Category Archive for: ‘busyness’

How Busy Are You?

Warning: this is not your typical January/start of a new year empowerment blog.

Ever wonder how much time you could really have to do what you love and have a great career and business?

Towards the end of 2017 I noticed a very marked difference in society. As things slowed down after about December 20, I slowed down naturally, too. I really noticed that the pace I had towards the end of December is the pace I want forever. I caught myself thinking to myself, “Oh well, I’ll have to wait until December 2018 for that pace again”. I sighed HEAVILY and became really sad and felt helpless.

Then a thought occurred to me. I could choose my perspective on my pace. What’s more, I can set my pace- regardless of the month of year. Waiting until next December feels so disempowering and well- a LONG time away.

I’ve been reading a book called, “Busy”. As a result, I’ve decided that I will no longer use the “B” word (busy) again. I am choosing a new perspective on my time and busy-ness.

What’s that look like? Well, I’m not choosing to have so many meetings in 2018. I haven’t ironed out all the details yet, but I do know it feels better.

For 2018, I’m not asking you to set a resolution or do anything differently. All I’m asking you for is to have “deliberate awareness” around who you are and how you are being in the world.

Without deliberate awareness, your brand can’t flourish. Without deliberate awareness, you can’t change and grow and transform.

So step back and take inventory:

  • how are you coming across for yourself and for others?
  • Do you want to be different? If so, why?
  • Where can you get rid of the notion of “busy” in your life and live more deliberately?

Do You Do Too Much? Making Your Brand of Nothing Mean Everything.

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I recently took to reading the Tao Te Ching. It is known worldwide as The Book of the Way, which is really a guide to the art of living. It was written by Lao-tzu, said to be a contemporary of Confucius (551-479 B.C.E.).

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu insists on the concept of “doing not-doing”. What this means is doing less that is forced and allowing life to just flow. How often have you experienced the situation where you kind of “gave up” trying so hard and did less?  Did you end up seeing/getting better results? I am guessing so.

In this concept of “doing not-doing”, Lao-tzu does not mean being passive. Unfortunately, that’s what we all seem to think it means to sit still and let life happen.

I remember in my practice as a lawyer, I was always “busy” doing things. If it wasn’t the active practice of law, it was something else: teaching yoga, running, reading, other appointments. My list was endless. I used to think I had to be a certain way as a lawyer. This left me very rigid and blocked so much of my creativity as a lawyer. One thing was for sure: I wasn’t going with the flow of anything in life. I was unhappy a lot.

As I shifted professions, I realized that the end was not my goal. I had no real “end” I was shooting for anymore. After all, I no longer cared to make partner in a law firm or to be General Counsel somewhere. Been there, done that.

This reality freed me up to just “be”. That’s right. Just sit still and do less. Now, I’d be lying if I claimed to be in perfect mastery of just “being” and not running around thinking I have to do so much. I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress. I’m proud of myself for even having self-awareness around the concept.

Here’s what I have learned: strong brands do less and “be” more. 

No where was this clearer to me than watching the finals of American Ninja Warrior the other night. The final challenge, on the road to being the winner of $1,000,000 and the title of American Ninja Warrior, was to climb a 30 foot rope in under 30 seconds. When they interviewed the winner and asked him how he mentally was able to achieve this amazing act, he said, “I became one with the rope”.

Now you may think this is cheezy or crazy. Fair enough. But consider, what he was really saying was the same thing Lao-tzu said: he was being and not doing so much. He was finding his rhythm and groove with the rope instead of fighting against the rope to climb it and conquer it. He wasn’t resisting life, but flowing with it. Resistance leaves us tired and unhappy. That’s a bad brand.

 Effective brands that resonate emotionally with their audience have certain magic to them.   To do less, is to be more adaptable, flexible and go with the flow.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying to sit around and be passive and lazy. Strong brands also have conviction, drive and a purpose to be of true service to others.

What does this mean for you? Stop and think:

  • How much do you take on in any given day?
  • How does it make you feel when you don’t cross off everything on your list? Do you consider yourself a failure?
  • How do you come across to others when you take on so much and are constantly “doing”? Do others see a flexible, happy brand or a rigid, tired, stressed and unhappy brand?

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.