One of the most reliable ways I know to boost your ability to be well, do good and enjoy the ride is to amp up a coaching tool called “bag it, barter it, or better it” by mixing it with your VIA signature strengths. When you’re facing a task or situation that drains your energy, you can choose to: bag it by not doing it or entering the situation, barter it by trading tasks or activities with someone who actually gets energized by the stuff that sucks the life out of you, or better it by doing something to make the task or situation feel better. Adding your VIA signature strengths with intention and creativity is like adding renewable super fuel to the “better it” approach. I’ve waxed poetic about the Values in Action Survey of Character Strengths here and here and here. Short version: The VIA is a tool that. . . .Read more . . .
If it feels like your world is churning out of control like a river after a downpour . . . That predicting the future seems impossible, even around things you’ve managed well in the past . . . Like things are more complex and complicated than ever . . . That it’s harder to find meaning behind issues or events . . . . You’re in good company. You probably have been for a while. And, no, it’s not your fault. It’s our VUCA world. More than two decades ago, the U.S. Army came up with an acronym for what’s making so many of us feel, well, just plain off. It’s VUCA, and it stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. If it feels like the world’s VUCA-quotient is growing and suspect that it’s not going away any time soon, you’re right. Now what? Leadership and management experts have identified a. . . .Read more . . .
Think about how you’d feel about an event you’d normally enjoy – a family gathering, a night on the town, even a meeting at work – if you knew beforehand that something about it has an almost 100% chance of making you miserable. Bailing it isn’t an option. Enjoying it is. Without wasting energy trying to pretend away the parts that push your buttons. All you have to do is experience the situation through the lens of your strengths. Saved From Meltdowns, Literal and Figurative The opportunity to join the chorus in a concert screening version of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers sounded like fun when I signed on in May. The weather forecast for the weekend of the performance, not so much. I’m one of the eighty-seven people on the planet not on the Lord of the Rings bandwagon. Heat and humidity make me horribly, physically ill; we sang outdoors for. . . .Read more . . .
Just as I got used to navigating the woods in what passed for winter here in the northeast, winter storm Jonas changed the landscape, quite literally, overnight. Landmarks that had become prominent through bare trees just weeks ago were obscured by several feet of snow. Frozen creeks looked like roads snuggled beneath thick white blankets. Hills became more obvious, sidewalks less. At the seashore, streets turned into canals as the wind and waves raged with force enough to rip a multi-ton buoy from its mooring and send it rushing to the beach. Obscure and Disorienting As some landmarks were obscured and others thrown so far off course that they disappeared from sight of those who relied upon them to find their way, the worlds on our laptop screens, outside our windows and on our paths seemed suddenly foreign, making navigation disorienting, uncertain and tentative. Not just during the physical storm. Metaphorical. . . .Read more . . .
Did you ever sort of know something but didn’t realize exactly what until it became so clear that you couldn’t ever not know it again? I love when that happens. One of my great joys in life is singing with a symphonic chorus (http://www NULL.mcchorus NULL.org/wp/) known for both performing the masterworks and commissioning composers who are still very much alive to write new music for us. Through hundreds of rehearsals and dozens of performances, I reveled in the recently-retired music director’s commitment to excellence, community and new music. (OK, so sometimes the new music was an acquired taste, difficult to appreciate at first, worth it in the end.) Even though I experienced his guiding principles week after week, he was, appropriately, too focused on leading rehearsal to talk much about them. And he’s definitely not someone to turn them into a tag line. It wasn’t until his retirement party that we learned about the file. . . .Read more . . .