Here’s to a Positive 2013!

Dear Friends,

Sometimes, staying focused on the positive is no easy task. We really have to draw from deep within our well of resources to call forth the good things.  As we embark upon a New Year, here’s a simple concept that I recently stumbled upon to help you track and appreciate the positive aspects of life (keeping a “good things” journal will work as well).

Good Things Jar

Best wishes for a warm, safe and glorious 2013!

Until Next Time,

Mary

The Value of Time

Dear Friends,

As we come to the end of another year, I’m reminded of the value of time.  It’s often underappreciated, treated as a commodity and taken for granted. In fact, time is something we rarely consider… until we find ourselves in need of more. Yet, we’re only given 24 hours each day.  We can’t draw on tomorrow, because tomorrow is not promised, and no one can live those 86,400 seconds for us.

As you embark upon another year and consider new ways of thinking, doing and being, I’d like to share parts of an article that I recently read.  I’m uncertain of its origin, but it nicely sums up my perspective.  There’s no need for elaboration, as the piece speaks for itself.

A New Beginning

Imagine a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening, the bank deletes any balance that you failed to use during the day.

Each of us has such a bank, and its name is TIME. Each morning, it credits us 86,400 seconds. Each night, it writes off as lost whatever we have failed to invest in a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day, it opens a new account for us. Each night, it burns the remains of the day. When we fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is ours. There is no drawing against tomorrow, so we must make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask the person who has avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who has won a silver medal at the Olympics.

By losing time, we lose everything.  Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, so let’s be grateful for the PRESENT.  Best wishes to you and yours for a warm, safe and glorious 2013!

Until Next Time,

Mary

Eliminating Energy Drains

Dear Friends,

What’s draining you and causing dis-ease in your life? High-pressure jobs, relationships and stressful environments can weaken our mind, body and spirit. If you’re tolerating energy drains, there’s no better time than now to take action to reverse the ill-effects of these drains on your peace of mind, performance and productivity.

Energy is defined as an expression of vitality and a healthy capacity for action and accomplishment. It is a critical aspect of individual and organizational success, because it supplies us the power to enact change by transforming darkness, creating motion and stimulating growth. When you’re energy-efficient, you have the ability to do more with less power and can positively impact your organization through: (1) increased creativity; (2) enhanced performance and productivity; and (3) a healthier workplace environment.

Energy drains are those thoughts, habits, relationships, activities and events that suck the vitality out of us, often without our conscious awareness. Energy drains have no positive benefits in terms of moving our lives forward. Instead, they weaken our effectiveness by promoting stress, worry and feelings of powerlessness.

ENERGY DRAINS

Draining Thoughts – Draining thoughts increase internal pain and suffering. When we harbor negative thoughts, believe we have no choices in life, replay mental tapes of the past, fret about the future, or tolerate unresolved conflict, we feed the energy vampire.

The Law of Cause and Effect says that we are the sum of our thoughts, which means our dominant thoughts are manifested in our lives. Releasing false beliefs, assumptions and ideas makes room for more productive thoughts by freeing us to channel our mental energy towards matters that actually deserve our attention.

Draining Relationships – We all know people who: (1) love to lay their problems and complaints at our feet; (2) enjoy highlighting the negative attributes of every person, idea or situation; (3) make promises they never keep; or (4) disrespect us in myriad ways. These people weigh us down and create conflict and chaos that draw us into a continuous cycle of negativity. Every person does not deserve a front-row seat in your life. Therefore, you can either release the relationship, or minimize contact with that individual.

Draining Habits – Each of us engages in counterproductive habits that limit our effectiveness and success: the need to be in control; perfectionism; overindulgence in food, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, spending, or sleeping; negative self-talk; gossip; procrastination; complaining; unfinished business; or the inability to say ‘no.’ Breaking bad habits can be difficult, but changing them can create whole-life transformation.

Draining Activities – Seemingly innocuous activities such as e-mail, meetings, television, Internet surfing, electronic games, talking on the phone, and non-productive projects can consume a lot of time and energy. Consider the fruitless activities in your life and identify ways to minimize the time spent on them to make room for more important matters.

PLUGGING ENERGY DRAINS

Increased awareness of your energy drains can be both enlightening and liberating. When you eliminate from your life the people and things that are draining your energy, you can embrace new ways of being human. Here’s how to identify and plug your energy drains:

1. Keep a written log of your interactions and activities every day over a two-week period.

2. Review your log and make a list of energy drains.

3. Write down what each energy drain is costing you psychologically, emotionally and physically.

4. Ask yourself, “If I eliminate these energy drains, how will my life change for the better?”  Also, ask yourself, “Am I really committed to taking action on this issue?” If the answer is yes, proceed to #5. If the answer is no, acknowledge that you’re enjoying a life of chaos, frustration and powerlessness.

5. Finally, ask yourself, “What can I do differently?” then develop a measurable action plan for change. Identify a family member, friend or colleague to help hold you accountable.

Positive energy fuels our capacity for creativity, innovation, problem-solving and decision-making. One of the best ways to maximize our energy is to channel it into action. State an intention to plug your energy drains to restore vitality, power and meaning in your life — and do it!

Until next time,

Mary