Archive for the ‘TGIM Mindset’ Category

Why Doing Nothing Could be the Most Productive Thing You (don’t) Do

June 30, 2013

(Originally posted at http://www.bigcheesecoaching.com)

I used to be good at doing nothing. I mean really good. I remember years ago during summer breaks as a young adult I’d hang out on the porch (when I wasn’t working at my summer job) and just relax. No goals, no agenda….just me and some music and my wandering mind. Me and my imagination. Some of my best daydreams happened in those idyllic hours. I don’t seem to do enough of that these days. Ahhh, the art of non-doing….

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Wow. I miss those days. Not because of the time I had (well that too) but because I now realize how valuable and important downtime really is.

I’m not referring to hobbies. Those I do plenty. I’m referring to ‘simply doing nothing’. The act of hanging out where there is no agenda, no structure, no goal….nada.

Why is doing nothing so important?

Neuroscience experts say some of our best breakthroughs and thinking comes when we stop consciously thinking and completely disengage from goal-oriented activity.

Huh?

By intentionally disconnecting from deliberate, goal-focused, conscious thinking, we give our brains a chance to “clear the cache” (that’s my expression for declutter and break from mental patterns) — and instead, engage in a process called ‘integration’. This has something to do with letting the brain access disparate information stored in our memory in a natural way. The unfolding of new connections without effort often leading to insights and creativity that far surpasses that which may come from deliberate problem solving. Of course, this doesn’t mean we should stop thinking or trying to solve our creative problems – just that we should also allow some white space too and deliberately take time to disengage.

A shout-out to leaders: doing nothing is actually a leadership competency. Add that to your to-do list!

Herbert Benson, MD and William Proctor, co-authored a book called The Break-Out Principle, which talks about this concept in great detail. They say taking breaks from thinking about an issue can trigger an inner switch (that they call “the break-out principle” that increases mental function, creativity and productivity.

Hmmm, I’ll take two orders of that please!

Actually come to think of it, while I may not disengage as often as I’d like, I have had many of my moments and share of break-out principles. In fact, just this weekend I was taking a break from my book writing project and forced myself to get out for a ‘do-nothing’ walk in the ravine. Well go figure – I came back with so many new thoughts and ideas.

The problem is this boost of creativity ends up adding to more ‘doing’ for me because of all those shiny new ideas and inspired energy (gotta actualize those ideas!) instead of taking coveted rest, rest, rest. Ahh, but that is another topic.

Well, it is summer and this weekend it’s Canada Day so hopefully many of us are getting out to do lots of nothing. Two more months before the so-called ‘busy season’ (yeah, I know, it’s always the busy season). Let’s make a pact and try to do lots more of this quality nothing.

You in?

By the way, I get into more detail on this concept in my upcoming book on managing overload in times of crazy busy. Stay tuned…and if you aren’t on my mailing list, send me a note and get onboard!

To your personal and professional wellbeing!

Eileen Chadnick

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Webinar: Need a Boost in Your Career Mojo?

March 26, 2013

Do you love your work, like it – or maybe just tolerate it? Want to get a bit more mojo out of your worklife? If so, listen up! I will be presenting a webinar (complimentary and hosted by Canadian Professional Accountants Association/CPA)) on May 14 at 12:30 ET. The CPA has generously offered to make this available to the public. And if you can’t make the date you can still listen/view the recording anytime afterwards if you have registered. All you have to do is register here. Note: it will take you to the website and ask for your email (takes just a quick moment). Your email will not be shared — not even with me.

Details:

Do you see your work as a job, career or calling? There is no right or wrong answer. And your position doesn’t have anything to do with how you see and experience your work. However, the latest research shows that how you orient yourself to your work can have a direct impact on your level of job satisfaction. Understanding your own orientation to work can help you better manage your career and successfully craft the right work situation for you without necessarily changing jobs.

This webinar will shed light on powerful research about meaning and work – and will offer you strategies to help you get more meaning and satisfaction from your work-life. Be prepared for more than a few surprises of what you thought were conditions for happiness and fulfillment at work.

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Hope to ‘see’ you there! Register here!

And if you do want to join my mailing list – please note that the CPA will not be sending me emails so you would need to send me a separate note or click on the ‘join’ button on this site. Thanks!

And check out my new Big Cheese Coaching website where you can find more news (and more links to free webinars!).

To Career Mojo and a TGIMworklife!

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Webinar: Bogged Down and Overwhelmed?

February 29, 2012

UPDATE (DEC 2013):  if the topic of managing overwhelm is of interest to you – I just launched a new book called, Ease – Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy. You can get it at most online book retailers. Read here for more!

WEBINAR: Bogged Down and Overwhelmed? Tips and Strategies to Help Cope With it All. March 27th at 12:30pm (EST) — or listen to the recording anytime if you register. Cost: Free! Courtesy of CICA/CA Source Webinars.  Register here!

Email overload? Work pressure piling up? Too many requests – not enough time? Yeah, me too.

Having too much to do in work and life seems to be the new normal. The pace and volume of work-life demands is at an unprecedented level these days.  So when the CICA invited me to do another Webinar this year and asked me to suggest the topic, I thought this would be timely. Everyone I talk to these days seem to be juggling so much on their plate and dealing with frazzle, stress and overwhelm. And I have to confess – I do too!

The CICA (CA Chartered Accountants of Canada)  has been generous and opened up registration (for free) and for all. Thank you CICA!! You don’t have to be an accountant to join in. You simply have to register here. If you can’t make March 27th at 12:30 – no worries! If you register, you can listen in to recording afterwards at your own leisue.

I will be sharing oodles of tips and strategies. Some that I’ve learned from own practice having to cope with an incredibly busy work and life. As well, I’ll be drawing on great content I’ve learned in my studies in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. How to stay productive and on top if it all when each day gets busier and busier? How to maintain your optimism, resilience and Mojo? How to tame that darn Overwhelm Gremlin — and more!

Want to flourish — even when it’s crazy, busy? Sign up and join in!

Oh and by the way, if you are interested in some of the other CICA webinars I’ve done on ‘Giving Feedback’; “Addicted to Yes? Learn to say ‘No'”; “Beat the Worklife Blahs” then check out the archives here for recordings.

To a TGIM WORK+ LIFE — even when it’s too busy!

Eileen

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Wellbeing: My Word for 2012…..And You Can Have It Too.

January 9, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about wellbeing lately.  Guided by my year-end/new year reflection questions (“12 Questions To Complete The Year And Start Anew“), my attention’s really been focused on question #9: “In what ways will you take care of your ‘mojo’ – resilience, energy, inspiration and sense of wellbeing?”.  So much so that I think “Wellbeing” is my theme word for 2012 – personally and professionally.  Maybe time to update the bio? 🙂

Wellbeing. It packs a lot of punch doesn’t it? At first glance it might seem like it’s all about health (wellness) – and to a great extent it is — but it’s so much more too.  Emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing…….personal wellbeing, professional wellbeing, organizational and community wellbeing…..the list goes on and so much goes into each facet.

This word gives me a visceral hit. It feels so authentic and envelops so much that I’m passionate about both personally and professionally.  Ironically, it’s not a new concept to me. It’s been there all the time. In my work as a coach (Big Cheese Coaching) I help people navigate their work and life in a way that fosters more meaning, joy, success and fulfillment. I specialize in emotional intelligence for leaders (of all levels) and pay great attention to the skills (personal, professional) we need — in pursuit of our various work/life goals — to be our best, to be happy and to create environments and relationships that foster ‘TGIM’ (thank goodness it’s Monday) attitudes and aptitudes for all. Isn’t that all about personal, professional and organizational wellbeing? 

And concurrently for the last 9+ years, I have a professional relationship (providing communications advice and service) with an organization that is all about financial wellbeing – setting standards for financial planning.  Who can argue that one’s financial life can have an enormous impact on one’s personal wellbeing? 

And yes, the fitness side of things…with a degree in fitness from Mcgill (my first career with a continued lifelong interest) I was heavily involved in promoting fitness and wellbeing for nearly 10 years. 

So nothing has changed – yet everything has changed. Because sometimes a word, theme or phrase has the power to remind us of what is important and what we stand for.  Naming and claiming a word can illuminate what’s already there but perhaps needs to be brought more into focus. Or at least it can serve as an anchor or central theme to encompass disparate pieces that have more value when you look at the ‘whole’ vs. just the parts. 

So yes, “Wellbeing” does that for me and it’s my word for 2012. It’s in my focus for my own life and for my clients who come to me to be better leaders and/or to have more success and fulfilment in various contexts of their work and life.

Of course I realize I’m not alone in loving this word.  I’m in good company. It’s everywhere these days. The health and wellness world have a piece of it; the financial industry; and even economists are incorporating wellbeing into measures of what makes for a strong, healthy economy.  And one of my favorite sources of ideas and inspiration: the field of positive psychology. In fact, the guru of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, frames his latest book “Flourish” as a ‘visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing’ (great book and brilliant guy). And of course, wellbeing is a central theme to the EQi (emotional intelligence assessments).

I welcome the ‘crowds’ (there’s room for all) and am staking my place on “planet wellbeing”.  Care to join in?

If you are wanting to create more joy, optimism, success, energy, peace of mind (and the list goes on) in your work and life this year — professionally and personally — then I invite you to hop on board the Wellbeing train too. Not sure how to get there? I can help!  

Wellbeing.  It’s my word and now you can have it too. You’ve got my word.

Now let’s get to work — and create success and wellbeing in 2012 with a TGIM work + life!

Eileen

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Three Things I am Grateful for….

October 10, 2011

One of the greatest anti-dotes for stress is practising gratitude. Experts in positive psychology, spiritual masters, and others alike, will all concur, that giving thanks is a healthy, mojo-boosting energizer that will leave you feeling more joyful, alive and happy. The science is there but for me – I just know from my own experience it works.  So on this Canadian Thanksgiving, give it a try: Name and claim at least three things you are grateful for right now…in this moment…..on this day.

For me at this very moment, I am grateful for:

1) The most glorious day of sunshine we have today (here in Toronto). I went for a walk and drank in the stunning foliage, warm air, and overall sense of awe how beautiful this season is.

2) The ravine and beautiful park just across my home that gives me an instant burst of feeling like I’ve gotten away and into deep nature which is very soul-fueling for me.

3) My beautiful network of lovely friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, clients and community….I feel connected and loved in many parts of my life.

4) My ability to think, speak, hear, walk, write, eat, see, breath, smell, touch, feel…..I am all too aware of the ease of those tasks sometimes taken for granted — and the unquantifiable sources of joy I get just because I can do each of those things.

(NOTICE THAT I AM PAST 3 THINGS….IT’S HARD TO STOP ONCE YOU START)

5) My ever-expanding capacity to learn, grow and develop myself….and help others too in my work. In return, I get satisfaction that is hard to describe but enormously important and what makes for meaningful life for me.

6) My ability to be grateful and practice it regularly and reap is rewards. Gratitude expressed inwardly and outwardly fuels my wellbeing tank. Read more about this in my short story in  my entry in the Gratitude Book Project here.

Now your turn. Go on try it. Start with three. See how it feels. You may like it. In fact, so much, you may wanna do it everyday. Why not?

TGIM and Happy Canadian Thanksgiving on this beautiful Monday!

Eileen

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Small Rock; Big Tumble; and Bigger Questions

June 23, 2011

Who knew such a small rock can instigate such a big tumble – not to mention even bigger questions?!

The background: Very early this morning, I set out on a little run before work. It’s been a while since I felt like running because I’d been fighting a cold, feeling tired and a little off my ‘mojo’ of late. But in the last couple days I felt a return to my old self. With some deliciously-renewed energy and enthusiasm I headed out for a run. Ahhh, all was well and I was feeling great.  As I ran (super slow), I noticed the birds, gardens and my mind blissfully wandered…until I tripped, crashed and fell. Ouch.

In a nano second, I was on the ground, the world spinning, nauseous and with an aching ankle and a bloody knee.  What the  @#@# (expletive)! That was my first reaction. I looked over and saw the culprit: an iddy biddy pebble. That little, modest thing somehow got under my foot and tripped me! Such power! Stupid, bad rock! Stupid me for not seeing it! Now I’m going to miss my golf, not be able to run….yada, yada, yada….let the whine’n’worry fest begin!

I heard my little (coaching) voice inside me whisper: Is that all y’a got? Maybe there’s  another way to experience this?

Y’a think?

I had no way of going back and reversing that fall. But I did have a choice in how I’d deal with it – right then and there. So yeah, I decided to look at this tumble in a new light. Accidents happen (and thankfully this was just a small one).  Recently  I’ve been paying more attention recently to a more soulful and spiritual way of approaching my work and life. Well, no better time than now to apply that philosophy. I reminded myself that I can do better. How I look at ‘the stuff that happens’ in my work and life has much more impact on how I actually experience my life  than the actual events and circumstances.  Living and working a meaningful (tgim) life means we have to navigate these ‘tumbles’ and falls in a moment by moment way.  The tough part is remembering to do that in the moment.  But I did, kinda.

You see I’ve just started to tune into a powerful series of teleseminars put on by Jennifer Mclean. Jennifer has interviewed 24 of the world’s most renouned experts on topics related to living and working more soulfully, joyfully and authentically (yummo!).  James Redfield, Dan Millman, Wayne Dyer, Marshall Goldsmith, Sonia Choquette, Hale Dwoskin – to name just a few.  Chock full of tips, lessons, wisdom, these sessions remind me of the choices we have and lessons to be learned in our ‘moments’. I just listened to the first few this week, so fresh in my ears I looked at this tumble in a new light and with new questions.

There are lessons in everything that comes our way in life (the good, bad and ugly). As I brushed myself off from the tumble I wondered what the lesson was from this fall. I reflected on this as I hobbled home. I noticed I could walk but couldn’t run. Was the universe telling me to slow down? Maybe.  More lessons started to bubble up as the day wore on because I stayed in the question (and particularly, as I write this post – writing helps us reflect!).

Being of service to others — people can be generous and kind and it feels as good to give as it does to get.  Well, it was a quiet street but one gentleman who was tending his garden saw me lying on the ground. He came to offer help. I was okay (ish) by then but was so grateful that someone was there to offer help. I told him so. We had a nice chat as I tested out my ability to walk. Two strangers connecting and some gratitude shared. I think we both felt better for it.

There are no coincidences: I asked this gentleman his name. He said it was Patel. Hmmm. My “patella” (knee) was bleeding.  Coincidence? Perhaps? But James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) says there are no coincidences in life so if that’s true, what was the significance of this? I don’t know yet, but as I look at my knee in the next few days I will be thinking about this and I have a hunch it won’t be about the bruise, scab or swelling. I think there might be something more here at work….those lessons perhaps, still unfolding?

All we have right now is the present:  It’s good to make plans and to have goals. I’m a huge advocate of that. But if we only focus on what’s next, we miss the ‘now’.  I started off worrying about my future golf, running, mobility, etc. But I quickly shifted to focus on what I could do ‘now’: to ease the swelling of my ankle;  AND to reframe my thinking so that I can be resilient from yet another potentially ‘mojo threatening’ event, ruining my day. The result was much better. Not only did I take care of the ankle (less swelling), my mojo is just fine!

My Take Away: Today’s tumble reminded me that I have the power to choose how to be with the seemingly irritating stuff that happens. Today’s accident wasn’t about the fall at all. Today’s accident was a metaphor for all the other stuff that bugs me in life or appears to set me back  such as the work deboggles, the lack of time, the unforeseen challenges – and more.  It’s not always the big things that are going to derail us. The small stuff can – if we let it – take us away from experiencing the good in life (it was such a small rock afterall….and just a little fall).

So to echo the teachings of James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy) and others – there are no coincidences or accidents in life.

So thank you to “Patel” for his generosity and Jennifer and her panel of experts for her series. And mostly, to that little rock for pretending to get in my way and reminding me how to see the bigger picture.

To a TGIM work and life

Eileen

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The Gratitude Book Project: My Story…

January 8, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a project I am involved in called “The Gratitude Book Project.” Well, today is the day. Today is my day. On January 8th, page 10…..my 200 word Gratitude story is profiled. You can read my story here. 

Or even better: Buy the book and read 364 more stories.  

A bit of background: The book publisher, Donna Kozik,  reached out to myself and many, many others inviting us each to answer the following question: What are you grateful for? The intention was to create a book with a full year of inspirational stories that celebrate gratitude. The caveat: we only had 200 words per story. That was hard. How do I choose? I have so much to say…

Well, I chose yes. I knew I had to participate because Gratitude is one of my top strengths. It consistently shows up as #1 in my VIA Signature Strengths profile and I know that it is simply part of who I am. 

We all have the capacity to be grateful. For some of us, it comes naturally. But Gratitude can be developed and expressed by anyone.  Gratitude has been proven to be a significant factor influencing our capacity for happiness, optimism, emotional wellbeing and what I like to call personal ‘mojo’….that sense of being alive and well.  

But sometimes, particularly on those ‘not-so-good’ days, we have to remind ourselves to practice Gratitude.  It doesn’t always just come. We have to intentionally exercise our “Gratitude Muscle”. And often, all it takes is simply asking yourself a Gratitude Question:

Try it out – ask yourself: What are you grateful for? Stay in that question and ask it regularly. Everyday. 

Another Gratitude Question is this:  What are 3 good things that happened today? This is also a powerful way to focus on the things that you can be grateful for. It doesn’t mean the other stuff goes away – but it draws your attention to what’s right and good and that can make a huge difference.

How about 365 Days of Gratitude Inspiration? If you’d like a bit of inspiration along the way, pick up a copy of The Gratitude Book Project.

You can read about the solider who skipped his nightly run — and saved his life; The great vision and personal insights gained despite being blind; The everyday front porch where everlasting love was found.  And my little story on page 10: grateful for being grateful! 

On December 15th (the first day of its release), The Gratitude Book Project made it to Best Seller Status in the category of Success on Amazon. Accordingly, the publisher told me and my co-authors that we can call ourselves ‘best-selling authors’ (imagine, for only 200 words!).

Thank you for being part of my community!

Gratefully yours,

Eileen

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If You Attended the IFCA Conference…

October 18, 2010

On Monday, I presented the opening keynote presentation at the IFCA Conference A group of about a 100 communications professionals who work in the financial and insurance industry in North America gathered in Montreal for their annual conference. The topic of my presentation was “TGIM Work-Life” (sound familiar?).  It was a great group and I had a superb time exchanging ideas about ‘what it is to love your work’ and strategies for a TGIM work-life!

I promised I’d put together a package of past posts that reflect further on the ideas I presented. 

Here they are – enjoy! (and no worries if you were not at the conference, they are relevant for anyone interested in creating more success and fulfillment at work and life).

BY THE WAY…I also just discovered a cool new feature available now on this blog (thanks to WordPress!). If you send a comment on any of my posts, you will have the option of subscribing to this blog and receiving all future posts by email. Cool, eh? 🙂

The Perils of TGIF  

Tips to Make the Bigness of Monday Just a Little Lighter

 The Lizard Who Wouldn’t Eat (strengths)

Thank Gd it’s Monday

 Happiness is Contagious

 Bring Thanks to a Thankless Culture

 Ramp up the People Part of Your Leadership

 Finding Flow: Intense Work but Without the Struggle

Coaches Don’t Always Demand More Push-Ups (About Tribute Communities)

Are Smart Goals Dumb?

 To a TGIMworklife every day of the week!

Eileen

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TGIM worklife – especially this Monday!

October 16, 2010

Looking forward to Monday morning! Giving a keynote on TGIMworklife at IFCA’s annual conference.  See www.ifcaonline.com for more.

Will send a note on Monday with an update and a package of posts that reflect some of the themes in my presentation.

Back soon!

Eileen

To a TGIM Worklife….

It’s Thanksgiving – What are you Grateful for?

October 11, 2010

My TGIM mojo is at an all-time high this particular Monday Morning: it is, afterall, Thanksgiving (in Canada) today.

The Bridge in my Ravine - by Eileen Chadnick

I woke early. Refreshed. And as I sipped my coffee I thought about all that I am grateful for: The list is long. I’ll just offer a few tidbits in the spirit of sharing….

I am grateful for my family and my friends who add a richness to my life that I can not put into words.  I am grateful for the work that I get to do each day that gives me purpose and helps me grow and evolve. I am grateful for my abilities, my health, and my capacity to actualize more of my potential each day.  I am grateful for the people in my work-life who help me do what I do each day and make my work-life meaningful. I am grateful for my clients who trust me and partner with me to create great work. I am grateful for my associates who help with all the wonderful yet heavy lifting of a day’s work. I am particularly grateful for my my tech support professional who gets me out of jams when my computer misbehaves — even on a Saturday before a huge week ahead.  I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had this year to work and live my TGIM work-life AND for all the opportunities in my path ahead (some known and others not yet revealed….but I know and trust good things will come) .

And I am grateful for living in a country, a community and a neighborhood where I can feel safe (relative), free and happy.  Of note, the picture above was taken in a ravine that runs just across the road from my home. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have this gift of nature and beauty at my doorstep.

And I am grateful to YOU….the readers and friends who stop by from time to time and read these posts. Having a forum to self express and share with others is very gratifying.  Oh – and I am so very grateful to the WordPress folks who offer this fabulous platform to create this blog.

Thank you to all.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving Monday? No matter, if you are not in Canada. Thanksgiving is really a year-long notion. I like that we have a particular day to flex our gratitude muscle but it’s something that can (and should) be done regularly.

How will you use this Thanksgiving Day to jumpstart your gratefulness habit?

To a TGIM work AND life!

Eileen

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