Monday, June 25, 2012

Got Excellence?




Those are a few of the many things I plan to "put on" this very important week in my life.  As I prepared for this week, it occurred to me that the experience I want to have this week is not unique to this week.  Whether or not I have a meeting on Park Avenue, I want to experience fulfillment, triumph and peace.

What can I do to bring that about in my life regardless the circumstance?

Reflection and Refocus.

I can reflect on what I want to experience and refocus my energy to manifest it. My relationship with excellence is healthy and vibrant. I have found a way to bring my "A" game to my daily life and it is paying dividends. Yes I am so stoked for my big days but they are really not that different from my every day.

Your "A" game is not just reserved for big meetings or significant family events. Whatever it is that you want to experience on the most important days, can be harnessed and manifested every day.

Now I get how that sounds and you may be asking - if you use your "A" game everyday, then what do you pull out for the huge events? Your "A"game.

Excellence is not something that can be dusted off and used "as necessary." In my experience, your best game is the one you practice often. So if you need your "A" game for that big meeting next month on Park Avenue - you'd better start using it today.

Bring your "A" game to the soccer field when you take your kids for their games.

Bring your "A" game to the weekly status call.

Bring your "A" game to your morning greeting with your spouse or significant other.

Bring your "A" game to the next conversation with your parents.

Excellence must be practiced on the regular or it will not show up when you "need" it.

What is your relationship with excellence? How can you make it better?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are Your Working On Your Top 5?

More and more lately, I have been reminded of the importance of doing the best you can with this one life we are blessed to live. Having hit the milestone of 40 years old last year really accelerated my thoughts around my top 5 goals for my life. It's one thing to identify the top 5 goals  - another to actually live in the reality of them.

Where do you fall? Do you even have a "top 5"?

Sometime last year I read a blog post about this and listed the following as My Top 5 Goals For My Life:

1. Live my faith everyday
2. Have a growing vibrant relationship with my husband, Isael
3. Raise two world changing individuals (Emma and Evan)
4. Revolutionize relationships on planet Earth - one at a time (making money as I go)
5. Enjoy my life fully!

A few quick words about goals and I'll set you off to set your own...

Goals need to be measurable

All my goals have specific metrics around them. Metrics for quality and quantity. Yep, even the fluffy ones. Periodically, I review these goals and look at specific measurements to see if I am tracking or falling down.

Goals need accountability

These goals are written on the blog that I first read them on a year ago. They are seared in my mind and again here for accountability. You can do something if you don't name it, speak it - proclaim it. I've shared these goals with folks on my Personal Board of Directors so I can have their feedback and input on how I'm doing.

Goals need to be flexible

There is at least one of these goals that will not stay on the list forever. We need to be open to how our lives change and how goals we set for them may have to change as well. Now, this is not to give us an excuse to chuck a goal when it gets hard - it's more to give ourselves the freedom to evolve our goals to our circumstances when absolutely necessary.

I am in good shape on my top 5 and number 5 can be the most difficult at times. Like in April when a major project driving the majority of my company's income fell apart. Pretty tough to "enjoy" that kind of stuff. But I've learned how. I've learned how to take what life dishes and find a silver lining - the extra time I was afforded by that project's disappearance allowed me to complete my first book and accelerate a project that otherwise would have languished in my stable. And this is not just my "hindsight" view - this was my real time view. Did I mourn the loss? You bet. I mourned it by channeling the hurt, anger and confusion into churning out my book and generating more from what I had. It's all about your perspective.

So.... today I challenge you to create a Top 5 Goals for your life list and get to work on it immediately.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love Your Loved Ones

My college neighbor & her beloved husband, Khaldun Everage - RIP Khal

Last week, I was reminded in a real way to not take folks for granted.

My friend lost her husband of 14 years suddenly less than a week before his 42nd birthday. I can still barely type or speak of it without great sorrow. Both Khal and Dina are huge heroes to their families, friends and the community they have dedicated their lives to. One of the remarkable things about Khal was his undeterred love of his family and his greater family - the children served by Chicago Public Schools.

In celebration of Khaldun Everage - today on what would have been his 42nd birthday - I want to ask everyone to stop what you are doing and reach out to someone you love.

You are not promised tomorrow and neither are they.

It's hard to hear this but Khaldun served his purpose on Earth and was called home to glory. I am thankful to have had a miniscule part in his great life. I look forward to keeping his memory alive. Look at what he posted exactly 1 month before he departed this life:

Dream. Believe. Inspire. Dream - but you gotta dream big. If you don't, what's the point. Believe - in our children. There are enough people out here who don't. Inspire - our children to reach their goals. Dreaming & Believing are fruitless without inspiration.  - Khaldun Everage, May 6, 2012

Rest in peace, Khal and thank you for your inspiration.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Want A NEW Relationship With My Political Foes

Reclaim? What happened when you all voted him in two years ago? 

Spent the first part of this week in Wisconsin on business/pleasure and witnessed something that just pushed me over the edge and I came home wanting a new relationship with my political foes.

The language.

The tone.

Everything about the recent Recall Election in Wisconsin is indicative of the major problem we have in our country. We are not focused on what's important - what we all want.

Here's my list...

Safety for our families in our neighborhoods and the neighborhoods of others.

Access to quality education.

Ability to pursue our own American dream - work to sustain our families and desired lifestyle.

Affordable, quality healthcare that does not go up in price at 20 and 30 % clips every year.

Security and protection for our citizens within and outside our borders as well as freedom to move about the globe without fear of threat.

I'm gonna bet that my list does not look very different than the list of people I know who think very differently than I, politically. Of course, we have very different point of views on how we achieve the above list but can't we all start with agreeing on what it is we are working towards?

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of listening to all the "issues" that do not pony up to my above list. Look around people, the stuff on the list above is the LAST thing we are talking about in the discussion.

We need to take the conversation back. We need to keep our eyes on the ball - the list of things most Americans - Republican or Democrat - want for ourselves and our kids.

We need to stop shouting. Stop name calling. Stop race baiting and playing to the lowest common denominator - fear. We need to wrestle the conversation BACK from the extremists on both sides and get America and Americans talking about what we really want. Once we do that - we can get about the business of working together to get there.

I want a new relationship with my political foes - Is anybody with me?