, when we are clear on our own actions, we are able to discern differences in how people talk about their work, and actually do their work. An important distinction and discovery.

Alright, that was a brief overview of 6 questions all leaders should be asking themselves right now. And, in fact, these are questions that anyone interested in personal or professional development can ask themselves.

It’s inside the questions we first ask ourselves, and the work we do on ourselves, where we develop as a person and a leader.

And, as we develop, we create the possibility of development for everyone around us.

#development, #howdoyouact, #howdoyoufeel, #howdoyouhear, #howdoyousee, #howdoyouspeak, #howdoyouthink, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #personaldevelopment, #professionaldevelopment, #self-development, #self-awareness, #sixquestionsallleadersshouldask, #teamdevelopment

Earth

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

We walk upon
Your flesh,
In so many different
Iterations,

Some dry,
Some damp, and yes,

As we tramp

From one place
To the next
We musn’t ever forget

Your Presence

Taking in new
Seeds, and giving
Birth to new deeds

Of all the fauna
And flora, and, oh,
What an aura

Of beauty,

I do see,
As I walk upon
Your shoulders

Bearing the brunt
Of all the worlds
Boulders
And holders

Of humanity

Is it enough
What we’ve done
For Thee?

Ah, alas, I
Completely agree

There is so much
More we can do, to
Ensure
Your living trust

Bears fruit
Forevermore,

Under the sycamore,

I stand, relating
This experience
As a simple man

Knowing only so much
For in God, I do trust,
And do know this,

My friend,

We must take a hand
In ensuring
That Your land

Is always able
To continue to stand

#poetry, #beauty, #life, #love, #nature, #poem, #poems