THE Step to Working Smarter (Japanese Style)
Remember that Coke contest from the 80s? If you collected bottle tops that had the letters to spell T-H-E R-E-A-L T-H-I-N-G, then youd win a zillion dollars.
Im not sure where the drink industry turned the corner but contests and advertisements are no longer all you will find on the underneath side of bottle caps.
The latest beverage I popped open was some high brow herbal elixir that promised energy, health and a stress free life. Interesting claims for a container of strained leaves.
To further my surprise, what I found under the cap was the following Japanese proverb:
Vision without action is daydreaming; action without vision is a nightmare.
Needless to say, this quote made my beveraging experience much more philosophical than I bargained for.
After the laughter from finding a Japanese proverb under by bottle cap subsided, I actually pondered the phrase deeply. It glued itself to my brain for the rest of the day.
So what is it about Vision and Action working together that gives us the changes we so desire? Or, better yet, what is it about Vision without Action and Action without Vision that keeps us from attaining what we want in our lives and careers?
1. Vision without Action Weve all have the best of intentions when it comes to those To Do lists both at work and at home. How about that project, idea, or those personal goals that youve been storing in the Some-Day-Soon vault in the back of your mind?
These are the visions that we have for our lives that are becoming nothing more than daydreams as the months and years continue to pass.
2. Action without Vision
Business revolutionary Michael Gerber says that most of us work in the Technician mode. That is, always doing rather than spending time as the Entrepreneur of our lives creating the visions that will guide our every action.
This gets a little heady but simply put, we create our own mess by not first having a context, or Vision, under which every action takes place. As the proverb tells us, we create our own nightmare.
From the enormous project to the smallest tasks: **Know Your Vision!**
Many of my clients work in extremely high pressure jobs. They naturally tend to put out the hottest fires first in an effort to continually whittle down the ever growing pile of work on their desks.
Within minutes of talking with them, their planned actions shift from scattered and chaotic to purposeful and planned out simply because I have them clearly define their Vision.
If their vision is higher productivity and lower stress by working smarter. Every action from our conversation forward will be geared toward fulfilling this vision.
Here are a few questions that help my clients plan actions to fit within the context of their vision:
These are just a few questions that create a smarter style of work than, which then leads to higher productivity and less stress.
Regardless of whether you are in a high pressure job or are just juggling common challenges of life and career, this philosophy certainly applies.
The proverb of Rob:
Vision and Action together are powerful beyond measure; so to, is Vision and Action without each other!
© 2004 by Dr. Robert A. Eubanks
Article URL: http://www.bridgetosolutions.com/pages/8/index.htm
About The Author
Dr. Robert A. Eubanks is the founder of Bridge to Solutions Coaching. He coaches people around the country via telephone to improve organization, time management, goal setting and to create the best darn life possible!
Boost Your Self-Esteem
What Is Self-Esteem?
Are You Addicted To Your Activities?
Activities - such as sports, creative projects, reading, work, TV, meditation - can be a wonderful way to relax, express yourself, or connect to yourself. Or they can be an addiction. How can you know the difference?
Think Twice Before Youre Nice
A few months back I had a disturbing dream. In my dream a woman with stringy blonde hair rang my bell. She asked if she could come in. I didn't want to open the door. But I felt guilty about my reaction. So I let her in. She pulled out a hand gun and shot me. I woke with a start and a racing heart. I clutched my pillow and my life. My inner voice spoke immediately and sharply. "Politeness kills," it said. This was an extreme way to let me know I had to honor my boundaries. I've never liked the word "boundaries." It sounds like barbed wire or armored trucks. But I do like the feeling of listening to my intuition, respecting my inner instructions. And it feels appropriate and sacred to be mindful of my gold. I see many creative, incredible individuals who leak their strength and focus with amorphous personal boundaries. We want to be nice, helpful, and well-liked. But bear in mind that your time and attention are your personal reserves of oxygen and hydration. Time and attention create your life's dreams. Dreams keep your soul alive and contribute to all of humanity. I'd like you to create your life's dreams. That's why I'd like you to reflect on where you put your time and attention. You have a Responsibility to Yourself. You have a mission here. You have sacred work to do. No one but you knows what you came for. The people in our lives may not appreciate the work we feel compelled to do, the dreams we wish to give birth to. They may fling casual, loose, social standards your way, just like tossing horseshoes at a backyard barbecue. I used to have a hard time saying no to lunch dates and coffee. People would often say to me, "You have to eat, right?" and I'd feel found out and exposed, like I was hiding time from this person. And then I'd eat with them--and eat my heart out at the same time. Of course they were wonderful people. Of course I got value out of the time together. But that doesn't mean anything. I'd get value out of reading about the history of socks, too. But I had something specific I yearned to do. I wanted to write a book. I ached when I did not write. Every time I said yes to a lunch date, I said no to my dream. That became too wounding. I learned to say "No." It's not selfish to want to give time to your dream. Your dream will give love and energy into this world. I often think about the people I esteem in life. Mother Teresa had a guiding mission. Martin Luther King had a burning cause. They did not squander their energy or time by being polite. They gave in huge ways because they said no to little things. It's not Selfish to be Honest "I don't want to be selfish," said a client of mine recently who admitted not wanting to get together with a friend. "She needs me." Now there are times when someone needs us and we feel called to be there. That's wonderful. When we're called, it feels good to be there. It doesn't feel like an obligation. It feels like a secret mission or a privilege. But more often than not, someone "needs" us and we're afraid to decline. Here's the thing though. You can't change your feelings. When you truly don't want to do something, it's not doing anyone any favors to lie. Your energy doesn't lie. If you do something you don't want to do, you may just end up being late, angry, sarcastic, withdrawn, and, in general, as mild-mannered as a jackal or a jalapeno pepper. That ride to the airport will be no joyride. And nobody will get what they wanted. What if you could trust your feelings? What if you knew that if you honored your own needs, you would naturally increase your generosity? What if it's okay to just love what you love and dislike what you dislike and gravitate where you are drawn? Why do we secretly think we are being ruthless? What if we are being elegant? What if we are daring to live gracefully by daring to listen to our inner voice? What makes you think that your persistent feelings are wrong? I trust that your soul is pure and precious and knows your highest purpose. And I hope you listen to its promptings more than some sick, guilt-inducing nagging, sagging voice that makes you feel burdened inside. One voice will make you feel heavy and one will make you feel light. One is thudding in the wrong direction. And one is turning right. Your Real Relationships will Support the Real You Often times we're afraid to honor our boundaries, because we don't want to upset the people around us. Indeed some people will balk at your limits and may even suggest that your decreased availability is the first sign of Satan worship or advanced Narcissism. But real relationships support the real you. I have no doubt that my friends would prefer to hear from me more often than they do. But they prefer my authenticity and happiness even more. That's why they're true friends. Some individuals who seem to demand the most of us are energy vampires. They feed on your warmth and pay no heed to your needs. They will demand that you be giving. And you will never give enough. Recently while driving to Northern California where I had a speaking engagement, I decided to stop for a quick break. I chose to wander into a small boutique with painted scarves in its windows. When I got into the shop, the owner started telling me about the sales she had going. I nodded politely. She continued to tell me about the rugs she had imported from Turkey and I found myself hanging on every word though I didn't want any rugs or details of her trip. Her enthusiasm kept me paralyzed. I only had a few minutes to stop here and look around. Finally, I excused myself and walked away. The owner followed me and kept talking. She refused to give me space. That's when I walked out of the shop. I decided I did not need to indulge someone who was not respecting me. I breathed in the salt air of that gorgeous ocean town and skipped back to my car. I felt like a fly who had escaped a spider's web. *** Always be kind. But think twice before you're "nice." Nice, is often a mask of pleasantness we put over negative feelings. Nice is often a form of self-rejection. Real kindness feels good. It's when we give because we want to give and we give in ways that respect everyone, including us. If you want to give to others, give truly. Give the exceptional gift of taking care of yourself and tending to your dreams. Give the love that can only come from you expressing your unrivaled talents and devotions on this earth. Follow your calling and draw lines when you must. Doing what matters should never be sacrificed for a false idea of manners.
Priorities: Are You Living Yours?
In the Charles Dickens classic, "The Christmas Story", Scrooge is given the opportunity to examine his life and his priorities before it is too late. Upon being shown his grave by the ghost of Christmas Future, he asks "Spirit, are these instances of things that will be or are they of things that might be? Is it too late for me?" How long has it been since you have examined your life and its direction? When the day comes that you leave this earth, how will you be remembered?
How Could Choosing to Not Do It All Enhance Your Impact?
How often have you heard yourself say, "I've got so many balls in the air I don't know how I can possibly keep track of them all".
The higher you climb the ladder in this organization, the less chance you have of getting feedback about your performance. The working rule of thumb is "the farther up you go, the stranger things get," especially in the way you are reviewed and rewarded. We seem to have time for everything else, but not time to give our top people the kind of reviews they need to help them develop. -Executive level controllerWhy We Need Executive Coaching
Is Coaching Everything That It Is Cracked Up To Be?
Personal or business coaching has helped thousands change their lives and achieve their goals. Yet, for the sceptics it still is a fuzzy concept with little recognition for its benefits. Think of Celine Dion, who with a voice coach claimed world fame. Her coach unleashed what is known today as one of the most mesmerizing voices in the world.
So it's time for a change. You've taken that hard look in the mirror and you've decided that who you are is not who you want to be. Or perhaps you're standing at a fork in the road and where you'd like to go requires that you make some changes. Maybe you're just really bored with your life as you've been in that same old rut for so long that you just want to scream if you spend another day doing the same amazingly boring things all over again. The reasons for change are as varied as the people making the decision to do so. The only thing you have to remember is that the change must come from you, not from someone else. And it can't be a gift to someone else, it won't work. Ultimately, recreating ourselves is a very personal choice and a very personal decision that others really can't help us with.
Can I Be My Own ADD Coach?
Quite often I am in contact with people who discuss acting as an ADD Coach for their child or spouse. While supporting and helping loved ones with ADD is a great idea, acting as an ADD Coach really isn't a great idea. There is just way too much emotion involved and an ADD Coach needs to be far enough removed from the situation to be an effective ADD Coach.
Helping Relationships: Understanding the Helpee
One of the most distressing observations I have made among my social work colleagues, is the overwhelming proclivity on the part of many of us so-called helpers, to lack understanding and sensitivity to the position helpees are in when they agree to accept intervention.
Do You Make These Common Mistakes When Talking to People?
Many moons ago. Talking to people was something I avoided where possible.
Online Counseling - a Timely Happenstance
Online counseling may be the latest and greatest improvement intherapy. It seems to be perfect for this fast-paced world withmany workers who sit by their computer screens all day long. Yet,it is not limited to today's information technology workers orthose whose work requires being online frequently.
Pecked to Death By Ducks
Ever been in a situation where it seems like minor criticisms are all you hear? Sure, there are things you could improve, you know that . . . but a constant peck, peck, peck of negative feedback sure doesn't motivate you to change! One of my mentors called this gradual chipping away at one's self esteem, "being pecked to death by ducks." How to deal with it? There are ducks outside my window as I write . . . and I know that one sure way to make them go away, is to stop feeding them. Ducks need to eat a lot, and eat often, to keep going. If they can't get food from you, they'll try someplace else. So . . . how can you make this work for your brand of "ducks"? What about figuring out what there is about you that's FEEDING them? For example, are you reacting to their pecks? (Psychologists tell us that some people use a negative approach to get the attention they crave.) Are you working harder in response to their criticism? (When you do this, you are exhausting yourself and adding chocolate sauce to their dessert! The pecking won't end, I guarantee it.) I believe we feed our ducks when we take words of criticism home and brood. Most of us are programmed to take criticism much more seriously than we do praise, and many of us make almost a career out of taking criticism home to chew over . . . and over . . . and again. When Duck A criticizes me for DOING x, I have a choice. Take it home and make it last . . . or look the criticism in the face. If it's fair and valid, I may decide to stop x-ing (it's my choice). In fact, Duck A may have done me a good turn -- and one way to keep this in mind is to say (over and over if necessary), "It's about what I DO, it's not who I BE." A WORD ABOUT SYSTEMIC DUCK FEEDERS: Some organizations and groups encourage anonymous feedback, in the mistaken belief that this provides a safe environment for honest communication. WRONG! Anonymous feedback promotes dysfunctional systems . . . and dysfunctional systems are essentially "duck food silos." (I put a spin on an old mantra, "If you can't say it to his/her face, don't say it at all." Of course, sometimes we need help -- a mentor, an advocate, a companion, a safe structure. But whatever it takes, in healthy systems, constructive, behavior-focused criticism comes with a name attached, and if at all possible, is given face-to- face.) Finally: HOW NOT TO BE A DUCK: Before YOU criticize, think clearly. Figure out what is really bugging you. And then speak directly to the person with whom you have a problem. Use 'I' statements (a skill unknown to ducks, as far as I know). Rehearse ahead of time to be sure you're focused on behavior (Do-ing), not Be-ing. A good rule is to ask yourself, "How would this sound if she (or he) were talking to ME?" © Maureen Killoran, 2005
Expectations Can Get In Our Way
There are times when we truly look forward to something just as there are times when we totally dread something. What is the difference between anticipation with joy and anticipation with anxiety? Where and how does that expectation actually take place? If we think about it, the expectations take place in our minds. And, what that really means is that we totally make it up. We tend to create ideas and stories about how wonderful or awful something might be.
Addiction to Worry
Carole started counseling with me because she was depressed. She had been ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for a long time and believed her depression was due to this. In the course of our work together, she became aware that her depression was actually coming from her negative thinking - Carole was a constant worrier. Many words out of her mouth centered around her concerns that something bad might happen. "What if I never get well?" "What if my husband gets sick?" "What if I run out of money?" (Carole and her husband ran a very successful business and there was no indication that it would not go on being successful). "What if my son gets into drugs?" "What if my kids don't get into good colleges?" "What if someone breaks into the house?"
Do You Want to Make More Money as A Life Coach
There's a lot of coaches out there not making any money, looking for opportunities, trying to model what others are doing, networking like crazy, researching, visualizing, affirming and hoping? yes, hoping that the clients show up before the bailiffs.
Making Changes in Your Personal Life
Making changes in your personal life can be a tough process. Change starts with a thought. It cannot begin without one. However, what we think and dream is not always what those around us choose to envision for us.
Do You Ever Give Up Coaching Employees?
In principle, we don't want to give up coaching employees. We want to believe that we can eventually make a difference. Sometimes it's our own ego that drives our persistence and determination.
Top Ten Things to Build a Bridge and Get Over
God must love Top Ten lists because she made so many of them. They crowd my Inbox daily. They're right up there in popularity with offers to refinance my house and stock up on Viagra. Top Nine Lists are few and far between and Top Eleven lists unheard of. But for seem reason there seem to be ten nifty answers to pretty much any problem or life situation you can come up with.
Difficult Challenges? -- What If?
Sometimes life can seem like one long series of unsolvable problems. I know there have been times when I would much rather find something else to do and quit whatever I was doing simply because it was too much trouble to continue. In fact, earlier in my life that is exactly what I did do. (And to tell the truth, I wouldn't change it even if I could!)
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|