Why Most People Are Doomed To Fail (and How You Don’t Have To Be One Of Them)

September 5th, 2011

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    What is your definition of success, and of failure?  Do your significant other, siblings, friends, and colleagues all share those same definitions, or do they differ?  I’d guess you’d get different versions from each person you ask.  What’s important is that you have examined and are clear on what these definitions are for you, and that you haven’t taken someone else’s ideas about success and failure without evaluating whether they really fit who you are.     

     In my last newsletter I talked about how our goals can serve our lives, rather than simply our lifestyles.  If you’ve accepted success and failure definitions by default rather than creating your own definitions, you’re likely to be doing the the latter rather than the former and, ironically, ultimately failing even though it may look like success to others.  See the article below to understand more about why most people are doomed to fail (and it’s not only the reason I’ve alluded to here).  

     Congratulations to Carol Stewart, who won a PDF copy of my book, Stop Procrastinating Now: 5 Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, from my last newsletter’s drawing! 

     Yes, dear readers, you weren’t imagining it.  There was no July/August ezine issue.  At that time I was just graduating with my Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems, studying hard to take accreditation examinations to become a LEED Green Associate and a Certified Canadian Sustainability Professional, both of which I accomplished within just over a month after official graduation, and doing a fair amount of traveling.  I’ve also been tapped to teach a graduate course in a Sustainability Leadership program at Fielding Graduate University.  In less than a week I leave to present my dissertation at a conference in England, the first time I’ll be presenting at such a conference (then a few days of vacation in Northern Ireland visiting friends).  

Thank you all for your frequent, encouraging messages about my doctoral study progress. Stay tuned for more details on how things develop.

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

   Wishing you, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Why Most People Are Doomed To Fail (And How Not To Be One Of Them)

 

     If you read this issue’s Nichepert’s Note, above, you’ll already be familiar with the concept of how neglecting to examine what success and failure mean to you, in your life, can lead to to failure by default.  But there is another significant reason why many people fail.

     Before we go there, though, remember that it is sometimes said that there are no failures, only lessons learned.  And one person’s success is another’s failure (and vice versa).  Our greatest growth and progress in life does often arise through an experience of failure.  So failure isn’t all bad…but that doesn’t mean we want it or like it wouldn’t prefer to succeed, right? 

     And that’s a great segue into why most people are doomed to fail.     Most people fail simply because they are unwilling to experience what is inevitable when pursuing success: in a word, discomfort.  Success is just about always accompanied by self-doubt, of feeling as though you may be incapable, by having to persist, or start over and over and over again, by digging deep for what feels like an interminable slog, of grappling with something difficult.  And most people run like hell from those feelings.  So they fail to accomplish what they set out to do.  

     But you don’t have to be one of them.  You see, ironically, failure and success  have something in common, something you don’t want but that you experience more when you fail than when you succeed: discomfort!  Yes.  The discomfort of success *and* failure share much of the same characteristics, but with failure you have to experience that discomfort indefinitely.  

     Recognize that discomfort can be an ally.  That awareness helps you to stop resisting discomfort enough to set it aside, press on, and succeed.  Another secret is that you’ll feel much more discomfort, and for much longer, when you give up on your goals.  Plus, it’s a worse kind of discomfort, one that then has the effect of poisoning your future endeavors.  

Trust me, you are capable of *far* more accomplishment and success than you think you are.  My clients are testament to that truth.

         I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after you think about your definitions of success and failure, and what you have learned about discomfort. Please do email me at kerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you experience discomfort? I have room for 3 new clients starting in October.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

Successful people are successful because they form the habits of doing those things that failures don’t like to do.”  ~ Albert Gray ~

“One only gets to the top rung of the ladder by steadily climbing up one at a time, and suddenly all sorts of powers, all sorts of abilities which you thought never belonged to you–suddenly become within your own possibility and you think, ‘Well, I’ll have a go, too.’”  ~ Margaret Thatcher ~

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity. They fail once and it’s all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you’re willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you’re willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you’ve got the potential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.”  ~ Joseph Sugarman ~


Life versus Lifesytle

May 6th, 2011

Nichepert’s Note - Win my book “Stop Procrastinating Now”!

Do Your Goals Serve Your Life (Not Just Your Lifestyle)?

Inspirational Quotes

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    What are the things that really matter to you in life?  How does the way you allocate your time, energy, and other resources serve those things (or not)?      

     Last newsletter I talked about how goals can sometimes sabotage your intentions, and this newsletter issue has a related topic, how our goals can serve our lives, rather than simply our lifestyles.  My clients have found it’s much more rewarding to achieve goals that serve the former rather than the latter.  See the article below to understand the significance of the distinction.  

     Congratulations to Connie Broadie, Doug Cartwright, and Donna Maher, all of whom won a PDF copy of my book, Productive Procrastination: Make It Work For You, Not Against You, from my last newsletter’s drawing! 

     Thank you, dear readers, for your frequent, encouraging messages about my doctoral study progress.  My committee has approved my dissertation and I will complete the final step (it’s call the Final Oral Review, similar to a dissertation defense) on June 1 – just a few short weeks from now.   For the last several months I’ve been working on how I’ll be incorporating my studies into my future work. Stay tuned for more details.

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

   Wishing you, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Do Your Goals Serve Your Life (Not Just Your Lifestyle)?

 

     Thomas Leonard, who is often referred to as “the father of coaching” was one of the first people I knew who made a distinction between life and lifestyle.  He said, “A lifestyle is what you pay for; a life is what pays you.” 

     When clients get focused on efforts that revolve largely around lifestyle they frequently find that that not only is there no end to these pursuits, but once attained, they don’t leave you feeling like you’ve accomplished something meaningful.   As Thomas also said, “The trappings of lifestyle are often that; traps.

     That’s not to say that all lifestyle-oriented pursuits are meaningless.  Actually, those that are great fun and very rewarding combine life *and* lifestyle.  Eating locally and sustainably, for example, could look like growing your own veggies. enjoying a local farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, or subscribing to a community supported agricultural cooperative.    

     If you want to experience more satisfaction, one way is to consider how your example and efforts are contributing to a greater good that is close to your heart.  There are many ways to do this, whether through your career or through volunteer efforts, through financial or some other support that utilizes your gifts, knowledge, skills, interests, and/or passions.  Perhaps you can get your company to support, provide matching funds for, or initiate an employee volunteer program to an organization whose mission is closely aligned with your core values. If writing is one of your skills, for example, you might tweet or blog about a favorite cause, or write articles for an organization’s newsletter.     

     Some people may want to take it even further and contemplate how it might be possible devote more of their time and effort to what matters most to them.  That could mean getting training or certifications, internships, part-time work, reducing (or increasing) your work hours, even moving!  Most of us, though, desire something less radical.  

     You could start simply by thinking about what your top core values are, or what an ideally lived life would look like for you.  One step at a time.  

      Do you want more? Write and ask me for Thomas’s “Top 10 Ways to Get a Life, Not Just a Lifestyle”.  

     And this issue’s drawing is for 2 copies of the PDF version of my book Stop Procrastinating Now.  I’ll pick two readers (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) to receive this product.  

        I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after you think about what serves your life versus your lifestyle. Please do email me at kerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 1 new client this quarter.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ~ Kahlil Gibran ~

“Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.” ~ Wilfred T. Grenfell ~ 

 

“You’re happiest while you’re making the greatest contribution.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy ~ 

3 Chances to Win My Book!

March 10th, 2011

Nichepert’s Note - Win my book “Productive Procrastination”!

How Your Goals Can Sabotage Your Intentions

Inspirational Quotes

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    Have you ever wanted something, took action to get it, and either failed or, maybe worse, got what you wanted only to realize it wasn’t really what you wanted after all?    

     Last newsletter I talked about goals, and this issue has a related topic, how your goals can sabotage your intentions, or vice versa.  This is happened to many, if not most, of my clients because they didn’t understand how intentions channel into objectives, goals, and tasks.  See the article below for these distinctions, which can make the difference between having or not having what you want.   The article is an excerpt from my book Productive Procrastination: Make it Work For You, Not Against You (available at www.Procrastivity.com or at www.Amazon.com.  

     Congratulations to Susanna Davis, who won the “Where Has The Time Gone” worksheet set productivity tool from the last newsletter’s drawing! 

     If you’ve been following my doctoral study progress, I completed the second set of revisions to my dissertation earlier this week and my committee chairperson suggested I send it to my external examiner (EE) for review, which means I’m very close to an approved dissertation.  I sent off the dissertation to my EE on the exact three year mark of my entry into the doctoral program, which feels like a cool coincidence (especially since I forecast that it would take 3 to 3.5 years to complete it).   

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

   Wishing you, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

How Your Goals Can Sabotage Your Intentions

 

Understanding the differences between intentions, objectives, goals, and tasks

While you may think of goals and objectives as synonymous with each other, they are different. Objectives are longer-term, bigger picture desires, dreams, and accomplishments, whereas goals are stepping-stones along the way to those objectives. Tasks are the even smaller actions that lead to achieving goals. When coaching procrastinators, this is an important distinction, since breaking down objectives into lesser goals and even more granular tasks makes planning easier and reduces the overwhelm most people experience when aiming high or contemplating big projects or dreams— and sometimes smaller ones.

Now let’s add the concept of intention into the mix. Intention is why you create the objective in the first place. Here’s an example to illustrate how these distinctions are helpful, using one of the top four items people have listed in my Procrastination Survey: getting organized. Getting organized is the objective, and the goals toward that objective could include getting rid of junk and clutter and putting what’s left into some semblance of order, using systems that are sustainable so you can stay organized consistently. Tasks that would serve this goal could include; cleaning off your desk, sorting stuff, creating a new filing system, going through your files and throwing out “dead” files, putting some files into short or longer term storage, cleaning out your office, kitchen, bathroom, or garage cabinets and reorganizing them, creating a new system to deal with incoming mail, bills to be paid, reading materials that accumulate, etc. Okay, that’s pretty obvious, right?

Intention is why you want to get organized. Getting and staying organized isn’t something most people do because they have fun doing it (though some people do, believe it or not), but because they want the ease, peace of mind, ability to focus, and effectiveness that result from being able to find things easily and think more clearly, in a streamlined space. This is the motivation behind all organizing efforts, just as feeling good about yourself is one of the core motivations behind exercising, weight- loss, and getting-in-shape objectives.

Intention is important to explore because without doing so we often create objectives and goals that make it harder for us to achieve our intentions by limiting us to the one outcome we’re looking for. Perhaps you think your closet has to look like a California Closets advertisement. And if it doesn’t look as tidy and color- coordinated, if the hangers aren’t all the same and an even inch apart, if you have many colors, different prints, red boots that don’t fit into the shoe compartment, and a big floppy hat that doesn’t fit anywhere, you think you’ve failed. Those ads, you see, are really just fantasy. Nobody’s closet really looks like that, unless they wear only brown and blue, have only three pairs of jeans, four sweaters, and five pairs of shoes. But if you connect with what you really want—a closet where you can easily hang something, where things aren’t falling over, where you can find what you’re looking for, where you actually wear most of what’s hung there—that’s success.

Referring back to your intention gives you many more options and more flexibility. It also gives you more inspiration. If you think to yourself “I’m such a slob—I have to get more organized!” you’re already at a disadvantage. However, if instead you refer to what motivates you—peace of mind and effectiveness, for example—that’s a lot more appealing and has much more sustainability.

          Do you want more? I’m giving away 3 copies of the PDF version of my book “Productive Procrastination: Make It Work For You, Not Against You”.  I’ll pick three readers (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) to receive this product.  

        I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after you reconsider your 2011 goals or resolutions. Please do email me at kerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 1 new client this quarter.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

““The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” ~ Earl Nightingale ~

““Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~ Stephen Brennan ~ 

 

““To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” ~ Kofi Annan ~ 

Revising Resolutions

January 7th, 2011

 I don’t know about you, but for me 2010 whizzed by.  Where did the time go?  (Yes, that’s the name of this month’s give-away – keep reading to find out more about it.)  

 

     More than a decade of experience coaching many very different people has taught me to not take people’s goals and resolutions for granted.  The motivations that prompt the goals we create make an immense difference in how easy or hard it is to achieve those goals.  Another long-learned lesson is the questioning of the concept of goals: how we think about them, why we create them, why the idea of setting and achieving goals is important to us.  

 

     In the article below I discuss these two ideas within the context of the new year: why we choose certain goals, and why we choose to create goals in the first place.  If you end up wanting more detail about the relationship between goals and procrastination you might want to think about getting my book Productive Procrastination: Make it Work For You, Not Against You (available at www.Procrastivity.com or atwww.Amazon.com.  

 

     Congratulations to Joyce Agren, who won the Procrastination Solutions Kit from the last newsletter’s drawing! 

 

     If you’ve been following my doctoral study progress, I completed my data collection in November and have been writing up my dissertation since then.  A riding accident put a dent in my progress in December (it put a dent in just about everything except rest!!), but I still aim to complete the first draft of dissertation by the end of this month.  

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

 

   Wishing you, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

One Week Into the New Year: Revising Your Resolutions Wisely

 

     Whether or not you created New Year’s resolutions for yourself, and whether or not you are upholding them a week into the new year are, to me, somewhat superficial subjects.  More interesting (and important), are two drives: why we set goals in the first place, and why we choose specific goals.   

     Some scholars think that our human brain has evolved with an inclination to create a vision of the future, one in which we continually strive to increase our access to resources (and, coincidentally, power over them and over people – see David Geary’s Origin of Mind if this interests you).  So we have a pre-programmed inclination to want things for ourselves that we don’t already have.  Unsurprisingly, we also live in a global culture that gives status to those who are adept at amassing wealth, status, and other resources (yes, a beautiful, fit, and/or strong body is a resource). 

      So, wanting ever more for ourselves is part of our evolutionary heritage.  But it’s only in the last 25 or so years (out of the last 10,000 that mankind has settled into permanent communities) that a whole industry has grown up around goal-setting.  It has by now become an expectation (in developed countries, at least) and if you don’t set and pursue goals, you are perceived as a slacker.  

     My belief is that we are at a turning point in how we utilize our evolutionary inclinations.  While some resources are limitless, scientists have been reporting that the physical ones we use extensively (clean air, arable soil, energy resources, clean water for irrigation of crops, for example) need to be used judiciously.  This is causing us to rethink how we look at resources, and how we access and use them.  We are necessarily starting to approach how we live as being part of the greater system upon which we depend. [Bear with me here!  I am getting to the point and how it relates to goals!]

     Governments, businesses, communities, and individuals are starting to develop a more holistic perspective that takes into account the global systems within which we are inextricably entwined.  That perspective has begun to filter down to how we pursue our own individual objectives.  This is where the motivations for our goals comes into play, and picking your objectives becomes critical to satisfaction.  Have you ever noticed how certain goals, once you’ve achieved them, feel hollow and not as satisfying as you thought they would, or recognized that a goal that is only a means to an end is sometimes very hard to follow through on?  

     It’s vital to pick goals that fit who you are, what you are really interested in and can commit to, that will bring you real satisfaction, and that bring out the best in you.  It’s also crucial to be realistic about the level of progress you can achieve in a smaller time frame:   

  •  rather than be out of debt entirely by year end, set a goal to reduce your debt by 35% (did you accumulate all the debt in one year?  Probably not.)
  •  rather than get to the gym 4 days a week, make it two, or even one with a jog, swim, walk, or dance another day.
  •  rather than quitting smoking cold turkey, reduce it to 3 cigarettes a day or one per week, at least for now.
  •  rather than decluttering your entire office this weekend, just start with your desk drawers.

     And here’s a more radical idea for you: rather than focusing on the usual debt/weight/clutter-reduction (all of which are good things in and of themselves), put your attention on the things that give you a sense of contribution and feeling of your idea of a life well-lived (not someone else’s!).  Do not tie your happiness and satisfaction to how other people see you, what you think others want of you, or some model image.  It will always backfire and leave you struggling, scrambling, overwhelmed, or giving up.

          Do you want some more tools for overcoming procrastination? I’m giving away the “Where Did The Time Go?” worksheet set (it’s one of the components of my Procrastination Solutions Kit.  I’ll pick one reader (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) to receive this product.  

        I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after you reconsider your 2011 goals or resolutions. Please do email me atkerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 2 new clients this quarter.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” ~ Sun Tzu  ~

 

“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” ~Jonathan Kozol ~ 

 

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.” 

Jesse Owens ~ 

Wrapping up – Win the Procrastination Solutions Kit!

November 3rd, 2010

“The Procrastivity Pipeline” Kerul Kassel, Publisher 

November 2010 (c) 2010 New Leaf Systems, Inc.

 

In This Issue

Nichepert’s Note - Win a Procrastination Solutions Kit!

Wrapping Up

Inspirational Quotes

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    Whether you’re in the northern hemisphere and experiencing autumn, or in the southern half of the world waking up to spring, no matter where you are it’s getting near the end of the year.  You have a bit less than two months to make progress toward the goals you made at the beginning of the year.  Does that thought energize you or make you feel badly about what you haven’t done?  Wouldn’t you like to bring out the best in yourself in accomplishing whatever you can?

     In the article below I discuss how your approach to goals and follow through have a huge effect on your results.  Early in my coaching career I recognized that how people perceived their progress (or lack of it) influenced their motivation and their results.  It also became clear not all procrastination is created equal.  As a result, I’ve created a number of resources to help people become more organized and productive.  This month I’m giving away a copy of my Procrastination Solutions Kit.  See the article below for more information.  

     Congratulations to Maureen Kane-Harrison and Sherry Kahn, who each won a decluttering product from the last newsletter’s drawing! 

     On a personal note, for those of you who are following my doctoral study progress, I advanced to candidacy in September and have been collecting my full dissertation research, which I’ll be analyzing this month.  I’ve also almost completed another course and have contracted for the very last course in my doctoral study program.  Here’s my plan: I aim to submit my dissertation in January 2011, which will be 2 years and 10 months into the program.  

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

   Wishing you a noteworthy November and, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Wrapping Up

 

     Does the thought of goals make you cringe a bit?  Do you have a tendency to mentally beat yourself up for tasks and objectives you set but haven’t completed?  If so, you’re not alone.  Almost all of my clients respond this way to what they consider procrastination.  But let me ask you this: does beating yourself up energize you for wrapping up the goal?

     My experienced guess is that your answer is something like, “no, not exactly”.  Here’s what you should understand: figuratively dragging yourself through the dirt for having unfinished business is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing!  That’s because the consequences for doing so are:

  • a degradation of your self-image
  • a decrease in your self-efficacy (your perception of your ability to get things done
  • an increase in resistance to finishing up
  • an increase in a sense of overwhelm

which altogether do not make for an enthusiastic return to productivity.

     It’s “normal” to be inclined toward a feeling of shame or guilt for what is left undone, the thought process being that “I must be wrong/bad/disorganized/inept/stupid/lazy/out-of-control” but normal doesn’t necessarily equate with good, at least in this case.  That kind of thinking just puts you in a deeper hole.

      Here’s an alternative way of considering your unfinished business: 

  • First, ask yourself if this task/goal is something important enough to you, compared with your other tasks and obligations, to continue working on.  Sometimes the answer is no.  
  • If it still makes the list of goals, take out your calendar and ask yourself what can I do today/tomorrow/this week to make progress with this goal?  Schedule a time slot for attending to the work.
  • Ask yourself “Who can I get to help me with resources, motivation, or accountability?” 
  • Go back into your calendar and schedule a number of time slots, perhaps twice as many as you think you need, to get the task done by your deadline.  This allows for interruptions, distractions, and unforeseen events.
  • Remember to look at your calendar a few times each day to make sure you don’t forget what you’ve committed to.
  • Whenever you catch your inner critic giving you a tongue-lashing for what you haven’t accomplished, thank it for its role in helping you become the person it wants you to be, while not taking it to heart.  Then, simply get out your calendar and start scheduling.  

     Do you want some more strategies for overcoming procrastination?  Check out the Procrastination Solutions Kit  and give it a trial, risk-free, or buy it.  I’m giving away a free copy this month. The kit has a $39 value and in this drawing I’ll pick one reader (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) to receive this product.  

     I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after you set aside your inner critic and get to work on your goals. Email me at kerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 1 new client in November.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“Yet how proud we are, In daring to look down upon ourselves!” 

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~

“One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood.  The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide” ~  Charles Horton Cooley ~

 

“Cultivate honesty about oneself and the quality of one’s work. Over self-criticism can be debilitating, but insufficient self-criticism is the handmaiden of mediocrity and, often, failure.”   ~ Nigel Hamilton ~

Fresh Start

September 3rd, 2010

“The Procrastivity Pipeline” Kerul Kassel, Publisher 

September 2010 (c) 2010 New Leaf Systems, Inc.

 

In This Issue

Nichepert’s Note - Win 6-CD Decluttering Program!

Fresh Starts

Inspirational Quotes

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    Here in the US it is the start of Labor Day weekend, the informal end of summer.  This holiday signals the shift into a higher productivity, focused push.  How focused and productive are you feeling? 

     In the article below I return to a subject that was the catalyst for my involvement in coaching: clutter.  Early in my coaching business I developed a number of products and services specifically geared to helping people reduce clutter and become more organized and productive.  This month I’m giving away not one, but two decluttering products.  See the article below for more information.  

     Clutter is often a symptom of procrastination (though not always), and does often impair productivity, efficiency, and creativity.  I’ve had dozens of clients tell me how much better they feel when they have streamlined their spaces, how more business has suddenly appeared (because they have created the physical and mental space for it, and how much more easily they can concentrate on their work.  

     For those of you who are following my doctoral study progress, you may recall that my dissertation proposal and internal review board application to conduct my research was approved and now I’m almost done collecting my pilot study research data.  By this time next month I hope to be starting my full dissertation research.  

 

     How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

   Wishing you a sensational September and, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Fresh Starts

 

     Whichever hemisphere you are in, for most people this is a time of transition into busier activity.  In the northern hemisphere summer is, for all intents and purposes, over, and we’re swinging into back into high gear after a period of more relaxed effort.  It’s the time to try out new systems, tactics, and habits that can help us be and do our best; to get reorganized and re-prioritized so we can accomplish our goals and dreams without burning ourselves out. 

     In the southern half of the world the winter is easing and spring is on its way, new life building on the old.  It is a time for clearing out, an opportunity for reassessment of the contents of homes and work spaces, for re-evaluating how objectives and desires are approached.  

      When decluttering there are 5 factors that can get in our way:

  • Finding the time to do it 
  • Finding the motivation to do it 
  • Getting past the overwhelm to get started 
  • Having a plan for the decluttering process 
  • Having a set of criteria for deciding what to keep 

     I could write a chapter on each of those factors, but the one I’m covering in this article is the last one: having a set of criteria for deciding what to keep and what to give away or otherwise dispose of.  

      Let’s start out with a few simple questions you can ask yourself for each item you’re considering:

  • Is this something I haven’t touched in a year or more?
  • If I need this, will I be able to find it again, will I even remember I have it, or am I more likely to go looking for something more recent/up-to-date?
  • Does this say something I like about who I am or would like to be?    
  • Could someone else (especially someone who is experiencing hard times) be making better use of this than I am?
  • Is it costing me more to keep this – financially, mentally, and in terms of available space, than it is worth? 

     For items you are still waffling about whether or not to let those things go, put them in a box and date the outside of the box with the month and year you filled it.  Set it aside for 3 more months, putting a calendar reminder in your datebook to bring it to Goodwill or similar facility at that time.  When the time comes, don’t even open the box, just bring it to it’s point of departure for its new life.  

     Face it, you’re unlikely to return to most of the computer printouts, articles, magazines, and other papers you have lying around.  Most are accessible via internet, library, or electronic file on your computer and you’re unlikely to go searching for them.  For those that aren’t easily found, scan them into a file and save the file on your computer.  Naming files?  That’s a whole new article! 

   I hate throwing perfectly good things out as much as or more than most people, but you probably don’t have to.  Instead of trashing your still-usable stuff, try Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/group/) which has groups all over the world.  I once got a large painting delivered to me in a plywood box, and when I announced the availability of the plywood on Freecycle within a couple of hours over a dozen people emailed me asking for it!   

     Space constrains me to stop here.  If you are interested in more, I have some products available such as the Power Decluttering E-Course, and the 6 CD Audio Series, one of each I’m giving away this month.  The 6 CD Audio series has a $69 value and E-Course has a $29 value. I’m offering a drawing in which two readers (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) will receive one or the other of these products.  

     I’d love to hear about what you’ve accomplished after clearing away your clutter. Email me at kerul@newleafsystems.com

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 2 new clients in September.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” 

~ Wendell Berry ~ 

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  ~ William Morris ~

 

“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.  ~ Mother Teresa ~

Procrastinate When You Aren’t Clear

July 2nd, 2010

 It’s officially summer, at least in the northern hemisphere, and for many of us there’s a sense that procrastination is a little more acceptable during the summer season.  What I’d like you to know is that what you think of as procrastination is actually a better strategy more often than you think. 

 

     In the article below I talk about one category of productive procrastination, or what I call “procrastivity”, the definition of which is “significantly enhanced productivity achieved through intelligently and creatively applying intentional procrastination”.  The other categories of procrastivity are outlined in my book, Productive Procrastination – Make it Work For You, Not Against You (available at Procrastivity.com orAmazon.com).

 

      And to celebrate the season and the concept of procrastivity, I’m giving away a PDF copy of the book.  See the article below for instructions on entering the drawing.  At the beginning of August I’ll pull one winning name from the list of those that respond.   

 

     Congratulations to Marié Julsing, of South Africa, winner of last month’s drawing.  Marié won the “Where Has The Time Gone Worksheet”, part ofThe Procrastination Solutions Kit.

 

     For those of you who are following my doctoral study progress, I  submitted my dissertation proposal and internal review board application to conduct my research – a big jump, in less than three weeks after I’d submitted my literature review.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that my proposal will be accepted with minimal changes, please!

 

     Enough about me!  How are you doing?  Honestly, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a subject or question you have in the area of self-leadership, productivity, and effectiveness?  Let me know – it may be featured in upcoming newsletters.  

 

   Wishing you a fabulous July and, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Procrastinate When You Aren’t Sure

 

      Below is an updated version of an article I wrote a few years ago about the wisdom of *not* taking action when you are fuzzy about what action to take.

      This month I’m offering a drawing in which a reader (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) will receive a PDF version of my book Productive Procrastination – Make it Work For You, Not Against You.  The subject of this book is how to know when *not* doing something you think you “should” be doing is a better strategy than either kicking yourself for not taking action or doing something possibly misguided because you haven’t taken the time to allow the idea, the situation, your own mind or development to ripen .  The book, btw, is available atAmazon.com 

 

      Here’s my advice: procrastinate when you aren’t sure. Wait… should you put something off just because you don’t have crystal clarity? Shouldn’t you be doing something – anything to create forward movement?  Shouldn’t we at least feel guilty for procrastinating?

 

     Usually, the answer is no.  Not all procrastination is created equal.  Just because you’re not doing what looks like real action toward a decision or goal doesn’t mean that: a) no action is happening, or b) action is appropriate at this moment.

 

     Make no mistake – I do *NOT* mean that you should put off action if you are about to lose something you value, if there are outside (not just internal) forces or deadlines that you must comply with, or if others are sincerely being put at a disadvantage because of your lack of action.  That would be irresponsible, insensitive, or inconsiderate, and that isn’t what I’m suggesting you do.  

 

     I have led many workshops in which participants were involved in developing a more in-depth picture of what they wanted their futures to look like, including their business or career goals, financial profile, personal aspirations, relationships, home life, etc. Participants usually hope to leave with a clear and thorough idea of what was next for them. Despite the exercises and discussion in the workshop, it sometimes doesn’t happen during the workshop.

 

     There are certainly things you can do to help the process along, from discussing your ideas with colleagues, friends, or family (or a trained coach!), mind-mapping and journaling.  More creative techniques include dream-boarding and meditating. Sometimes the most effective technique for defining your vision is to sit alone on a deserted beach or take a solitary hike in the woods.

 

     If you’ve played with those exercises and the vision is still vague, here’s my expert recommendation: wait. You read it right. Wait for the fuzziness to come into better focus. 

 

     To take action simply for the sake of taking action when ideas for forward movement are not yet clear usually results in frustration or regret. Instead, focus on other goals and activities in the meantime. You never know, engaging in them instead might lead to meeting someone, reading something, hearing or seeing an idea, resource, or event that is the stimulus forward, that connects you to the next steps or removes the veil in front of what you’d like your future to look like. 

 

     Sometimes waiting (what can feel like procrastinating) requires you to sit tight and be patient.  It also requires faith and trust, as well as self-confidence; faith that the information you need will come to you in time, trust that you’re not missing opportunities or shooting yourself in the foot while you wait, and self-confidence that you’re not being stupid, woo-woo, lazy, or using bad judgment. It’s not effortless to sustain that patience in the face of those internal critics, but it is possible. As you experience more positive outcomes it will get easier. 

 

     I’d love to hear about what you’ve waited for clarity about before you’ve taken action, and what your results were. Email me atkerul@newleafsystems.com

 

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 1 new client in July.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 

 

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.” 

Paulo Coelho ~ 

 

““Between the wish and the thing life lies waiting.”  ~ Author unknown ~

 

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” ~ Author unknown ~

 

 

Win a Productivity Tool!

June 7th, 2010

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

    Holy cow!  Can you believe the year is almost half over?  Time does fly by, and the older I get the faster it goes.  Is it the same for you?  

 

     It’s a good time to ask: How are you doing on your goals for this year?  Are you going gang-busters or could your progress be better?  If the former, fabulous!  If the latter, maybe I can help.  Will you be the lucky one to win some free assistance?

 

      Many of you know that I’m always tweaking and enhancing my productivity practices, learning, developing, and using new tools.  It’s part of my obligation to you as your source for inspiring information to help you reach your optimal potential.  Recently, I found myself going back to a tool I developed a number of years ago. It’s one of the tools found in my Procrastination Solutions Kit and is a worksheet to help you track and design your life so as to get the best out of your goals, energy, and time.  The “Where Has The Time Gone Worksheet” has once again helped me bump up my self-management, and one of you readers will get the tool for free.  Simply email me telling me to enter you in the drawing, and I’ll pull one winning name from the list of those that respond.   All you have to do is email me to enter (Kerul@newleafsystems.com). 

 

     Please see the article below for more help on maximizing your potential by becoming more aware of how you spend your time.

 

     For those of you who are following my doctoral study progress, I’ve just submitted my literature review for feedback and will probably submit my dissertation proposal for review by the end of this month, about 27 months into the program.

 

     Enough about me!  How are you doing?  If you’d like to go beyond effectiveness, or if struggle and procrastination still dog you, consider the Procrastination Solutions Kit and my books Stop Procrastinating Now and Productive Procrastination, you’re just a few clicks away from rethinking your approach to better circumstances and more satisfaction.  Remember that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.  You may just need an outside perspective, some brainstorming, and a few good tools to make fast progress toward your objectives.

 

   Wishing you a fabulous June, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Where Did Your Time Go?

 

      Do you sometimes wonder at the end of the day, or the week, or even the month, where the time went, and feel dismayed because you’re not much closer to your professional or personal goals?

      This month I’m offering a drawing in which a reader (randomly chosen from a list of those who request to be entered into the drawing simply by emailing me at Kerul@NewLeafSystems.com) will get free access to a productivity tool.  The “Where Has The Time Gone Worksheet”, a piece of my Procrastination Solutions Kit (available at StopProcrastinatingNow.com) is designed to help you think about not only on the “this and that” of what you did, but also how you’re applying your time resource to the different aspects of your life. 

 

    You may be making real headway with your professional goals, but how are you doing with your health and fitness, or friendships, or home and family life, or favorite activities?  If I were to ask you to think about how much time per week you spent on each of these (and other) areas of your life, would you know how your time breaks out?  Over and over, I’ve found that when clients do this exercise (and when I do it myself!) that their top-of-the-head estimates are actually way off when they spend 15 or 20 minutes comparing them with their actual calendar.  That is, if they even use a calendar/diary/schedule. 

  

      Over and over, my clients have found that planning and tracking using a calendar/diary/schedule helps immensely, and those who initially resist it the most end up the finding the biggest benefit.

 

     In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey suggests you use the roles you play in your life (your professional role, as a parent, child, friend, neighbor, volunteer, homeowner, etc.) to examine how you’re conducting your life.  It’s a great lens to look through, so to speak.  Another lens, one that is a little simpler, is to look at the categories of time use, such as work, obligations, personal care, and play.  The idea is to make yourself aware of how you allocate your attention and energy (just as you might periodically track how much money you spend, it’s always just shocking!), and to help you use that awareness to recalibrate, and to build some intention and support around how you’d like your professional and personal life to look.

 

     Want help with understanding and transforming the way you use your energy, attention, effort, time, and other resources? I have room for just 2 new clients in June.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 

     Also, you may also want to check out a bunch of Top Ten productivity tips amassed by my colleague, Meggin McIntosh, at www.TopTenProductivityTips.com

 

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

“The swiftness of time is infinite, as is still more evident when we look back on the past.” ~ Seneca ~ 

 

“The more business a man has to do, the more he is able to accomplish, for he learns to economize his time.  ~ Sir Matthew Hale ~

 

“He who know most grieves most for wasted time.” ~ Dante ~

Don’t Take Yes For An Answer

May 12th, 2010

    Do you find yourself struggle to juggle a number of tasks, obligations, responsibilities, and to-do’s? That’s where one of my anticrastination strategies can be a powerful aid to reducing overload, stress, and missed deadlines: Don’t Take Yes For An Answer. 

 

     Last night, while in a board meeting, I witnessed the board almost taking a step before having really considered what we were getting ourselves into.  That could have led to a decision that came back to bite us later, either because it overextended us financially or was too difficult to turn the idea into reality.  I see clients grapple with this same type of motivation in their own lives.  Please see the article below for how to recognize and stop yourself before you take on something that seems like a good idea but you might end up regretting soon after.     

 

     In the last few days I’ve gone from the frying pan into the ice bucket.  We had a gorgeous April in Florida, then on the first of May the hot (over 90F or over 33C) wiltingly humid weather began.  Just as we were getting two or three degrees of relief my schedule took me to the US Northeast where temperatures plummeted into the freezing zone.  Even so, the warblers have arrived and are singing, and the Phoebes are again nesting on our porch as they have done for many years.  

 

     For those of you who are curious about how my puppy, Darla, is doing after her total hip replacement a couple of months ago, she is back on full activity and is healthy, happy, and seems healed. A big thank you to all of you who wrote with good wishes and prayers.  We also adopted a new horse, Kody, when our neighbor couldn’t afford to keep him anymore.  Kody, who lost an eye about 6 months ago after surgery to remove a growth resulted in infection, is settling in with our herd.  In spite of having only one eye he can (and does) go for trail rides and is better adjusted than many fully-sighted horses I’ve seen.

 

     Enough about me!  How are you doing?  If you’d like to go beyond effectiveness, or if struggle and procrastination still dog you, consider the Procrastination Solutions Kit and my books Stop Procrastinating Now and Productive Procrastination, you’re just a few clicks away from rethinking your approach to better circumstances and more satisfaction.  Remember, discipline and will-power only take you so far – you’ve got to have a lot more arrows in your quiver than just them.

 

   Wishing you a delightful May, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

Don’t Take Yes For An Answer

 

      Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all your to-do’s, have difficulty managing your time well, or have trouble getting things done on time?  One reason could be because you’ve taken “yes” as an answer.

      This month I’m sharing a bit about Strategy #4 from my book Stop Procrastinating Now . Most of the time when we add something to our responsibilities or to-do list, we don’t really give much thought to whether it’s something that we really need to do or not, how we might accomplish it or whether we’re really committed to doing so.

 

     Before you include anything on your to-do list, it needs a brief examination. Could it be you’re just telling yourself you’ll do something without real intent and strategy to follow through? Don’t bother. You know what happens: You say you’ll do it, and then you ignore it, deny it, say you’ll do it just after you finish reading the paper, your e-mail, or the television show is over. You believe you have good intentions. And for the most part, you do, especially when you create the intention! But are your intentions serious and realistic?

 

     Stop just intending. Intention without action is like a car without wheels; you may have a vehicle, but it’s really hard to get anywhere.

 

     Have you evaluated this new activity or obligation in light of all the other things on your plate?  Where does it fit?  Is it more or less important that other things?  Is there anything you can remove, stop, delegate, or simplify to make room for this new intention?  If not, and if you already have too may plates spinning, so to speak, stop yourself before saying yes.  For now, just say “maybe” (perhaps even “no!”) before you make a challenging situation more so.

 

     Want help with understanding and transforming the obstacles on your path? I have room for just 1 new client in May.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.  

 

     Also, you may also want to check out a bunch of Top Ten productivity tips amassed by my colleague, Meggin McIntosh, at www.TopTenProductivityTips.com

 

 INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

 

““If we don’t see a failure as a challenge to modify our approach, but rather as a problem with ourselves, as a personality defect, we will immediately feel overwhelmed.” ~ Anthony Robbins ~ 

 

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.~ Alfred Montapert ~

 

“Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of his abilities, and for no more.” ~ Gail Hamilton ~

 

HUMOR

 

In Honor of Mothers Everywhere:

WHY GOD MADE MOMS

(Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions):

Why did God make mothers?

1.  She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.

2.  Mostly to clean the house.

3.  To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1.  He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.

2.  Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.

3.  God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1.  God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.

2.  They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1.  We’re related.

2.  God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

1.  My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.

2.  I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

3.  They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1.  His last name.

2.  She had to know his background.  Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?

3.  Does he make at least $800 a year?  Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1.  My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my mom eats a lot

2.  She got too old to do anything else with him.

3.  My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?

1.  Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.

2.  Mom.  You can tell by room inspection.  She sees the stuff under the bed.

3.  I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between moms and dads?

1.  Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.

2.  Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

3.  Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.

4.  Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

 What does your mom do in her spare time?

1.  Mothers don’t do spare time.

2.  To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

 What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1.  On the inside she’s already perfect.  Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.

2.  Diet.  You know, her hair.  I’d diet, maybe blue.

 If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1.  She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I’d get rid of that.

2.  I’d make my mom smarter.  Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.

3.  I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

How Obstacles Are Actually Resources

April 13th, 2010

A NOTE FROM THE PROCRASTIVITY NICHEPERT

     The coldest winter on record has broken its hold here in Florida, I’m grateful to say.  Since I’d moved here for the warm winter weather, the long chilly winter had me thinking I might have to move to Costa Rica.  Okay, not really, but it’s nice to be out of hibernation and outdoors.  I don’t like to admit it, but for me, mentally overcoming the cold is one piece of self-leadership I have not yet mastered.         What aspects of self-leadership do you grapple with?  Do you experience obstacles you haven’t yet found a way around?  Check out the article below for some beyond-the-usual tips to troubleshoot the stumbling blocks you may encounter on your way to personal mastery.        A bit of new on the personal front: our puppy, Darla, had her total hip replacement 6 weeks ago and seems to be healing well.  Her first post-surgical x-ray is this week.  It’s been a frustrating time for her, having to always be on a leash connected to us no matter where she is or what she is doing, except for overnight in her crate.  It’s been quite the distraction and productivity-killer for me, too, and we’re all looking forward to when she can be free of her “ball and chain”.  A big thank you to all of you who wrote with good wishes and prayers.      Enough about me!  How are you doing?  If you’d like to go beyond effectiveness, or if struggle and procrastination still dog you, consider the Procrastination Solutions Kit and my books Stop Procrastinating Now and Productive Procrastination, you’re just a few clicks away from rethinking your approach to better circumstances and more satisfaction.  Remember, discipline and will-power only take you so far – you’ve got to have a lot more arrows in your quiver than just them.

   Wishing you a delightful April, as always, optimal procrastivity,

Kerul 

  

Kerul Kassel, Author of Productive Procrastination - Make It Work For You, Not Against You and the award-winning Stop Procrastinating Now – Five Radical Procrastination Strategies To Set You Free, both available at www.Procrastivity.com

 

 

How Obstacles Are Actually Resources

 

     It’s normal to get frustrated by wrinkles in your plans.  Normal, at least, from the perspective of what most people experience before they break through the paradigm that all obstacles on the path to their goals should be banished or prevented.       Of course, I’m not suggesting that you seek out hindrances, but even with the best preparations it is likely you’ll face what feel like stumbling blocks.  Rather than being impediments, they may actually be resources to help you accomplish not only your more immediate desires, but others you may not yet have even thought of.           I’m not referring to the clichéd notion about turning lemons into lemonade.  It’s much more about understanding how your own mental and emotional pattern about perceived constraints can make the difference between feeling dismayed, delayed, and disheartened versus curious, conformable, and can-do.      Here are some ideas to help you make the transition: 

  •       If you’re not following through on a task or goal, stop berating yourself and instead ask yourself what might be in the way.  Is there something that feels uncomfortable to do?  What about it is uncomfortable?  That information is crucial!  It contains the key to creating a work-around or removing the obstacle completely.  For example, recently a client had been putting off making calls to some business contacts and realized it was because he didn’t want to be perceived as a pest.  That concern was the information he needed to overcome his reluctance.  By crafting an approach that made the call about sincerely serving the person he was calling, it removed his resistance.

 

  •       Does a dark cloud materialize over you when a glitch or hitch in your progress develops?  This may involve two specific mental patterns that are not exactly productive.  The first is associated with an unrealistic expectation that your path should be smooth and easy.  The second is that every obstacle needs to be prevented or removed a.s.a.p.  The reality is that things rarely proceed without unforeseen events or circumstances – that’s life.  To get upset about them wastes both energy and time, as well as the opportunities we are blind to because they are perceived only as encumbrances.  Perhaps an important appointment you were looking forward to gets cancelled, or someone you wanted to work with rejects your inquiry – it has happened to many of my clients (and myself) that the loss of what we had hoped for creates space for a better appointment or deal or mentor or team member than we might have originally gotten.

 

  •       It’s only when we’re pursuing our aspirations that we experience obstacles.  The bigger and hairier the aspiration, the more daunting the obstacles – it means we’re pushing the envelope of our boundaries and that’s a good thing.  We don’t get what we really want, nor do we generally appreciate it, without putting significant effort and persistence into it.  Obstacles also usually precede significant leaps so, unless you let the obstacle discourage and distract you, the deeper you are in it the closer you are to a new understanding and better results.    

      Want help with understanding and transforming the obstacles on your path? I have room for just 2 new clients in April.  Email or call right away if you’re interested.        Also, you may also want to check out a bunch of Top Ten productivity tips amassed by my colleague, Meggin McIntosh, at www.TopTenProductivityTips.com