This Week Is Last Week’s “Next Week.”

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I recently had a conversation with an individual about how her life is unfolding these days. Short answer: “It’s terrible.” I asked, “Going forward, if this week were typical of next week, and the next week, and the week after that, and the next six months, the next year and five years after that, would it be OK?” She instinctively reacted: “No!” – her voice and body manifesting resentment, frustration, and muted rage. When I asked what she’s doing about her life, she sort of responded with a “Well, you play with the hand you’re dealt” attitude, being the victim, intimating that’s she too flooded by victimization consciousness to take time to stand back and gain a deeper perspective or do anything constructive about changing. 

Julia (not her real name), a successful professional woman, spouse and mother is basically unhappy – stressed out by her work, by her relationship, by her children, by the uncertainty of the economy, by the state of her physical health and her social life. Nothing seems to be “working” as she phrased it. When asked, “Why not?” she thought for a moment and said,” I don’t know; I just don’t have time to get my life together.” That’s when I asked the “Well, if this week is typical?” question.

So, what about you? How are you showing up in your life – not just life at work but life at home, life in relationship, and life at play? 

Presenteeism
Presenteeism” is a term used most often to describe a form of “disengagement-with-life”type of fog with which folks show up in life. The reality is many folks are exhibiting presenteeism in just about every aspect of their life. They are physical, emotional and mental wrecks to some degree – a larger, not smaller, degree. Many folks are not doing justice to their work, their spouse, their children, their friends, or their own self because they’re suffering from presenteeism. 

Being the victim
Because many folks are acting as the victim, reactively and begrudgingly living with the “hand they are dealt,” and choosing not to be proactive about changing their life or lifestyle, they are experiencing stress, overwhelm, confusion and unhappiness – played out in their self-destructive life habits, e.g.,  lack of sleep, terrible diet, workaholism, sickness, disease, dis-ease, lack of exercise, estrangement from family members (even while living in  the same house), being abusive, argumentative, resistant and resentful. Moreover, they have mostly concocted “stories” to justify why they can’t move off the dime. And thus their “insanity” continues, you know, doing the same thing the same way, over and over again and expecting different results each time.

Reflect
So, maybe this is a good time to explore your relationship with presenteeism, with your own “insane” way of dealing with your life, with change and with the stories you use to justify and rationalize why you are where you are. And in that vein here are some considerations that might support your journey forward so that the “next week” and the “next week, etc. might not be carbon copies of this week or last week.

Work life:
How is your relationship with your work? Why do you do what you do? What attitudes do you bring with you to your workplace? Do these attitudes support your well-being? Do you find meaning in your work – even in the mundane (hint: it’s possible)? Are you engaged at work, passionate, challenged, unhappy or overwhelmed? Would you do this work even if you weren’t paid? What do you like about your work (place)? How do you justify doing work you don’t like? 

Family life:
What’s your relationship with your family like? Is the value of family “i.e., being the most important thing in my life” borne out by the “reality” of how you relate to your family? Is there a disconnect? Are you satisfied with your relationship to your spouse or partner, to your children? What about real connection and intimacy? Is something missing? What about your relationship with your parents, sisters or brothers? How’s that working? Is your relationship with your family “this week” exactly what you would like it to be in the weeks, months and years ahead? How do you rationalize and justify unhappy and unfulfilling relationships that you allow to continue? Do you allow your job to keep you from your family (that “most important thing in my life” value)?

Your health:
How well do you take care of yourself? And what rationalizations, stories and justifications do you use for not taking care of yourself? How do you explain neglecting your health to your spouse/partner and children? If you became disabled tomorrow, how would that affect your family and others who care about you? Are you a good role model for others in the way you deal with your health? Do you urge your spouse/partner and children to follow your health patterns? 

Social life:
Are you a friend to your friends? Or are they more the friend and you the recipient of their friendship? Do you take more than you give? Are friends important to you? How do they know? Do you subjugate friendship to a low priority, even though friendship is important? What rationalizations, stories and justifications do you use for doing so? If you have no friends, what is that about? Are your friendships consistently superficial or are they continually ripening and deepening? Do you have true and real friends at work? Are most of your friends “Internet friends?”

Your happiness: 
Are you happy? Do you experience joy in your life?And never mind the “it’s all relative” or “compared to whom/what?” retort. You know if you are; you know if you aren’t. It’s about the truth. Are you settling? Are you resigned? Are you OK with your level of happiness? Do you know how to achieve true and real happiness? What justifications, stories and rationalizations do you use to explain your level of happiness? Is your level of happiness “this week” exactly what you would like it to be in the weeks, months and years ahead? Is happiness in the foreground or background for you? Why? What brings you joy?

So, this week is last weeks “next week.” If you decided last week, or some earlier week, to make changes in your life “next week” (the euphemistic phrasing for this is “when it’s the (so-called) right time” – and we know the “right time” never comes- how has this week been? Effected any changes yet? Waiting for another “right time?” Waiting until “next week?”  Remember, when nothing changes, nothing changes. Groundhog day, Groundhog week, each wrapped in presenteeism. Is that what you’re choosing?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • If last week or this week were typical of next week, the week after, and the week after that, and every week for the next six months, every week for the next two years, would that be OK with you? If not, why not?
  • What one or two baby steps can you take this week, in this present moment, now, to move in the direction of having “next week” be truly better/different than “this week?” What has to happen, or not happen, for you to take a first step towards change?
  • What conversation(s) do you need to have in order to move forward?
  • Resistance to change is based on fear – always. What are you afraid of? Be honest and tell the truth. Who or what can help you move through your fear, your procrastination or your stuckness?
  • How did you and your family deal with change when you were growing up?

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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

“Know Thyself” And Workplace Conflict

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“Knowing thyself” is an in-depth understanding of “who I am” and “how I am”. This understanding of one’s self is the product of the formal and informal experiences of living life. But, to be clear, this understanding is not the result of simply “having” experiences. It is the result of deep, consistent and conscious reflection on one’s experiences – the lessons learned, be they the good, the bad or the ugly.

Self-awareness occurs as the result of experiencing some sort of inner or outer conflict which tugs on our sleeve and forces us to change. One of the results of such transformation is that we often change our value system which is reflected in new ways of thinking, being, having and doing.

Examples of experiences that bring us to “know thyself” include mid-life crises (which, by the way, are affecting people at earlier and earlier ages today, no longer just in middle age), health issues, relationship issues, career issues, financial issues and mental, emotional or psychological issues.

At work
In the workplace, organizational awareness is the totality of each employee’s self-awareness. Where employees are more self-aware, workplace conflict can be minimal and constructive. But in an environment where the majority of employees are non-self-aware, conflict can be insidious, toxic, all-pervasive and destructive. 

The bottom line is that the way your organization, department or team handles interpersonal conflict can either be an experience of vitality, collegiality, and camaraderie, or toxicity, demoralization, resentment, disrespect, resistance, and derailment.

In fact, the major cause of “loss processes” in organizations is not due to processes at all. More often it is caused by dysfunctional interpersonal dynamics. More and more in today’s organization, success and effectiveness are dependent on the synergies that are created when people are in alignment with one another.

When folks’ attitudes, beliefs, and values are in alignment, their behaviors are consonant and supportive of departmental, team and organizational goals.

But when one is driven by self-limiting and self-defeating personal biases, prejudices, beliefs, assumptions and “stories” – all of which are unspoken and often unconscious – discord often rules and ruins the day, ruins the meeting, ruins the processes and ruins relationships until folks agree to “out the elephants” in the room and consciously deal with the dysfunctional behaviors that underlie conflict.

“Soft skills”
When leaders, managers and supervisors have the strength and courage to understand and agree that “soft skills” are the “hard skills” of effective relationships at work (and do the work that’s required to bring people to that level of awareness), defensiveness, resistance, turf and ego issues will begin to melt. In their place, people will begin to feel, and be, freer in their behaviors and attitudes in a way that fosters greater mutual respect.

The process of knowing thyself begins when one consciously explores “how I am” and “who I am” when it comes to “the way I am,”  i.e., the way I communicate and interact, with others.

Self-mastery explores things like:

my verbal and non-verbal behaviors
my emotional behaviors – how I express my feelings and emotions
my intentions/motives underlying my behaviors – my hidden agendas, or disharmony where what I “do” is out of alignment with what I “say.”

How do I “know myself?”
“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at how I experience myself at work and how I experience my interactions with others. Self-mastery requires us to examine the disconnects that exist between what we say, think, feel and do – disconnects that lead to being out of harmony and integrity, and to being unethical and disrespectful (in thought and action) that result in counterproductive patterns of behavior, and conflict.

“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at why, for example, I need to lie, cheat, steal, bully, gossip, and be disagreeable, disrespectful, resistant, non-trusting, sabotaging, discourteous, and insensitive.

“Know thyself” requires taking a conscious look at “where I’m coming from” and whether “where I’m coming from” is supportive or limiting to the team, department and my organization.

The bottom line of knowing thyself when it comes to conflict is this: conflict is rarely the result of “technical” issues. Most often, conflict is based on some underlying fear and is an interpersonal, psycho-emotional dynamics issue.

“Task orientation” and “people orientation”
People can relate to one another on the basis of a “task orientation” or on the basis of a “relationship orientation.” Task orientation centers around functions, roles and business strategies and tactics. Relationship orientation centers around trust, (physical and psychological) safety, understanding, respect and sensitivity.

Effective conflict resolution must rest on the fulcrum of relationship orientation, on people, not processes. Organizational self-awareness occurs when the majority of employees are engaged, consciously, from the perspective of relationship orientation, i.e., “who I am” and “how I am” and not solely on “what I do”.

A self-aware person is one who examines the quality of his/her interpersonal relationships in an on-going manner. A self-aware organization is one that examines the quality of its interpersonal dynamic on a regular basis.

To be an effective leader, manager or supervisor, this on-going exploration that leads to supporting people to actively and consciously engage in their personal growth would serve us well in an effort to reduce the negative effects of workplace conflict.

Focusing on the “technical” alone won’t do it; never has, never will.

Some Questions for Self-Reflection:

  • How would I rate myself on a scale of 1(low) to 10(high) on the following: (a) my being a team player; (b) my relationships with others; (c) how much I trust others; (d) the quality of my communication efforts with others; and (e) my attitude? How so?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-aware am I of my feelings and emotions?
  • Do I believe life is a “zero-sum” game – that if others “get theirs” I won’t get “mine”? If so, why? And, if so, has this attitude brought me more pain or happiness in my life?
  • Do my relationships manifest trust, dignity and respect?
  • Am I harboring grudges from the past? If so, why?
  • Do I live my life based on the “oughts” and “shoulds” of others? If so, why?
  • Do I have counterproductive habits and patterns I am afraid to release? If, yes, why?
  • How often am I in “negative thinking” and/or” negative judgmental” mode at work? Why?
  • Who am I most jealous of and why? Does it show in my verbal and non-verbal behaviors?
  • What upsets me about other people’s behavior – and what does that say about me?

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

The Pandemic And Course Correction — Taking Your Personal Inventory

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The experience of the pandemic has inspired people of all ages to make course changes in their lives.

For many, they have emerged from the pandemic with new perspectives related to career, finances,  family and other relationships, education, etc. Many folks are recognizing their need for a course correction, requiring a profound shift in consciousness – in the way they think about themselves and how they live their lives. 

It’s About You

These folks found their experience of the pandemic as an opportunity to step back, and ask: “What am I going to do with my life?” – in relationship to “me”, my community and the planet. 

Course Correction
Course corrections are about consciously inquiring within and trusting the outcomes. Course corrections require wise decisions – decisions based on five important considerations:

1. What is most important to me?
2. What gives me the most satisfaction?
3. When do I experience my greatest rewards?
4. What gives me the most peace of mind, the most joy?
5. How can I be more creative, connect with others, serve my community, empower myself and be “free”?

Course corrections, driven by experiencing pain (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological), suffering and dissatisfaction, consider new options and risks, new ways of do-ing, be-ing, hav-ing and thinking. Course corrections call for new ways to be bold, insightful, and inventive as we rebuild our lives, from the bottom up, removing faulty structures and foundations. What’s needed is an exploration into our “shadow side,” seeking out root causes of our pain and suffering – beliefs, expectations, assumptions, and paradigms, etc.

The Dilemma Of Change

Many of our lives are driven by fantasy and illusion. If I think this way, or have this or that, or do this or that, then I’ll experience happiness, success and well-being. Many of us have sold our souls through deception, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by fantasy and illusion only to experience frustration at work, failed or failing relationships, burdening debt, physical or mental dis-ease or a lack of well-be-ing. 

Taking an inventory is an “inside job.” The “truth” of our lives comes from our heart, our inner wisdom. What seemed logical and “rational” has resulted in pain and suffering – mental, emotional, physical, psychological, financial, social and spiritual. 

The dilemma of change is this: change is an opportunity or change is a dead end. We can choose to change or we can resist change. We can change or we can be changed. Life is choices. 

 It’s Time To  Move On

A personal inventory helps one discover that what once caused them deep pain and struggle no longer has merit. Many “necessary” aspects of their lifestyle are no longer relevant, important or even interesting. How about you?

Are you discovering that old attachments (mental, emotional, physical…) no longer have any pull? Are you discovering that objects of your jealousy, envy, anger and grudges no longer have any power over you?

Are you discovering you are no longer inextricably bound to the present and the future, that you are more open to flowing and navigating the present and future with greater ease?

Are you discovering that taking risks is not as threatening as you once thought?

Are you discovering that past answers to problems and challenges no longer work today?

Are you discovering that, synchronistically, your visions and dreams are unfolding according to a Universal plan and not your plan?

We’re All On The Planet – But Why?
After birth, we tend to separate from our True, Real  and Authentic Self as we take on a personality and live in a “human” form.  We cultivate a relationship with our ego-personality and move away from our soul. The Universal lesson for life on the planet is one of learning and reconnecting to our True and Real “me.”  

The Major Obstacle To Change Is – “Me.”

Tapping into our soul-s inner qualities of courage, strength, will, discipline, steadfastness, compassion, and wisdom, we take our personal inventory while overcoming our defensiveness towards change – our fear, anger, rage, negativity, reactivity, confusion, impatience, resentment, and frustration.  

One major psycho-emotional obstacle to inventory-taking is our feeling of lack and inadequacy. Striving for perfection, needing to be an “11” on a scale of 1-10, we criticize ourselves, judge ourselves harshly for who we are and aren’t, for what we do and don’t do. We become self-demeaning to save face, to gain sympathy, to garner attention, acknowledgement, and recognition, because we feel “less than.” Still, we resist inventory-taking. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy. And he is us.”

If It’s To Be, It’s Up To Me.

The greater the separation we have with our True and Real self, the greater we engage in self-limiting, self-sabotaging and self-critical thinking, be-ing, and do-ing. This disconnect results in a misplaced focus on personality rather than on our heart and soul and keeps us from conducting an honest inventory.

The Good News

Each of us has the capacity to conduct a deep personal inventory, from “inside.” We can access our inner wisdom, our higher consciousness and in the process stop belittling ourselves. Touching in to our deeper self, we can bask in greater degrees of self-knowledge, self-love, self-care and self-respect. 

The Way In

Some tools that can support our inventory-taking are: 

Courage – Stillness, meditation, and connecting with our deep heart build our capacity to confront our “dark side” – limiting beliefs, thoughts, expectations, assumptions, “stories” and self-images. 

Honesty – Our inventory requires us to be up-front with ourselves – open, honest, clear and straight when we look ourselves in the mirror. We no longer engage in deceit – of ourselves and others.

Freedom – Unencumbered by illusions and our ego’s needs to be perfect in every way, we are free to be still and call upon our inner wisdom. Focusing on our wisdom body, our energy body and moving away from the dictates of our ego-mind, we experience the lightness and freedom of inventory-taking.

Listening – Related to accessing our inner wisdom, we have to listen to, not just “hear,” the voice within.

We have to allow our inner voice to drive, rather than negate it, fight it, deny it or disengage from it. We must learn to discriminate and be discerning about our inner voice. Silence, quiet, mindfulness and meditation can support us to contact and be comfortable with our inner voice.

What It’s Like To Talk With “Me”

Experiencing an open and honest personal inventory requires me to take time to be with “me.” 

To be comfortable conducting a personal inventory requires an open, honest and conscious discriminating between one’s neutral and negative voice. The greatest obstacle preventing an honest inventory is lying to our self. Our inner wisdom is always available to show us the truth about “how I am” and “who I am” but only if we take time to listen. When we listen to our inner voice we engage in the process of creating deeper self-awareness and self-empowerment – “outing” our ego-personality defenses – our “stories,” our self-limiting beliefs, fears, and defensiveness. 

By deeply listening, without judgment but with neutrality, self-love and curiosity, we move towards the truth – and uncover what’s underneath our ego-driven behaviors that separate us from our True and Real Self. By deeply listening we recognize what, up to now, has kept us feeling deficient and lacking and increase our capacity to discriminate between our inner voice and our “inner critical voice.” 

Our inner voice is a “truth-teller” – a voice that loves us and has our best interests in mind, accepts us just as we are, points to our authentic needs, desires preferences, reveals our inner judge and critic as “inauthentic,” grounds us, soothes us, and gives us the capacity to nurture ourselves in the face of life’s tests and trials. Our inner voice is wrapped in compassion, peace, and self-acceptance – supporting us to hear the truth. Here, we can take our personal inventory from a place of deep knowing – where “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action” are made clear. 

As we learn to listen and trust our inner voice, we become more open to guidance from within and more trusting of our True and Real Self. Here, we can conduct an open and honest self-inventory and make wise choices, in alignment with our soul’s truth, enabling us to navigate life with greater strength, courage, steadfastness, self-discipline, self-love and wisdom. 

 Some questions for self-reflection::

  • What people, places, events and circumstances do you find uplifting?  How so?
  • Who or what in your life weighs you down and keeps you from making progress? How so?
  • Who or what in your life propels you to take action? How so?
  • Do you ever feel you’ve been busier than ever but feel like you’re going nowhere? What accounts for this? How so?
  • How much of your life is engaged in “activity” (the illusion of being busy, and doing for the sake of doing) and how much is engaged in “action” (achievement and goal-oriented behavior)?
  • Are you investing your time and energy inventing your future? How so?
  • Are you waiting for the “right time” to forward the action of your life?
  • Are you scurrying around unconsciously trying to maintain a lifestyle or moving consciously to create a life?
  • Do your needs to be recognized, to be right, to be loved, to be in control, to be comfortable and to be secure force you to take inappropriate and unnecessary risks? How so?
  • Do these needs and resulting behaviors come from your ego or your soul?

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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Beyond Procrastination – Eight Questions to Ask Yourself

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Why am I constantly putting things off? Why don’t I do the things I’m “supposed” to do, but don’t really want to? Why do I always seem to be forcing myself to do things? Whether it’s chores at home, work for school, or projects at work, how do I get beyond procrastination? Most often, something is operating “underneath” the procrastination. Asking yourself these eight questions and spending some conscious time reflecting on your responses can help you uncover why you are resisting doing what needs to be done and support you to move beyond procrastination.

Questions for Self-Reflection

1.      What are the benefits of completing a task and what are the consequences of procrastinating? Another way to ask this question is by exploring these four additional questions: (1) what will happen if I do this? (2) what won’t happen if I do this? (3) what will happen if I don’t do this? and (4) what won’t happen if I don’t do this? Reflect on your responses and align with the energy and positivity of right action, doing the right thing, while visualizing successful completion.

2.      What is my self-talk like? What are the thoughts that support my resistance? Are my thoughts positive and supporting, or limiting and self-sabotaging? Moving to thoughts of joy, appreciation and gratitude can support you to experience an energy shift allowing you to take action.

3.      What is my diet like? Do you experience lows, lethargy, laziness and staleness after eating certain foods or drinking certain liquids? Begin to explore your relationship to food and drink and your energy and moods.

4.      What is my Life Force (Chi) energy like? Blocked, lacking, low? When one’s life force energy is blocked, there is usually some disequilibrium among mind, body and spirit. Movement which supports the flow of Chi energy (such as Yoga and Tai Chi) can restore balance and energy among mind, body and spirit, allowing your Chi energy to flow which supports action and activity.

5.      Am I depressed? You might want to have a physical exam and ask for a professional opinion to explore the possibility of a deeper malaise that may be affecting you.

6.      What might be a competing committing that keeps me from acting? In other words, there is something I value more than the task I am resisting. This competing commitment (even though it appears like and feels like a “positive,”  is usually fear-based. As an example (a past coaching client), a self-employed entrepreneur is resisting organizing her physical space, her office and work environment. When she inquired into her resistance, by journaling deeply into it, she discovered that when she completed the organization of her space then her next goal would be to focus on her business and she was fearful about taking next steps to grow her business. So her competing commitment was to maintain the status quo and do nothing, to resist and procrastinate. So, what might be something you are valuing more, than the task at hand? And, why?

7.      Am I “acting out” some childhood resistance, as an adult? For example (another client), if you were brought up to believe that “neatness counts” or “you must be organized,” you might (unconsciously) be rebelling against this belief (and also unconsciously be reacting to others who you see as “parental” in some way)  by not keeping an organized living or work space. It’s important to look “underneath” your resistance to inquire about existing beliefs that are driving you to procrastinate.

8.      Am I attempting to maintain some self-image? Many folks procrastinate in order to maintain a positive self-image and be “good.” In other words, by procrastinating they exonerate themselves from potential blame if something goes wrong or does not work out as they hope, or plan. In such circumstances, these folks delay taking action in the face of deadlines.

These folks are often poor self-managers and have difficulty self-regulating. The may spend an inordinate amount of time rationalizing dysfunctional behaviors as they are resisting “failure” in some way, shape or form. So, the resistance shows up as the following behaviors and attitudes: (1) Ignorance — I didn’t know I was supposed to do that; (2) Skill deficiency — “I don’t know how,”; (3) Apathy — “I really don’t want to do” or, “It really doesn’t make any difference if I put this off.” and “No one really cares of I do this or not.” or “I’m not in the mood.”; (5) Fixed habits and patterns — “I’ve always done it this way and it’s hard to change.”; and “I know I can do it at the last minute.” or, “I work better under pressure.”; (6) Inertia — “I just can’t seem to get started.”; (7) Frail memory – “I just forgot.”; (8) Physical problems – “I was sick.; and (9) Perfectionism – “I can’t get started as it won’t be perfect.”

Asking yourself these eight questions can support you to get underneath procrastination and uncover what’s really, really at the root of your inaction. By staying with, exploring and being curious about (not judgmental) your responses, and inquiring deeply into them, you can begin to raise your level of self- awareness about the nature of your resistance and then create and take action steps to move forward to both reduce and eliminate the root causes of your resistance and become a “doer” on a consistent basis.

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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Stories You Tell Yourself

What are the stories you tell to yourself to excuse, rationalize and justify why you are not where you want to be in your life?


(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Mid-Life – The Turning Point For Many

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Three products to support mental, physical and emotional well-being

Over this past year or so, I’ve been noticing, to a greater degree than usual, an interesting phenomenon related to folks with whom I used to work, and many whom I only know as friends, colleagues or acquaintances. What am I noticing? Several of these folks, in mid-life, are exploring work-life issues, for example, around family, career, health, finances, relationships, spiritual life, and personal and professional growth and development.

In addition, there is one single thread that runs through their concerns – they are seeking, or searching. Some are seeking inner peace and tranquility. Others are looking for a way to create a solid foundation and center around which their family can grow and experience a true and real sense of “family.” Still others are looking for greater rewards, achievement or recognition through their work.

What I notice in their seeking is many of these folks have decided the goals they thought were important, the dreams they held as sacrosanct, the “gold ring” they were chasing “just doesn’t do it for me any more.”

It seems these folks no longer are experiencing fun, pleasure, real peace or joy and have decided there’s a new sense of “happiness” they want to experience – a “happiness” they thought they were experiencing but alas, is no longer palatable, palpable or pleasing, having been replaced now by a sense of boredom, malaise, sadness, frustration and emptiness.

So, they find themselves at a life stage where they are searching, seeking 

What many of these folks are now discovering is their ego got in the way, early on – very early on – and now, later in life, the expensive cars, homes and toys don’t do it for them  nor do the exotic trips, the younger women, trophy wives or boy-toys, or plastic surgeries, the crash diets, the wrinkle free creams and hair coloring products, or..(fill in the blank)….the artificial means they thought would boost their own sense of self.  

Their attempts to “cover over” age through artificiality in order to impress their world have brought them to this place of seeking – somehow knowing they now need to address the “problem,” not the symptom.

Having spent countless years, dollars and energy on the “outside,” what they’re now looking for is their “inside.” 

Life dealt many a challenging hand – career issues, spousal issues, children issues, relationship issues, health issues, financial issues. These folks are often sad, depressed, unhappy, angry, full of guilt and regret, disappointed and disheartened.   

So, for them, seeking and renewal start on the inside – with an open, honest, sincere and self-responsible exploration of “Who am I, really?” and “What am I, really?”  Who am I in the world and how am I in the world from this inner place?

It’s at this point these folks, many for the first time, deeply explore their legacy –  what do I want to leave to the planet? What is it folks will say about me at my funeral? What’s my epitaph?

The good news is these folks are now conscious, willing and able to look back – and at the same time to look ahead. While many experience disappointment in reflecting on their past, they are equally willing to learn from their past – their choices and decisions that perhaps did not produce the life experiences they had hoped for. From a deeper exploration, their wisdom bubbles up. So does hope and optimism.

It’s here their inner journey, their deeper exploration serves them well – what have I learned? What lessons are there for me to see? What will support me as I go forward? What have I learned about the world of work, bosses, and the meaning of work? What have I learned about dysfunctional relationships, abusive partners and toxic friends? What have I learned about my addictions? What have I learned about me as the result of work-life choices I’ve made?

It’s at this point, they begin to realize the gift they’re receiving – the gift of being able to be conscious and honest about where they’re choosing to go – a new and different direction which, for many, will result in a life (not a lifestyle) complete with true and real dignity, harmony, inner peace and a high degree of self worth and self-esteem – many, for the first time.  

Some questions for self-reflection:  

  • How would you answer the question, “Who am I?”  What do you want out of life? 
  • Where are you in various aspects of your life and why are you there? 
  • Do you feel like a victim much of the time? 
  • Do you spend much of your time regretting past life-work choices? How so? 
  • Would you say you’re living a life or a lifestyle? Do you know the difference? 
  • Do you find yourself being overtly or covertly angry much of the time? 
  • What brings you true and real happiness and joy? How often do you experience true and real happiness and joy?  How so?
  • Did you ever experience a mid-life crisis? Are you experiencing a mid-life crisis now? 
  • Do you journal or do deep exploratory or reflective work on your life, on you life choices (If not, any reason why not?)? If so, what do you/have you seen about yourself?  
  • Do you have any idea of what your legacy might be? If not, do you care about your legacy?  What qualities do you most want in life? 
  • Why are you on the planet? 

“It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning.”
– P.D. Ospensky

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is”maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Conformity and Authenticity

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Probably one of the greatest social pressures people feel today is the pressure to conform – to be like another or others in some way, shape or form. Early on in life we learned that if we wanted the support of others, or the love, acknowledgment, or recognition, etc. of others, it was necessary to please those others. Another flavor of this dynamic is garnering the approval of others when we conform to their expectations of how they think we ought to be. 

The quid-pro-quo of conforming
The downside of conforming is that in order to gain, we lose. That is, in order to gain acceptance, approval, love and/or recognition of another, we give up something of our self. It’s a costly dynamic. Caught in this dynamic, we create two selves – the self we know and feel we really are and the self, rather the impression or false self, we present to others. Most often, over time, the image that we effort to give others (in conforming) we often take on as our real self. In the process, we lose touch with our true and real self and, consciously and unconsciously, the result is pain and suffering. Becoming split off from our true and real self, from our true and real identity, we go through life sort of teeter- tottering and feeling off-balance, without really knowing why.

Conforming is like being a shark
Living a life of conforming results in a state of unconscious confusion. In other words, when we become so outwardly focused – dependent on “it,” “her,” “him” or “them,” to feel loved, acknowledged, seen, recognized and the like – we have this incessant need to move from person to person, place to place, thing to thing, etc. to feel fulfilled – not like a shark’s need to continuously move to stay alive. The shark has its oxygen; the conformist has theirs.

Conforming, unconsciously, is what keeps us alive. Is not unlike a progressive drug – the more we use it, the greater the dose we need to get the same “high.” Without it, we don’t feel alive.

The antidote to conforming
The antidote to conforming is the inner journey – giving up the externals and investing our time and energy on what’s inside. After all, this is where true authenticity resides. This is where our true and real self resides. 

This journey does not mean we give up the faux image we’ve been presenting to others, our persona, our faults or our limitations. The inner journey supports us to accept our faults, our foibles, and “fake” self, but in the process the inner journey supports us to live from the inside out – where the “I” we discover within now drives our do-ings and be-ings.

The non-conforming
When we discover our true, real and authentic self, and live from the inside-out, we live life from a place of clarity, a crystal-clear “knowing,” that supports us to live as an independent being, no longer wanting or needing to be a conformist. From this place. we much more readily give, serve and support others for our mutual highest good. 

From this place, we lead a much more “conscious” life. We feel alive, fresh, purposeful and authentic.   

Questions for self-reflection:

  • Where in your life, do you tend to be a conformist? How so? Would others agree with you? 
  • What does conforming get you? 
  • Do you ever consider yourself to be value-less, or worthless? How so? 
  • Are there areas or aspects of your life you seem to be continually avoiding? Why? 
  • What are your earliest memories or experiences related to conforming? 
  • Did you ever talk about conforming with your parents or primary caregivers? What were those conversations like? 
  • What is one area of your life where you could stop being a conformist? Are you willing to give it a try? Why or why not?

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Reflecting on Stress and Work

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Stress, the ubiquitous element found more and more in today’s workplaces is the one insidious quality that drives folks to experience bodies that are anything but relaxed – tired, sore, hurting and weak; hearts that are anything but peaceful – angry, sad, depressed, resentful, broken and jealous; and minds that are anything but quiet – racing, on overdrive, obsessing, and caught up in constant debilitating and negative self-judgments and criticisms, all of which bring folks to the sad realization that, in fact, much of the time “I can’t think straight and I can’t think clearly” and “I feel lousy” – the mantra of many stressed folks these days at work (and at home, even at play).  

There is a direct correlation between physical, emotional and psychological well-be-ing and cognitive ability. It’s no wonder that folks can’t think straight, and feel lousy, in many of today’s workplaces (and homes, and places of play).

The kicker is that for every Google – where it’s a fun place to be and work, where management truly is committed to the health and well-being of its employees – there are thousands of companies which fail to align their corporate story, philosophy or mission/vision/values with the well-be-ing of their employees. Many of these organizations haven’t a clue, or don’t really care, that many of their employees are physical, mental and emotional wrecks – even though their well be-ing has a direct effect on performance and profitability. 

Many leaders, managers and supervisors profess to belong to the “Church of  Employee Concern” but very, very few leaders, managers and supervisors actually show up at the services.

The downside is that many, if not most, of these stressed folks are not engaged but, rather, disengaged, slowly dying on the vine of work as a result of work-related stress. What is a reality is many of these folks come to work in a state of “presenteeism” – showing up in a fog – basically unable to perform at maximum due to their emotional, mental, physical and/or psychological state of imbalance.

The sad truth is that while some companies, maybe yours, espouse wellness centers, gyms, meditation classes and the like, the reality is many workers fail to take advantage of these perks because of a subtle or outspoken workplace culture (driven from the top by leaders, managers and supervisors) that communicates: folks who spend company time to take care of their health and well be-ing are not committed to the company. The other kicker is that such perks at most companies are NOT seen as a worthwhile “investment” in folks but as an EXPENSE. What does that tell you about organizational commitment to employee health and well-be-ing? 

 However, there are two sides to this stress coin.

 There are those employees who perpetuate their own stress, their dis-ease, their imbalance and their mind-body-spirit disequilibrium. These are the folks whose stories are self-defeating and self-sabotaging, but tell these stories as if they are true: “I’m young so I can get away with 70-hour weeks,” “I have no time to exercise,” “I can’t afford to take care of my health right now,” “Taking time to work out at work on company time is selfish or self-serving,” “Not working out is OK because I devote my free time to my family” and on and on.  

The unfortunate scenario that sooner or later (and in today’s fast-paced workplace it’s happening much sooner than later) accompanies such denial of one’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well be-ing is not pretty: heart attack, mental, emotional, psychological, or physical imbalance, illness or dis-ease, life-changing accidents, divorce and/or estrangement from one’s spouse/partner and children, extra-marital affairs, addictions, and on and on.

However, at the same time, many do wake up and smell the coffee, and the flowers, when they feel the Universe tugging on their sleeve. These are the fortunate ones who realize it’s important to take time for self-reflection, and re-visit their values, motivations, needs and wants, life and work choices. These are the ones who explore deeply the meaning of work for them, their purpose in life and whether they are honestly “on purpose” in their work. 

Reflection, true reflection, requires a certain level of “superconsciousness”, higher consciousness or self-awareness. Here are four words that identify different levels of consciousness:

Unconscious – instinctual, follower

Subconscious – habitual, robotic, drone-like, reactive

Conscious – aware, intelligent, conceptual, reflective

Superconscious – intuitive, guiding, truthful, loving, universal

When we reflect from a deeper level, taking time to really “go inside” and ask ourselves if our stories are honest, sincere, authentic and true, we reflect on a superconscious level. As we go deeper and reflect on how we typically move through our day at work (and at home and play), we use our heart and body’s inner wisdom and intelligence and open up to superconsciousness. Using our superconsciousness allows us to enter into communication and harmony with the universal mind, our inner mind and wisdom body that is the secret of personal power and informs us about the “truth” of our life. 

Others, however, choose to just keep on keeping on, habitually, in a non-conscious, or reactive subconscious way, until it’s quite late in the game…and often pay a steep penalty on many levels.

So, life, even our life at work, is about choices. Positive choices have benefits; self-defeating  choices have consequences. Which are you experiencing in your everyday life at work – benefits or consequences? 

Perhaps some “superconscious” reflection is in order. If so, will you choose to take the time?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Does my company provide opportunities to take care of my health and well be-ing on company time? Do I take advantage of these opportunities? If not, why not? What’s my “story” around this? 
  • If my company does not provide such opportunities, what is their rationale for not doing so? Is there an “our employees are our most valuable asset”- type of statement in my company’s story or mission? If so, do I see any discrepancy here? How do I feel about this discrepancy? 
  • Is my health suffering on some level? Do I disengage from my health and allow myself to suffer? What story am I telling myself that allows me to sacrifice my health? Why do I choose (it is a choice) to stick to my story, even though I am suffering on some level?
  • Is my family suffering in some way due to my stress level? Is that OK? Do I have a story that allows me to remain stressed and them to continue to suffer? How do I justify my story?
  • Is my work a burden or a joy; fulfilling or an addiction? Is money or social status an addiction for me?
  • How would you rate your happiness over the last six months (1-10)? Is that rating OK? Even if it’s low, do you tell yourself a story that “justifies” or “rationalizes” your low happiness rating?
  • Is there a direct relationship between your work and your happiness? Between your family and your happiness? Are you happy at work? At home?
  • Is happiness, for you, an afterthought, a secondary-in-importance quality?
  • What one or two baby steps can you choose to take this week and next to begin to (a) reduce the degree of stress in your life and (b) move one area of your health (mental, physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual) up a notch on the 1-10 scale of wellness? Is there someone you can call on to support you with this effort?
  • Do you ever take time for deep, superconscious, self-reflection? If not, do you have a story that you tell yourself and others about why you choose not to engage in deeper self-reflection? Is your story, true, sincere, and honest?

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

What Are You Doing, And Why? 

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Three products to support mental, physical and emotional well-being

It’s All About Integrity

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – Sir John Lubbock 

 When we experience harmony and balance in our lives – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – it’s most often because there is a conscious alignment between what we think, feel, say and do. We are in integrity. Our life choices and decisions have a “felt-sense” of being true, honest and sincere. We have a “knowing” that our thinking, feeling, being, having and doing come from a place that is honest, sincere and self-responsible.

When we lack congruity between what we think, feel, say and do, we often experience a mental, emotional, spiritual and, sometimes, a physical sense (think of an upside-down isosceles triangle teetering on it’s tip, not on its flat base) of imbalance, disconnect, disorientation or dizziness. How could we not?

The ground of our being, the foundation of who we are, and how we are, is built on the degree of honesty in our expression – our thoughts, feelings, speech and actions. This foundation can begin to deteriorate when integrity – the concrete of the foundation – contains too much water, or too little sand or unwanted impurities. The result is our living life feeling confused, unsure, powerless – often feeling like a fake or phony.

“Honor your integrity and you will be repaid many times over with increased prosperity.”  – Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer 

The way we honor our integrity is to first be clear and conscious of the values that matter most – our core values – those that reside in our heart. Secondly, we are in integrity when we live these values – holding them, speaking them and being them.

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self.” – Phillip James Bailey 

 Self-Deception
When we lack alignment or congruence between what we think, feel, say or do, most often we are living a life of self-deception – hiding from our True, Real and Authentic Self. We are a fraud. We spend much of our life telling ourselves, and others, “stories.” We rationalize, justify and argue in feeble attempts to be comfortable with our deception, our excuses, our “faux” self. 

When we scan various areas of our life – career and livelihood, personal environment and organization, health and wellness, abundance and finances, play and recreation, intimacy and partnership, friends and family, and spiritual and personal growth – where are we in integrity and where are we out of integrity? Where are we forthright and honest and where are we dishonest, deceptive and cheating – our self and others? Where are we true to our word, our trustworthiness, our commitments and promises? Where are we taking a “left turn” or “cutting corners?”

Staying With The Energy of Integrity
When we are in integrity, we experience an energy, the “felt-sense” of “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action.” We experience a sense a strength, courage, steadfastness, discipline, inspiration, intuitiveness and will that arises from deep within. We are able to ward off thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, premises, “stories” and impulses that would otherwise knock us off our game. 

The way we stay in integrity is by being consciously conscious – continually, throughout our day, asking, “What am I doing right here and right now, and why?” We’re consistently looking at our motives? Am I angry, afraid, fearful, resentful, jealous, overwhelmed, sad, confused, etc? Am I feeling connected with others. Am I being selfish?

The question leads to motives. Motives come from values. So, an opportunity to explore what’s going on with me in this moment, and this moment, and this moment…and, why. This practice is a wonderful way to become more conscious of our fundamental motives and whether our motives truly serve us well and support our being in integrity. 

Integrity – The Planetary Connection
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes 

The core value of integrity is Purpose-related. Purpose points to why we’re on the planet. Many folks, if they’re being honest, will admit much of their activity lacks Purpose. When we lack Purpose, there’s no “center that holds.” Many folks can tell you what they’re doing in various life areas, but are hard-pressed to tell you why – they often lack a deeper, heart-driven intentionality or motives. Without Purpose-driven core values informing our thinking, feeling, speaking and action, we’re more than not experiencing imbalance and dis-harmony in our life – an experience that keeps us from being in integrity.

Character is most determined by integrity. Character is how we are when no one is watching. When we are out of integrity, we are dishonest and our dishonesty becomes the thread that runs through our dealing and associations – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. It’s hard for us to be trusted when we’re out of integrity.

So, when you turn off the lights tonight and tuck yourself in, are you (have you been) at peace and in integrity with yourself?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Are there choices and decisions you need to make that could take you out of integrity? How so? Do you make them anyway? Why?
  • Do you use the same definition to define integrity for yourself as you do for others? If not, why not? Do you consistently walk your talk? Would others – at work, at home and at play and in your relationship – agree with you?
  • Do your life choices and decisions support you to hold yourself in high regard?  How so?
  • Do you feel integrity is a robe you can put on and take off when convenient? How do you justify that perspective?
  • Who or what stops you from acting in integrity? How so?
  • When you’re not acting with integrity, what kind of self-talk do you engage in?  What kinds of feelings do you experience?
  • Do your needs for control, recognition and security stop you from acting with integrity?  How so?
  • Does it matter if you’re not acting with integrity? 
  • Do you ever excuse, justify or rationalize acting without integrity? If so, when and why? 
  • On an integrity scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), how would you rate yourself when it comes to the following behaviors: gossiping, bullying, viewing or downloading porn, stealing physical materials, stealing intellectual property, stealing time, telling the truth, making excuses, being direct, open and honest in your communications, respecting others, obeying rules and regulations, and being faithful? 
  • What was your experience around honesty and integrity like when you were growing up?

—————————————————–
(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

“The Microwave is Too Slow!” – a Question of Patience

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“There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.” – Franz Kafka

The other day I was speaking with a friend – a single, 50-something individual who’s a high-level executive for a Fortune 50 company. They was returning from work in the evening, carrying some packages. At the end of our conversation I said, “Enjoy your evening.” They replied, “Oh, I will. I have some delicious take-out.” Taking a step, and perhaps feeling guilty or, perhaps feeling she needed to add some context, she stopped and added, “I have some good food in the fridge but the microwave just takes too long.” Takes too long. Hmmm.

Impatience
If you Google “dealing with my impatience,” you’ll come up with about 25,500,000 hits; “feeling impatient,” 26, 200,000.  It’s a familiar topic these days. So, let’s consider some aspects of living life from a place of impatience, and patience.

If we reflect on how we live life from a place of impatience, here are some ways impatience might show up::

At work:Being short or rude with co-workers, colleagues, clients, customers and other stakeholders; cutting them off, interrupting them, and verbally and emotionally pushing them away;

Incorrectly taking in/down information; e.g., a phone number, email address, or other data-entry bit;

Making faulty choices or decisions when it comes to strategic planning, new business or new product development, hiring errors;

Jamming the copier or fax machine;

Spilling food or drink or making other messes;

Completing tasks and projects which require re-work or additional resources;

Giving up too quickly on tasks that require deeper focus and concentration, leading to less than optimal, or disappointing, results;

Cutting corners, being unethical, and not acting in integrity;

Experiencing stress, burnout, absenteeism, presenteeism, rustout and dis-ease;

Needing to control

At home:

  • Treating our spouse/partner, children, parents with disrespect as “we don’t have time for them;” “you’re being a bother (or irritant);”
  • Overcooking or undercooking meals;
  • Making accounting and banking errors;
  • Carelessly completing inside/outside work and repairs;
  • Engaging in love-making and intimate moments that are rushed, impersonal and meaning-less (for one, or both);
  • Being rude and insensitive towards retail and service personnel – in person, on line or on the phone;
  • Having fender-benders more often due to driving too fast and too close;
  • Going through the motions of an exercise routine or spiritual practice without a conscious focus and awareness;
  • Inappropriate shouting, escalating tension or unhealthy silence.

At play:

  • Being argumentative and defensive when things don’t go “my way;”
  • Experiencing repeated sports and exercise injuries or accidents;
  • Losing out on the “joy” and “fun” of sports and exercise;
  • Being hasty and inconsiderate of colleagues or teammates;
  • Cheating.

The downside of impatience is we often spend inordinate amounts of time and energy repairing, re-working and re-doing what we did when we were feeling impatient.

The bane of patience? We’re in a hurry.
We live in a culture of “hurry up.” Fast-food, drive-throughs, immediacy, getting here and getting there – almost as if any delay spells “death” – not unlike the shark that needs to keep moving to get oxygen into its lungs. The question underneath the question is, “Why am I so in a hurry to get to the next thing?” Why is it that so many folks’ define “short-term” as tonight, and “long-term” as “next Friday night?” What’s the rush?

The loss of joy
The obsessive need for people to “be somewhere else,” results in a joy-less life for many – joyless in the sense they cannot find deep(er) meaning in where they are in the moment. Joy must be “over there” and so their obsession to “finishing this to get to that”  – a perspective that creates a life akin to living in a void bereft of pleasure, joy and happiness. And in that place, devoid of happiness, pleasure and meaning, they cannot settle, breathe or be at peace. 

When we lack joy, we suffocate, and in our state of suffocation, we grasp on to anything, anyone who might be a source of oxygen – i.e., pleasure, joy and happiness. But, alas, it generally never works – we’ve become too conditioned to being impatient, resulting in a “fast food” approach to life that keeps us from being in the moment and from seeing there really is joy, meaning, and happiness where I am – right here and right now. So, we move, continuously – agitated, irritated, seeking the unattainable – until we learn to be patient and peaceful right where we are.

In a state of impatience, we race through life and in the process lose our capacity to experience true and real happiness, joy, fun, and appreciation for where we are in the moment. Impatience leads to states of frustration, anger and fear – like living in a consistent state of frenzy or overwhelm.

The antidote to impatience? You guessed it – patience.
“Infinite patience brings immediate results.” – Wayne Dyer

So, here are some tips that might support you to experience patience:

  • Be aware of your feeling of impatience. Sense where and how impatience shows up in your body. Allow your impatience. Don’t fight it. Don’t judge it. Don’t tell yourself a story about it. Just allow it to be. Continually ask, “What am I thinking?”, “What am I feeling” and “What’s going on in my body?”
  • Breathe deeply into your belly. Feel your feet on the floor and, if sitting, feel your butt in your chair. Allow the floor to support you; allow your chair to support you. Breathe deeply.
  • As you breathe deeply, send your breath to any areas of discomfort in your body. Don’t make any effort to “fix” anything or make anything happen. Just send the breath to the areas of discomfort.
  • Welcome the breath and invite it to go to those uncomfortable places. Notice your experience and as you do, and time will  begin to expand a little, then a little more, and a little more. As you watch, witness and observe your self in this experience, the discomfort, the agitation the impatience itself can begin to dissipate. Then, notice what comes in to replace the impatience. It might feel like an inner peace, or quiet, or relaxation, or softness in the once-tense areas of your body. Stay with your experience and see what arises.  As your feeling of impatience subsides, you’ll fine an opportunity to experience an inner OK-ness, right here and right now, in this moment. And in this moment, there’s no need to be “somewhere else.”  Patience has arisen.

Impatience is an ego-mind quality. The mind always needs to be “somewhere else.” Patience is a heart/soul quality. The heart/soul is just fine, right here, right now.

Patience brings focus, clarity and discernment – the capacity to be in the moment and gain clarity in terms of “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action.” That is, we are in a state of responsiveness, not reactivity.

Patience allows us to experience the moment, no matter where we are or whom we’re with without the urgency to be “somewhere else.”  In this state, we are practicing presence or mindfulness – the antidote to impatience – focused on the moment – during a meeting, speaking with a co-worker, standing in line at the supermarket, hitting a golf ball, eating a burger or peeling a carrot. Again, no need to be in the future, no need to be somewhere else.  

Even when using the microwave.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What does patience mean to you? Has patience taken on a pejorative, negative, connotation? How did you come to view patience as a vice rather than a virtue?
  • Write ten words or phrases you associate with patience. What do you see about yourself as a result of dong this exercise?
  • When you hear the phrase, “Be patient,” how do you feel?
  • Do you dislike waiting? If so, why?
  • Do you have a daily spiritual practice, e.g., walking, meditating, journaling, etc?
  • What was your experience of patience like when you were growing up?
  • Can you envision a world where patience is the virtue it once was?

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure.” – Brian Adams


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(c) 2022, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is …maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
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