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Filtering by Tag: gratitude

Have You Ever Been Accused of Not Living in the Present? Clarity #21

Alan Andersen

Gratitude keeps you in the here and now. It has you reflect on what is happening all around you in the present moment. Most leaders have vision for the future and have a natural ability to see ahead. This trips them up about what is going on today. Having a daily routine to keep you in the present is one of the most powerful things you can do. A tool we have put in place to assist our leaders and gratitude folks is the quote of the day.

Reflection Time is Key

It is my hope that a simple quote will stop your brain and have you reflect. Pausing in your day to remember what’s most important and to write down something you are grateful for. Then each week take time to plan your week. Did you read Week #21 of Clarity: Focusing on What Matters? The title says it all -”Jumping Off the Hamster Wheel”. Clarity is designed to give you a weekly inspiration to help you prepare for your week. Then once a month, find a half day or full day to get away and examine where you are and where you are headed.

You only get to live this day today. Being present is a gift you give the key people in your life and yourself. What can you do today to stay present and enjoy the here and now?

Please share how you stay present and focused on a daily or weekly basis.

Your Coach,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching


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How Gratitude Transforms You

Alan Andersen

While on a cruise to Mexico, I read a spiritual book called One Thousand Gifts. First chapter in, my list of the 1000 things had begun. It was uncanny, how just being observant to what is and being thankful for small things (such as having someone else make my bed, the smell of suntan lotion, the white foam on a wave) changed my perspective on things. As I continued to read the book, I kept adding to my list hourly — intentionally looking for things I may not have previously seen as “gifts.” It took me three full days to finish my list and in that short time…

It Transformed Me

You may argue the fact that I was on vacation or maybe it was the sunshine and the margaritas. I thought the same thing, so I started the list again when I got home. 

There is something about having a number as a goal that makes it a transforming game. The discipline of making yourself keep track encourages you to look throughout your day for little gifts that scream gratitude! My list includes everything from my mom’s voice and the steam from my morning tea to the breakdown of the car and the disappointment of a cancelled trip. Even the hard and stressful things you experience take on new meaning when you look at them with new eyes.

Why Leaders Struggle

People rarely leave jobs where they are appreciated. When there is a genuine appreciation of a person’s talents and contributions, there is low turn over, better outcomes and greater efficiency. Leaders primarily struggle with gratitude because they have already moved on to the next challenge. Their mind is moving the ball down the field to the goal line. Thus, they forget to vocalize their appreciation or recognize what good is happening all around them, because they are already down the road to the next fire.

Consider the firefighters who put out a huge fire. As they are dealing with the last of the hot embers and beginning to clean up, suddenly another fire breaks out across town. Leaving a clean-up crew behind to finish the job, they race across town and save a child just in the nick of time. Of course, they are held up by all the media attention and reporters; thus they return to the firehouse pumped up on adrenaline ready for more. What are the chances they go back to the clean-up crew and thank them for what a great job they did? It’s not that they are not grateful, they just got busy doing another life threatening feat.

What We Want From Our Leader

We want our leader to be out in front taking on challenges, putting out fires, and fixing what’s not going right. That is their strength and unique ability.

AND we also want them to take a few moments to reflect on what has been successful thus far, vocalize their gratitude for the diversity of talent and contribution of their team, and celebrate progress being made along the way.

It is usually not a natural thing for a leader (although wonderful when it is) to be intentional about vocalizing their praise and appreciation. Yet, it is transforming when they do. It transforms them as a leader and it absolutely transforms the people and the culture. Let’s be honest: it will only happen if there is intentionality. If you want it to work, it requires a measurable goal to track to with a meaningful return.

Who Is In?

If you are in, I’d like to know below. I want to follow your success and learn from your list. Your gratitude items may help me look for something I would have missed otherwise. Come on, you busy people, it’s less than six items a day! This project has even inspired me to start a daily email “quote of the day” so I will remind you. 

The transformation only happens, though, when you are consistent. Being consistent forces you to change your perspective and look for things that you would usually pass over. 

Maybe at Thanksgiving, we can share our transformation stories. I can’t wait!

Your Coach Is Grateful for You!

This article How Gratitude Transforms You originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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The cost of enjoying your life? What price are you willing to pay?

Alan Andersen

This is a muse. I usually write pointed business, leadership and life coaching tips. Today, I share my journey to enjoy my life in 2012. On my planning retreat for 2012, I spent some time journaling and getting very clear on what was ahead for me in the new year. Inspiration hit with the 2012 Gratitude Challenge and there are now 50 people committed to recording 2,012 things they are thankful for this year (6 a day btw). The next day, the catalyst for launching the True Life Quote of the Day birthed a beautiful daily inspiration for the growing number of followers. However, I was still struggling with my theme, my inspiring challenge so I prayed. And the answer came effortlessly, ENJOY. And it freaked me out! What does that mean? It sounds so nice why am I freaking out?

ENJOY as a challenge

Well for sure it is a divine challenge as it certainly is not from me. First of all, I had no idea I wasn’t enjoying my life. I live a pretty exciting life full of purpose and intention and enjoy great influence with incredible people. But this challenge is different. It’s about ME as a person not as leader. Am I truly enjoying myself? Am I finding joy? On the outside, yes and on the surface inside yes and even deep down I have peace and joy because of my spiritual life and deep faith. However, am I experiencing it at my core and can I say I have that gut feel of enjoyment every day?

The Question


Things I enjoy!

Well do you, Shandel, do you enjoy your life? The answer is yes with some “buts” and “ands” so obviously there is sooooo much more for me. I feel this challenge is a call to enjoy things I have not allowed myself to enjoy in the past. The grateful challenge is key for this as the things I am enjoying seem trivial and often missed. Like my red boots or my niece’s laugh when she wears her pink boots to be like me.

Then there are things I realize I don’t enjoy which freaks me eating. I realized I don’t enjoy eating, I want to and try but its a mess. Most people are like SAY WHAT? No eating is either pleasurable and I am cursing myself that I am going to gain weight eating this glorious food or eating healthy food longing for a cookie! That is so messed up! But I didn’t really see that was the story in my head until I said, AM I ENJOYING THIS?

The Secret

The secret for me is I have to slow down, make space, and be present with not just my relationships with other people but with myself. I love to multi-task and get stuff done! However, I notice that I don’t enjoy either task so why not slow down…enjoy each task even if I don’t want to do it and then go on to the next one and enjoy it. Rest, Indulge, BE.

The Struggle

The struggle for me is I don’t feel I am very good at enjoying myself. I realize I haven’t been practicing so maybe that is why I suck at it. Thus, this week I have been practicing. Its pretty funny when you realize you have failed at enjoying …. yet I am okay with it. I am enjoying failing at enjoying because I realize how beautiful it truly is to enjoy your life, yourself, and your tiny moments.

There is a Cost

I have to admit for me to enjoy means I have to say no. I have to let others down. I have to be okay in my own skin and trust God. It requires me to believe others will give me grace as I give it to myself. I’m just saying its not easy and I need help. So you may be hearing more about this adventure and how you can help me. For now, I guess I will stop the muse and not answer the 135 emails from the day and go enjoy the final pages of my book instead.

Enjoying Life Even If It Kills Me,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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