Good times, Good Friends, & Getting Away From it All

August 26, 2011 by  
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So this week we’ve been out on the road and at the annual Stein Eriksen Tennis Tourney in Montana. It’s so much fun and there are so many great people there. Getting to this event every year is kind of a goal of mine. It’s not a goal like getting in shape or increasing my wealth or anything serious like that. It’s just a great time. And that, too, is important–getting out and having a good time on a regular basis.

I know we can get very wound up in our work, our big goals for our future and our family, even the little day to day things. But in addition to the serious goals and daily responsibilities, you should make it a point to get out and enjoy yourself. That is also a goal, one that is good for your health as well as your spirit. Those fun times make getting back and getting down to business much easier. If you keep running full steam ahead on all the work you have to do, you’ll burn out, or do your work poorly, or get frustrated and give up. Good times, good friends, and just getting away can do wonders for your motivation, energy level, and overall attitude.

Don’t Worry, At Least Not Right Now

August 19, 2011 by  
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I have a colleague starting up a new business. There are many unknowns and lots of reasons why she might worry and she does. But she does something odd. Instead of trying to stop the worry, she sets aside time for worrying. First thing in the morning while making coffee and eating breakfast, she worries. She writes down her worries, adds tasks to her to-do lists if the worries warrant further research or planning, and then goes on with her day.

It actually makes sense. Although worry is a major cause of stress, it’s still a necessary process. Worry provides forethought, planning, and often forces us to think creatively to solve or prepare for issues. The problem is not worry itself, it’s how excessive we let our worries get, how much time we waste worrying about the same things over and over, and how we let worry halt our progress. So really, it’s a balancing act to be a good worrier.

If you find worry getting the best of you, try setting aside time for worrying and write down your concerns to get them out of your head. Once you’ve gone over them and determined what you need to do, if anything, don’t allow those worries to take up any more of your time or brain power, at least until your next worry session. This will make worrying more productive (now doesn’t that sound strange?) and you are less likely to stress yourself out to the point of taking no action when you need to be taking some risks. This will take some ‘living in the moment’ skills but then, I do think that is the best way to live.

Choose Inspriation over Intimidation

August 12, 2011 by  
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Last week I had lunch with 3 very talented authors–Richard Paul Evans, Lynn Lehmann and Keith J. Karren* and we got to talking about why people like meeting celebrities. My theory has been that it makes one feel better about oneself, either because it gives the individual a sense of importance (and maybe some bragging rights) or, like me, they come away realizing these are just ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things.

My companions did not agree though. The dominant opinion was that most people are intimidated by celebrities and they do not come away seeing them as ordinary. So I may be wrong or maybe there are just some people that see pretty much everybody as ordinary while the rest are awed by those who have gained the limelight. But this brings up a question–are our tendencies to be intimidated or inspired intrinsic to our personality or do we choose the way we react to meeting famous people? Because if you have the chance to meet a successful celebrity, don’t you want to get something more out of it than bragging rights?

I’m sure we can choose how to look at fame and being intimidated doesn’t do us any good so I think the obvious choice is to be inspired. Most every time I have met a well-known, prosperous person I become encouraged to do more with my own life. I usually end up setting more and tougher goals for myself. I feel that, in many ways, I’m no different from them, so why can’t I be super successful too?

There is no reason why not. And there is no reason why meeting a famous person can’t be turned into an opportunity to push yourself for bigger and better things.

*Richard Paul Evans has written about 18 books and sold over 17 million copies–his latest book is “Michael Vey- The Prisoner of Cell 25”. Lynn Lehmann’s latest book is “Clear Illusion”. Keith J. Karren’s latest book is “Boomer-Resilience Through Life’s Second Half”

The Lasting Joy of Family Time

August 5, 2011 by  
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This week was a very big week at the Haroldsen household. We had 70 plus people here for a big Haroldsen/Baird reunion. It gets a little stressful preparing for these big family events but during and afterwards, the warmth, the joy and the closeness I feel to all these wonderful people in my life is just priceless.

When we get busy and have such a sharp focus on our goals and dreams, we can sometimes forget the very reason we are working so hard. Yes, personal fulfillment is usually a primary motivator, but our families and close friends are what make that personal fulfillment so gratifying. Sharing what you’ve accomplished and seeing how it improves or enhances the lives of the ones you love is what truly makes all the effort so worthwhile.

If you don’t have plans to get together with family and loved ones soon, I’d really encourage you to plan something. Take time to share what you’ve done, let them encourage and support you, and give yourself the chance to encourage and support them as well. It’s these kinds of experiences that we always remember and, looking back, give us the greatest and most lasting joy.