Worry, Friend or Foe?

hWorry, Friend or Foe? (Video)

I worry too much.  I worry that I worry too much!

Worry can get in the way of enjoying life.  If we spend time worrying about the future, we cannot enjoy the present.  Worry takes time and energy that we could use elsewhere.  We can accomplish more if we worry less.

And yet sometimes I wonder if maybe a little bit of worry is good.

If we are a little worried about our future, won’t we plan a little better?  Won’t we do a little more like get an education, work hard, put money away for emergencies, for retirement?

I know that I need to manage my worry.  I spend too much time worrying about things that never happen, and are not likely to happen.  But I think I will hang on to enough worry that I still feel a need to plan for the future.

Clean House or Change Oil?

hClean House or Change Oil? (Video)

In a previous blog I discussed work, hobbies, and required responsibilities.  Required responsibilities are those things that we are responsible to do for ourselves.  If we own a business or are self-employed, we have professional required responsibilities as well.  These are things that we need to do, but no one is going to pay us directly for them.  For example, we need to have a website, but no one is going to pay us directly for our website.  We need to work our costs into our selling price to cover our business expenses.

With required responsibilities, we can either do them ourselves or we can pay someone else to do them for us.  It is my responsibility to clean my house.  I have decided not to pay someone else to do it.  I am capable of doing it myself and it does not take that long to do.  It is also my responsibility to change the oil in my car.  I could learn how to do it, buy the necessary equipment, and determine where to dispose of the oil.  I have decided that it is a better use of my time to pay someone else to change the oil.

When I am trying to determine the best use of my time and money related to business, I often ask myself if it is similar to cleaning the house or changing the oil.  Some things, like writing and posting blogs, is similar to cleaning the house.  I have the capability to do it and can make the time to do it.  I also enjoy it.  (I enjoy writing; I hate cleaning house.  I just want to be clear on that.)

Other things, like designing a website, are similar to changing the oil.  I might be able to learn how to do it, but it will never be as good as if a professional did it and it will take me much longer to do it.  If I am designing a website that is time that I cannot spend elsewhere.  The money I would save doing it myself would probably be small compared to lost revenue.  And I would still have an inferior website.

In business, we have to decide what we can and should do for ourselves and what we need to hire someone else to do.  Too often I think people see only the business “expense” and try to do it themselves.  Many of these expenses are also investments in our business.  If we are going to make an investment, it should be the best we can afford.  This may mean contracting with someone else who can do it better and faster than we can.

Are there tasks you are doing that would be better contracted to someone else?

Business, Hobby, or Required Responsibility?

Business, Hobby, or Required Responsibility? (Video)

hWe do many things.  Most, perhaps all, can be divided into three areas:  business, hobby, or required responsibility.

The business area includes everything that we do for others that they are willing to pay us to do.  If we have a job, we get a paycheck in return for what we do.  The work we do has value to our supervisor or the company where we are employed.  If we are self-employed, our customers pay us to provide goods or services because these goods and services are valuable to them.  In my case, people pay me to speak at their conferences and they pay me for my book.

The hobby area includes those items that we do because we enjoy them, but no one is going to pay us to do it.  Or, they will not pay us very much.  Something to keep in mind is:  “Businesses are in business to make money.  If it does not make money, it is a hobby, not a business.”  (This is the best piece of information I learned at the University of Louisville when I got an MBA.)  I love to hike, but no one is going to pay me to go hiking.

Required responsibilities are those things that we are responsible to do for ourselves.  This includes everything from feeding ourselves to cleaning our homes to taking care of our pets and/or children.  No one will ever pay me to clean my own house; it is my responsibility.  And I will never pay someone to clean their own house; that is their responsibility.

With required responsibilities, it is our responsibility to see that they are done.  We can do them ourselves, or we can hire someone to do it for us.  We can clean our house, or hire a housekeeper.  We can mow our lawn, or hire a lawn service.  It does not matter which, so long as it is done.

How would you divide what you do?  What tasks are business, what are hobbies, and what are required responsibilities?

Routines

dreamstimefree_199618Routines (Video)

Routines help us until they hurt us.

Routines can be very helpful in that they assist us be productive.  They help us be efficient.

However, there are times when we cannot follow our routines.  We get sick, family members need us, customers want something last minute, and we need to adapt.  For some of us, however, it can be very difficult not to follow our routines.

Routines can help us immensely.  However, we must remain flexible enough that when the routine cannot be followed, we adapt quickly and do what needs to be done.

 

The Success We Think We Deserve

The Success We Think We Deserve (Video Link)

Have you seen the movie Perks of Being a Wallflower?  There was a line in the movie that still resonates with me:  “We accept the love we think we deserve.”  I think this is true.  I think we do accept the love we think we deserve.  We accept the treatment from others we think we deserve.  Unfortunately, some of us do not think we deserve very much. 

This concept can also have an impact on our success.  We achieve the level of success that we think we deserve, not the level of which we are capable.  If we do not think we deserve to be successful, it will be extremely difficult to be successful.  People are very good at self-sabotage, and they generally do not even realize it.

I encourage you to think carefully about what level of success you think you deserve.  From there, think about why you do not think you deserve a higher level of success.  This exercise can give you great insight on those thoughts that may be holding you back.

Embrace Yourself While Improving Yourself

Embrace Yourself While Improving Yourself (Video Link)

It is important that we embrace who we are.  Each of us is unique.  We need to appreciate all our good aspects and accept our areas that need improvement.

At the same time, we need to strive to constantly become better, to improve ourselves.  This is a necessary step in achieving professional and personal success.  It is the old “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” 

We may need to improve ourselves by gaining additional knowledge or technical skills.  We may need to improve our interpersonal skills.  Whatever it is, we need to become better each day.

It can be difficult to balance embracing who we are with becoming who we want to be.  Just remember that who we are today may be perfectly fine for today, but if we want to continue to succeed, we may need to be even better tomorrow.

Easer or Jumper?

Easer or Jumper? (Video Link)

Do you carefully ease yourself into new situations?  Or do you jump in?

I am an “easer.”  I like to ease my way into situations.  I like to study the situation, analyze it, develop goals, create a plan, and eventually do something.

I have friends who are “jumpers.”  Whatever the situation, they just jump into it and start doing things.  Sometimes I admire them!

There is no right or wrong.  Both methods can get the job done. 

A concern with being an easer is that it may take much longer than it should to get results.  After a while, more information or planning does not help.  However, the result is usually right on target.

A concern with being a jumper is that although things are being done, they may not be the right things.  Time may be wasted by going back and doing things over.  However, at least something is being done.

Which are you, an easer or a jumper?  Or are you nicely balanced in the middle?

Do Things that Make You Smile

Do Things that Make You Smile (Video Link)

It is said that laughter is good for the soul.  I believe that.  I think there are wonderful things that happen to us when we laugh.  I think good things happen to us when we smile, too.  When we find something that makes us smile, it makes us feel better, if only for a moment or two.  That can lift our spirits and give us a new perspective on the situation we are facing.

I realized this many years ago when I was going through a very difficult time.  I happened to glance out the side window as I was driving to work and saw a rabbit sitting by the side of the road.  He was just sitting.  He appeared to be watching the traffic go past.  It made me smile.  That was a turning point for me.  I knew, in that instant, that I would survive the tough time I was facing.

There are many little things that we can do to make us smile every day.  Pictures of those we love on our desk can make us smile.  I have a special ringtone on my phone for my husband.  Every time it rings it makes me smile.  I really enjoy nature, so for me seeing something as silly as a squirrel sitting on the deck can make me smile.  (My grandchildren have named him “Fat Freddy.”)   Pets can make us smile and often make us laugh out loud.  A list of our accomplishments can make us smile.

What makes you smile?  What can you do to set the stage for frequent smiles throughout the day?

Lesson from Mary Poppins

Lesson from Mary Poppins (Video Link)

A few years ago my husband and I took the grandchildren to see the play Mary Poppins.  A recurring line was, “Anything can happen if you let it.”

This is very true!  How often do we keep ourselves from success because we do not let things happen?  We do not take risks.  We do not open ourselves up to new ideas.  We get in our own way.  There are many things that we do to not let things happen.

Although I think the line in the play was meant as a reminder to let the good things happen, it can also be a reminder that bad things can happen if we let them.  For example, our health may suffer if we overeat, do not eat a healthful diet, do not exercise, do not manage stress or if we smoke or drink excessively,. Our professional and personal relationships will suffer if we neglect them.  Our career will suffer if we do not continue to strive to improve.

Keep in mind that “Anything can happen if you let it”—for good and bad!  So let the good in, and keep the bad out.