Embrace the abundance that is you.

This audio post Bearing Your Abudance will show you how. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

Byron Katie asked herself a simple question as she lay in a half-way house, not sure if she would survive the next day.

“Is it true?”

It was the first time she actually challenged her own belief system, and what she found out was indeed much of what she had told herself was not true at all. She has since go on to become an international best-selling author and speaker who inspires thousands with her simple approach.

So much of what we tell ourselves is based on conditioning and filters we have placed over our eyes, shielded from the truth of ourselves and others. If we are able to build belief systems that disempower us, we are certainly capable of building truth-based ones that bring us more joy.

What good does it do the world to build broken systems that only serve to put ourselves down? What if Byron Katie, who continues to help the world, had not asked the question, is it true?

So much of our lives is ruled by our thinking. We say we don’t have time, we’re too busy, we’ll do it tomorrow. Did you know that tomorrow is a myth? We only ever have today.

It is time for us to move beyond our ears and eyes to let our hearts live too.

I’m game. Are you?

The world needs heroes: people we look up to, admire, emulate. They are purveyors of change, strength in crisis, rock solid in stormy seas. They also raise the rest of us up during sunshine days. The best leaders, I am told, are those who put great ideas into practice that everyone else claims were their own.

Great leaders not only rule. They rock.

McKinsey Quarterly issued a most inspiring piece entitled “Leading in the 21st Century” the other day. Call me crazy, but I saw the Power of Slow throughout the entire twelve pages. I’m nerdy like that, culling through business articles because I like to learn from people who are so much smarter than me and think we might just have something in common.

The article spotlights the thoughts of six prominent global CEOs: Josef Ackerman (formerly of Deutsche Bank); Carlos Ghosn of Nissan and Renault; Moya Greene of Royal Mail Group; Ellen Kullman of DuPont; President Shimon Peres of Israel; and Daniel Vasella of Novartis.

One common theme from all of them is knowing your limits, learning how best to spend your time and taking care of yourself. Shimon Peres was by far the most eloquent of them all. He said things such as “The mind of a leader must be free – a mind that can dream and imagine. All new things were born in dreams.” Yes! As I like to say, if you don’t get enough sleep, that American Dream will never happen.

Carlos Ghosn talks of global empathy, a notion I have wholeheartedly supported all my life. We are all in this life together. You might look, sound, even smell different than me, but I bet you feel love the same way I do.

Trusting your instincts was another shared notion. Knowing when to delegate what and to whom is essential. Josef Ackermann claims “no CEO can do it all on his own. You need the expertise, judgment, and buy-in of your team.” I agree. If I didn’t have fabulous colleagues on whom I could rely, I’d be half the public relations professional I am today.

Once again Shimon Peres inspired me with his claim that leaders must have “ambition for a cause greater than themselves.” To be the master of your own ship, you must believe in something beyond yourself. Only then can you navigate the waters in this world. Sharks may be in your ocean, but you’ll hopefully have friendly dolphins too!

Staying grounded in the face of crisis is another key point. As the article suggests, reserving critical decision-making for those times when we are most rested is a wise choice. Acting out of impulse, exhaustion or decision fatigue is not a good idea.

That’s where the Power of Slow can help. Step back. Admire the grand design that is your life. You are the architect of your own reality. How are you doing thusfar?

Video bonus: Bloomberg recently followed media mogul, Je’Caryous Johnson, to see how he spends his time. The best part? His business day ends at 3 pm. After that, he says, he dedicates his time to writing. “It’s just me, my laptop and God.” Creatives are like that!

It was an investment. It really was. Husband and I braved one of trickiest times at Aldi – the lawn furniture sale that went live at 8 a.m. this morning.

For you non-German readers, you may not know what that means. It involves manuveuring large aluminum chairs, tables and chaise lounges in impossibly small spaces with more customers than products. Think Tickle-Me-Elmo at Walmart on Christmas Eve.

We’d been pushing off the purchase of lawn furniture for years. Going on our fourth summer in our now-not-so-new house, we arose at the crack of dawn, sent the children off to the school bus stop, and drove, grim-lipped and in silence, to the nearest Aldi.

The result? My foot got run over by several shopping carts, my thumb got smashed at the check-out line (only once), and we got every piece we were looking for.

Here’s the visual. And yes, both of those carts are mine. Along with the very, very large and unwieldy table-in-a-box stacked behind everything else.

Pretty comical, right? This store takes the artificial scarcity approach. They literally sell out of their seasonal items every Monday and Thursday. And I wouldn’t have done it, except Husband looks so cute in his apron.

And we needed somewhere to sit. In relaxation. Until the next seasonal sale with items we’ve put off buying until we have no alternative.

Procrastination is a fear-based response, deeply rooted in our history. We feel paralyzed by our imagination. It seizes us up, locks us in its grip and leaves us feeling horrible.

Human beings are great at finding reasons as to why they can’t do things: No time. No energy. No way. All the while, as we create these excuses, we feel entrapped by the possibility of failure or worse – that someone else will see we are a failure too. IQMatrix, a web site dedicated to tapping into human potential, produced an interesting procrastination mind map, a part of which I have displayed here.

Courtesy of IQMatrix.com

As you can see, the origin of procrastination can be found in our habits, actions and fears of lack, inadequacies and false expectations of ourselves and others. It’s no wonder we talk of having no time! With a lack mentality, we firmly believe we don’t have any.

Changing your way of thinking comes after your recognize what that thinking is. Take note of how often you say you are out of time, out of luck, out of friends, money, you-name-it. Now choose one of those things and replace “no” with “more than enough”. Repeat after me: “I have more than enough time. I have more than enough fortune. I have more than enough friends. I have more than enough money…” When we shift our language, we shift our perspective. That minor nudge in the direction of abundant thinking can take on dramatic effects.

One of the root causes of procrastination is, in my mind, our unrealistic expectations. In an attempt to keep pace with the world at large, we push ourselves to the brink, demanding more and more in less and less time. We find it appealing to save time, but what are we really saving it for? To do more work? To accomplish more and more and more? To what end? What on Earth are we rushing toward?

These are tough philosophical questions worth asking ourselves. Because a lot of what drives our behavior is the unflappable belief that if we aren’t marching forward, we will somehow be left behind.

Not so.

In taking pause, we create space for the best things in life to come flooding in. If you don’t make room for them, they will float on by to the next opening instead.

Procrastination is about saying no to our potential. Move it to yes and watch what happens next. When you say yes to yourselves, yes to your abilities, yes to the possibility that you can bring to the table, you make it easier for the world to say yes to you too.

What will you say yes to today?

 

Many thanks to Psychology Today reader Kallin, who pointed me to this mind map, courtesy of LearningFundamentals.com.au. It beautifully illustrates how we can regain control of the things we do in the time that we have.

Happy Monday Morning, All!

Simple Ways to Slow - Courtesy of LearningFundamentals.com.au

The Rise of the Data Dragon

January 13, 2012

Suffering from too much information (T.M.I.)? According to a recent Basex research study on information overload, you’re not alone. It’s becoming more and more apparent that my prediction of the Top 5 Time Wasters in the 21st century is indeed coming true.

As a recap, they are:

  1. Multitasking
  2. Poor Data Management
  3. Lack of Tools & Techniques
  4. Unclear Prioritization
  5. Miscommunication

One could wrap all these in a neat bow under the rubric “information management”. Knowledge workers are particularly afflicted.

Take recovery time as an example. When we are interrupted, whether it be a phone call, instant message or child crying in the next room, it takes up to twenty times the duration of the actual interruption to regain concentration on the task at hand.

It is estimated that 28 billion hours are lost in the United States each year due to information overload. That’s a whopping 1.68 trillion minutes.

That’s a lot of minutes. That’s a lot of time.

Baseline magazine featured an article by Basex CEO Jonathan Spira, who also authored Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous to Your Organization. While I have not read the book itself, I must say his article is quite enlightening.

To summarize the report’s most astounding statistics:

•          Digital barrage: 100 emails can chomp half of a work day.

•          The “cc” beast: Eight hours are lost for every 100 people who are unnecessarily copied on an email.

•          Bloated government processes: 58 percent of government workers spend half the workday filing, deleting or sorting information, which costs the U.S. taxpayer almost $31 billion dollars annually.

•         Chronic time starvation: 66 percent of knowledge workers say they don’t have enough time every day to get everything done.

•          Overwhelm! 94 percent of those surveyed have experienced information overload to the point of paralysis at some point.

Yowza.

So it’s not just you, sitting there glaze-eyed on the couch at night. Many of us are fighting the data dragon every day.

Given this blog offers solutions (and, luckily, so does Jonathan’s article), I offer you some tips and tricks to slay the data dragon.

1. Set limits. We all have them. Snap off your phone well before bedtime. You will sleep better if you do.

2. Read a good book before you go to bed. Research shows that even six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 68%.

3. Don’t “cc” the world. Chances are they don’t need to know every granular detail.

4. Unsubscribe. Do you delete emails out of habit instead of handling them at the source? If you delete, refuse a repeat. Unsubscribe. Ruthlessly.

5. Spend time “on the ground”. Denise Stewart taught me that phrase in a powerful speech about going for your dreams that she gave at a blogger conference last year. That means to go offline and live truly, not just virtually.

You can slay the data dragon by giving it short leash to your life. What other ways do you battle T.M.I?

 

 

Many thanks to @SuzanneHenry for pointing to these trends, such as de-teching and outsourcing self-control (remember my time suck Quickrr post?), to help keep us interacting with each other in the now.

 

The Internet is an addictive force. Even GoogleChrome is getting in on the act by creating toolbars courtesy of Quickrr to limit the amount of time we spend on pre-determined URLs (any Angry Bird fans out there?). It seems odd to mention Quickrr on a blog about slow, but in this case, quick(rr) is slow!

JZ Knight offers a refreshing perspective on our self-flagalation (I must close Facebook; I must stop tweeting!). She doesn’t think Internet addiction is the real issue. She says it’s the platform for a countercultural shift in thinking.

JZ Knight (www.Ramtha.com) is a leading self-help and spiritual expert who has become a respected advocate for self-empowerment, helping thousands worldwide to overcome trauma, depression, and addiction and to accomplish extraordinary feats while reaching high levels of success. She has worked with people from all walks of life and has offered guidance to such notable personalities as Salma Hayek, Shirley MacLaine, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Linda Evans.  She’s also appeared on The Larry King Show and MSNBC.

And today, she appears on The Power of Slow for you, dear readers.

Please listen to my chat with JZ Knight about the Internet, consciousness and the future of virtual living!

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