Do you have hurry sickness?

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Have you got hurry sickness?

That has become a regular question in my home whenever anyone is impatient or irritated with another’s slowness. Sometimes I am asking myself. That is a rhetorical question! Some times I am asking my husband or someone else.

The symptoms have become all too familiar to us. We are more self-aware than we were years or even months ago. I’ve been told that self-awareness is a good thing, although sometimes I wish I was not so knowledgeable of my flaws and weaknesses.

Hurry is characterized by
continual rushing and hustle;
an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency and anxiousness.

As I have shared the message of unhurried living with others, some are quick to recognize and admit their own hurry sickness. Some are resistant to the idea, but become more convinced the more they think about it. Some people are VERY sick while others are less affected.

THINK ABOUT IT

Do you…?

  • work extra hours or finish work at home
  • hear from people: “I don’t want to bother you because I know how busy you are”
  • get flustered with delays and interruptions
  • often exceed the speed limit or weave to find the fastest lane
  • skip vacations
  • feel like you are always in the slowest line

WATCH THIS:   Mice Queue Video (1:37)

No matter the gravity of the sickness, the side effects are serious, so the question is worth asking… Do you have hurry sickness?

In Search of Unhurried Living

465e0c04434ee9f0fe6f21d01fde706e slow downI could easily describe myself as a recovering “hurry-aholic”.

I have a model Type A personality and a very full life that could give me plenty of excuses for living at a consistently frenetic pace.

Over the years, however, I have been learning to s…l…o…w… d…o…w…n.

It hasn’t been easy, and I still struggle at times, but all-in-all I am generally much more relaxed and at peace with my life and others. (Maybe one of the reasons you haven’t heard from me here in a long while.)

I have found that many others – maybe you? – also struggle with “hurry sickness”. So I thought I might revive my writing and share some of the things I have learned to counter our hurried life.

Some of what I plan to share comes from a “31 Days of Unhurried Living” campaign I directed last Spring. I will also add in new thoughts and content from books I will be reading. In the next few months, I am going to take three hours each Monday morning to read –  my new personal application of Unhurried Living.

So… if hurry has ever been an issue for you, or if your outer life is slow, but you would like to unhurry your heart and soul, please join with me! It could make a difference.

a tribute to Dad

My Dad is suffering from Parkinson’s and Dementia. It has been so very hard for my family to watch our strong, athletic, intelligent, independent father decline to the place where he needs constant assistance living in a memory care facility. 

It is hard for me to live far away and not be able to help much. It is much harder for my sisters who live nearby to visit and care for him regularly. 

My Dad struggles with some delusions and confusion. He knows who I am still – I am grateful for that – but he cannot consistently remember the day, time, or what he did just a few hours ago. 

On this Father’s Day, I am especially grateful that – years ago – I wrote out a tribute for him. I’m not sure he could understand it today – but He did when I gave it to him. 

I encourage you to write a tribute for your father – especially if he can still appreciate it. He may not be, or have been, a perfect father, but I can tell you that the process of writing and giving him your tribute will be a healing and honoring experience for both of you. 

I am attaching a copy of my tribute as an example for you to get you started. 


How have you honored your father? What are your Father’s Day traditions?

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I send you much love across the miles. Wish I could be with you today, but you are in my heart. ❤️

Leaders Made Here – new book!

Hi All!

Leaders Made HereOne of my favorite authors has put out a new book! Mark Miller writes creatively through story about leadership and character in a way that is immediately useful to readers. Mark’s new book, “Leaders Made Here”, helps us know how to create a leadership culture that supports a leadership pipeline for our organizations. Check it out HERE!

Below is a very practical guest post from Mark for you!

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How to Create Catalytic Meetings

Most meetings are useless. I’m guessing the more meetings you attend the more you’ll agree with that statement. Think about the REAL value of the last five meetings you attended. How much action was initiated or change realized as a result? How can we generate more action as a result of our meetings?

First, let me begin by affirming the value of well-designed and executed meetings. Here’s my vision for meetings…

Meetings are a forum capable of empowering teams and individuals, identifying and solving problems, reinforcing core values, encouraging, affirming, learning, challenging, helping people grow, collaborating, building community, increasing accountability, changing behavior, improving performance and more!

If the meetings you attend don’t do these things, you should work to make it so. But, the truth is, if you can’t use your meetings as a platform to generate productive action, you’ll be wasting tremendous potential.

To create catalytic meetings, here are five ideas guaranteed to make things happen…

  1. Start with the intent to create action. All meetings are not created equal. If you attend a meeting with the purpose of updating people on projects, don’t expect this to create much activity. My recommendation is to focus 75% of your meeting agenda on performance management. Intent is the primary driver of action.
  1. Ensure closure on every agenda item. This may seem obvious – unfortunately it is not. This is not to suggest you will actually finish every item you address. However, you should never conclude your discussion without identifying appropriate next steps. There are infinite options including identifying work to be done outside the meeting or the date on which the team will address the topic again.
  1. Visually display action items during the meeting. This simple step increases accuracy and agreement. Allowing individuals to capture his or her own action items does not provide sufficient visibility for the rest of the team. This is more powerful than you can imagine. A flip chart in every meeting, used to document action items, would revolutionize most businesses.
  1. Be sure you really have an action item. Again, this is basic but often missed. Unless you know WHO is going to do WHAT by WHEN, you do not have an action item. And, to be sure everyone else knows, I recommend reviewing the action items at the end of the meeting, distributing them after the meeting and distributing them again with the agenda for the upcoming meeting.
  1. Review all action items at every meeting. Once an action item is identified, by definition, it must have a completion date. Therefore, it falls to the facilitator to be sure every agenda has a designated time allocated to review previous action items. When the team begins to hold people accountable, you will see more action as a result.

One reason meetings have such a bad rap is a lack of action. If your meetings begin to create positive action, you may be surprised how quickly their reputation will change.

Mark MillerMark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs. 

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Which of Mark’s books have you read? What have you learned from him?

Additional Resources:

You can register for Mark’s FREE Webinar on March 22 at 1PM ET HERE!

You can also read my posts on some of his other books:

Chess Not Checkers —  The Heart of Leadership — The Secret of Teams

Become a Feedback Guru

feedback photo 2.jpgFeedback is a powerful tool for growth, learning, and life change.

Feedback helps us grow and develop personally, and it helps us focus, change, and/or re-direct our efforts for greater productivity and fruitfulness.

As part of my job, I recently prepared a project called “30 Days of Feedback“. The goal was to help people improve in giving and receiving feedback. Co-workers and friends were encouraged to sign up to receive posts of encouragement, tips, and simple activities they could do to build a culture of feedback at work, on a team, and in their families.

The project was a great learning experience for me. I enjoyed reading books, articles, and blog posts about feedback. I searched for videos to communicate key points. I organized the content into a month schedule and asked for lots of feedback 🙂 from others as the posts took shape. One of my favorite parts of the project was creating the graphic design memes for each day together with my very artistically talented daughter.

feedback memesThe posts covered both how to offer (give) positive feedback and how to invite (receive) constructive feedback from others.

After the 30 days, some of my co-workers asked if we could make the content available all together, so we created an eBook. The eBook will be helpful for those who want to continually review the ideas and practice the tips and activities with others.

I’d like to offer the eBook as a resource to you (click on the photo below)! I hope you will find it helpful. Feel free to pass it along to others also.

30 Days of Feedback COVER

I’d love to hear your feedback on the book! What is something new you learned about feedback?

What I’ll Say to my Children if I’m Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s

These last months have been very heavy for me – first my mom’s death and now helping with care-giving for my dad with Parkinson’s. This post speaks my heart so well. So grateful for this woman’s ability to express words my pen has not been able to write.

God's Grace and Mom's Alzheimer's

I was skimming some other dementia blogs lately and a reader had written in saying, that though she felt guilty about it, she wished her mother would die in her sleep and not have to continue living through the pain and indignity of dementia.  I’ve heard others say things like, “I’ve told my kids if I ever get Alzheimer’s just shoot me.”

I understand where these comments are coming from, but they make my heart heavy.  I feel like these attitudes devalue my Mom’s life right now. Even though they are not specifically referencing her, they are in effect saying that people like her are better off dead. It is hard to see Mom changing and confused and upset. But she still has sweet times of love and joy, too.  And God still has a purpose for her life.

He is growing our patience as we care for her.  He…

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learning to trust

rappel

It’s that time again – the end of one year and the beginning of another.

In some ways it feels surreal. Nothing very grandiose actually happens during the night of December 31, other than a big party in New York and a small family party with fireworks, games, and too much food. Nothing super special. The sun goes down, I sleep – albeit not many hours – in the same bed, and I wake up to the same house, with the same family, friends, work and life that I had when I when the day before ended.

On the other hand, a new year is a big deal. A calendar milestone. A chronological capstone. A time for reflection, evaluation, and a fresh start with new goals, focus, and intentionality. 

I do not stop to review my life very often, so I am grateful for the reminders at this time of year. And I am grateful for the opportunity to refresh my perspective and consider how I want to live my 2016.

In the years past, I have chosen one word for each year – an attempt to encourage myself to think, speak, and act with a particular heart attitude. I have chosen words like empower, fulfill, courage, and authentic, but this year I am choosing TRUST.

There are a lot of big challenges and struggles bombarding my family and friends. I can tend to worry, and get frustrated or tense or discouraged. Sometimes I feel helpless and without hope.

I want to choose to believe in God’s goodness and His love and His power to resolve, restore, and redeem these difficult consequences instead.

I want to TRUST Him.

I may be choosing my most faith-stretching word so far. It goes against my natural desires to fix the problem myself… and fix it fast. It goes against my anger and fear and impatience when the problems drag on or get worse before they get better.

Most of my natural tendencies do not help the situation or the person I care about. I can bring a lot more power to a situation with prayer and a peaceful attitude. So that is my One Word for 2016 – TRUST.

Feel free to ask me how I am doing with it as the days and weeks go by. 🙂 I’ll need your encouragement.

What word are you choosing for 2016? 

the gifts of Christmas

Christmas gifts Kris Mouser_Brown Foter.com CC BY_ND

There are good years when everyone is home, getting along well, happy with their gifts, and focused on the “reason” for the season. But there are also difficult years when what we hoped for or what we envisioned does not come anywhere close to happening. Both are very normal in life. The problem is not the difficulties. The problem is our expectations. Our expectations that Christmas will be perfectly wrapped, shiny-bowed, and glitter-dusted like a beautiful Christmas gift.

Our reality doesn’t match our hopes and expectations.

Maybe you have a “special” person in your family or group of friends. The one who no matter how many advent candles you burn or how many advent calendar dates you turn, you just don’t feel filled with Christmas spirit when you’re with that person. They push your buttons, triggering your feelings and emotions so that you are angry or frustrated or discouraged, or you feel judged and criticized no matter what you do.

Perhaps you have experienced a loss this year that’s going to affect your Christmas. There will be a gap, someone missing in the pictures, in the activities, at the table. Maybe you didn’t lose them this year. Maybe it was sometime in the past, but their loss still impacts you, especially in times like this. This is the first year my mom won’t be with us. I get blindsided by missing her when I least expect it.

It might be that you have done your shopping, your decorating and your baking, and you think you’re doing great… until you happen to spend time on Facebook or Pinterest or visit a friend’s home, and all of a sudden your work feels a little inadequate, a little sub-par, not quite how you would like it. Comparison gets to your head and heart, and makes you feel “less than” or incompetent compared to others around you.

If comparison does not make Christmas hard for you; it might be that your financial situation is more difficult than you had hoped. Maybe that promotion didn’t come through or maybe the new business hasn’t taken off or maybe you are out of work, and you don’t have the money to buy what is on the wish list. You’re worried about seeing disappointment in some young, sweet eyes looking up at you on Christmas morning.

You might be sick or care-giving for someone. Holidays with those realities makes celebrating more challenging. I will spend Christmas with my Dad. He has Parkinson’s, dementia, and alcoholism that are affecting his days and therefore they are going to affect our Christmas. He may or may not remember what day it is.

Maybe your difficulty is not the ones that you care for. Maybe it is more the lack of someone to care for… maybe you feel alone and lonely during these days.

These are real Christmas challenges for many of us.

It could be that none of these issues affect you this year. Last year was close to perfect for me. My biggest challenge was dealing with a form of survivor’s guilt – I call it “blessing guilt” – because I had all my children at home and we had a great time enjoying every minute of it, while at the same time close friends and family were dealing with all kinds of pain – the realities I just mentioned. I struggled to fully enjoy the gifts that God had given me without overlooking or underestimating the realities of others.

Whatever your reality this year, I hope you know that Jesus is not only “the reason for the season”, but Jesus is also the “answer” for the season and for all your needs. He is not distracted by preparations or decorations or gift buying or baking. He has plenty of time and energy and limitless power to take interest in what’s difficult for you, to come along beside you and help you.

Jesus had relatives who sometimes made life difficult for Him; Jesus experienced loss and wept; Jesus went through many difficulties and would have traded some of His experiences for another if He could. And His birth we are celebrating this season? A cross-country journey by a very pregnant teenage mom on the back of a donkey, an unsanitary birth with only a first-time father to help, and His first days surrounded by smelly livestock and shepherds?

Jesus understands a reality that is different from the ideal. 

I invite you to see this Christmas not simply as an opportunity to bake and decorate and buy and wrap, but also a time to reflect and lean into Jesus to find understanding and hope in a way that maybe you’ve never done before. Let go of your expectations of what Christmas will or should be like and embrace your reality – even your difficulties – this year. Struggles are often some of the sweetest times in our faith journey.

May God build your faith stronger
as He heightens your awareness of His presence always.

May He deepen your appreciation for people,
as you recognize that life is so very fragile.

May your contentment grow greater – with yourself – and your circumstances.

And may you become a more gracious person – grateful for what you have received and compassionate and empathetic with others in need.

Those are the best gifts.

enfrentando nuestro miedo

fear ¿Qué te da miedo?

Yo no sé de ustedes, pero el miedo se ha convertido en un tema mucho más frecuente en estos días de lo que me gustaría. El terrorismo, los asesinatos basados ​​en el prejuicio, los robos violentos de hogares, las economías inestables, las elecciones de los líderes futuros, las enfermedades terminales… todos invaden a nuestros canales de medios masivos y a veces a nuestra vida personal.

La universidad de mi hija ha tenido dos amenazas de bomba en las últimas semanas. ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle a lidiar con la preocupación ineludible y el miedo que acompaña a sus días y atormenta a sus noches?

¿Cómo puedo reconocer a mis temores, pero no dejar que me controlen?

Yo sé que hay opciones básicas de sentido común que puedo poner en práctica – permanecer lejos de los alrededores obviamente peligrosos, tomar unas precauciones de seguridad, ahorrar dinero e invertir sabiamente, tomar decisiones informadas y proteger a mi salud de manera proactiva.

Sin embargo, esas acciones nunca me protejan por completo de la maldad, el quebrantamiento y dolor de este mundo.

Esa realidad provoca el miedo. Pero el miedo, más bien que me controle, puede ofrecerme una oportunidad para la reflexión, una oportunidad de considerar el peor de los casos… ¿y si me fuera a morir mañana? ¿Estoy listo?

¿Estoy en paz con mi presente?

¿Estoy viviendo cada día al máximo? ¿Tendría yo remordimientos si todo fuera a terminar mañana? ¿Permito que las cuestiones mezquinas me hagan enojada, frustrada, desanimada? ¿Tengo un conflicto no resuelto con alguien a quien amo? ¿He seguido mis sueños, dado mi todo, vivido por mis prioridades? ¿He expresado mi agradecimiento? ¿He abrazado y me he reído y he llorado?

¿Estoy en paz con mi futuro?

¿Sé adónde me voy cuando me muera? ¿Estoy segura o dudosa de esto? ¿Estoy todavía intentando merecer mi entrada al cielo? ¿El pensamiento del final de la vida me da la esperanza o el temor? Evito pensar en ese tema por completo? ¿Estoy en paz con Dios?

la paz

Si yo no tengo paz con ambos mi presente y mi futuro, ¿qué tengo que cambiar? ¿qué tengo que hacer de manera diferente con mi vida?

Una vez que la tengo, ninguna persona, lugar, ni filosofía puede robarme esa paz.

¿Cómo vences a tus miedos? ¿Cómo encuentras la paz?


Un buen artículo para leer más acera de Enfrentando lo inevitable.

facing our fears

fear What do you fear?

I don’t know about you, but fear has become much more prevalent topic these days than I would like. Terrorism, prejudice-based killings, violent home break-ins, unstable economies, future leader elections, terminal diseases… all invade our media channels and sometimes our personal lives.

My daughter’s university has had two bomb scares in the last few weeks. How can I help her deal with the unavoidable worry and concern that accompanies her days and haunts her nights?

How can I admit my fears but not let them control me?

I know that there are basic common sense choices I can implement – stay away from obvious dangerous surroundings, set up safety precautions, save money and invest wisely, make informed decisions, and proactively protect my health.

However, those actions will never completely protect me from the evil, brokenness, and pain of this world.

That reality causes fear. But fear, rather than control me, can offer an opportunity for reflection, a chance to consider the worst case scenario… what if I am going to die tomorrow? Am I ready?

Am I at peace with my present? 

Am I living each day to the fullest? Or would I have regrets if it were to all end tomorrow? Do I let petty issues make me angry, frustrated, discouraged? Do I have unresolved conflict with someone I love? Have I followed my dreams, given my all, lived by my priorities? Have I spoken my appreciation? Have I hugged and laughed and cried?

Am I at peace with my future? 

Do I know where I will go when I die? Am I certain or doubtful?  Am I still trying to earn my way to heaven? Does the thought of life’s end give me hope or dread? Do I avoid thinking about that topic altogether? Am I at peace with God?

peace-heart

If I don’t have peace with both my present and my future, what do I need to change? What do I need to do differently with my life?

Once I have it, no person, place, or philosophy can rob me of that peace.

How do you get past your fears? How do you find peace?


Here’s a good article about Peace of Mind in an Unstable World.