Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feeling Uninspired?

When I was at the Caller-Times, I took short walks around a close park when my brain was tired or full.  One day, my boss saw me walking and figured something must be wrong.  He told me I could go home for the day!
Too many commitments, tedious projects, or sometimes even the weather can lead us into an uninspired funk.
Caffeinating may help, but running on extra-full throttle can leave you even more drained than when you started.
So what’s next?  Here are some suggestions:
1)      Take a break.  Make time to walk down the hall, grab a healthy snack, work on something else, or take some PTO!
2)      Get some exercise.  Take a short walk outside.  Do some yoga.  It might throw your colleagues for a loop, but it’s good for your body and brain to get that blood pumping! 
3)      Find inspiration in others.  Few things recharge my batteries and get me excited like new ideas.  Make time for a good book.  Checkout a blog.  Go to lunch with a friend.  You’ll find yourself rejuvenated, and maybe even inspired!
4)      Say No or Ask for Help.  We can only do so much, and there are always plenty of projects to take on.  If there’s too much on your plate, admit it.  Ask for help or consider passing on low-priority projects.
If we aren’t inspired, work is a chore.  Clear your head.  Increase your sanity.  Gain new perspective.

How do you stay inspired at work?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

I love to learn from the lives of others.  It’s inspiring and gives hope that we too might achieve great things.

I recently read a biography about an inspiring man who was no stranger to dreaming big and achieving the impossible.  How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life by Pat Williams and Jim Denney reinforces important life qualities Walt Disney maintained: honesty, enthusiasm, confidence, courage, and persistence.

Before Disney had an empire, he was often bankrupt, unable to finance projects, and literally eating cold beans from cans.  His first successful character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was taken, leaving his small studio to start again, from scratch.  When his cartoons and films became successful, Disney began plans for Disneyland.  His critics nicknamed the venture, “Disney’s Folly.”

I don’t need to tell you that Disney continued to dream BIG and achieve BIG anyway.

I found myself in tears reading about the death of Walt Disney.  After coming to “know” him, I literally felt the heavy loss of his optimism, tenacity, and creativity, which moved mountains and inspired so many.

Disney’s life and legacy left me wondering what else we could accomplish if we truly believed in ourselves and our dreams, instead of focusing on why they are too unrealistic.  What if we truly empowered those around us, instead of providing more reasons “why not”? 

Walt Disney’s life and achievements give us the answer.  Not even the sky is a limit!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Lesson from Mayor Joe and CCU40

Today’s change management blog was ready, but my friend Sally’s suggestion affirmed a last minute idea and inspired a related, but alternate approach.

Today was Corpus Christi Under 40’s (CCU40) annual breakfast with Mayor Joe Adame. 

(CCU40 recognizes high achieving young professionals and volunteers in our community. Check out and mark your calendar to submit an application next year!)

The ceremony was great.  Speeches were short, but Mayor Joe’s words resonated with many.  He spoke of the importance of mentoring our young professionals and empowering them to become our next generation of leaders.

I say this topic is related to change management, because it is not uncommon to find organizations where established professionals protect their knowledge, fearing that young people could be better or eventually replace them.  This fear of change inhibits possibilities for the future and is a losing strategy.

Mayor Adame and supporters of CCU40 see that our young people are already accomplishing so much.  They should be recognized, but also, developed further.

We need to mentor young professionals so our community improves, life goals are realized, and everyone’s quality of life is better.  But think about your family, place of work, and the organizations you care about.  Are mentoring and development actually happening?  Both are critical to ensuring continued progress and improvement.

Congratulations  2011 CCU40 recipients, and Person of the Year Vijay Bindingnavele!  And thank you to the mentors and role models who helped them accomplish such great things.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Clear the Clutter

2011 was a whirl wind.

As I settle into my new marriage and work towards establishing my new business, I am continually distracted by moving boxes, paperwork, and “stuff,” which has accumulated on every flat surface.  The more progress I make, the bigger the trail I seem to leave behind.

Unable to stand it any longer, I began my dig through piles, identifying things to save, shred, or recycle.

Some items are harder to part with than others. 

It was fun to see my cute puppy and kitten checks from 6th grade, but are they really necessary now that I’ve upgraded to the ever-so sophisticated Peanuts ones?  And the first check I wrote?  It was for $5 to the Wildlife Fact Fund.  It seems I was green, long before knowing what that was!

Although not yet done, parts of my desk (and my husband’s too!) that haven’t seen light in a very long while are visible again.

I am thankful for the opportunity to sort through stuff and moments of the past.  Now that unnecessary things are gone and treasured memories and tokens are tucked away, I can create a new vision and accomplish new things, undistracted by stuff that no longer matters.

Cleaning out gives us the opportunity to reflect on good times, make peace with things that didn’t work out, and renew the excitement for ideas and goals yet to be achieved.

What personal or professional clutter can you leave behind with the old year?