Friday, May 21, 2010

Shoveling Dog Poo

This week has been anything but boring. And it has brought so many topics to mind that I couldn’t possibly put into one blog post… because then it may get confusing. Like my week has been. Understand? Let’s continue.

I’ve recently come face-to-face with a theory (that I, too, have fallen a victim of). How do you measure the success… of you? So many people measure their success by comparing it to how successful someone else is; by their qualities and their skills. What? That actually makes no sense.  I've had a recent wave of Zumba students approach me about getting certified, but then state their apprehension because their "body can't move like mine."  I'm sure it doesn't.  We are completely seperate bodies.  But it does MOVE!  Don't think I don't see you workin' back there.

Why compare yourself to others? No one in the world can do a better job of being you than you. And – for that matter, can you name the second person to stand on the moon? The second person to create a light bulb? The second lady to sit in that exact seat on the back of that bus? 

Before you can achieve success, you need to define what it means to you. What do you want? By the way, have you asked for what you want? Chances are, you are not employed by mind-reading Edward Cullen. (THAT… would be a definition of success.)

Also – I truly do believe a huge part of success is passion. I’ve heard many battles about the advice of “doing what you love.” Some people believe that this is crap career advice. These people justify this by explaining that you should work for the sole purpose of achieving the REWARD you’re passionate about. Here’s what I say to that. Is that reward guaranteed? Are you going to wake up at 95-years-old realizing that your journey did not lead you to that reward? And that you spent 95 years shoveling dog poop in hopes of getting… that really fancy … reward that shoveling dog poop gets you? (In spite of that really bad analogy – I would still like to move forward and note that my point was still golden. As most of my points are. This is all about me by the way, have I told you that?)

Passion is a key element of success. Babe Ruth didn’t wake up one day and say, “Today I will work to be the best accountant.” It just wasn’t his passion. But if it was – I’m pretty sure he’d work with WithumSmith+Brown. (How’s my raise lookin’ now, boss?)

I truly do believe you can mix your passion (what you love to do) with some creativity, relevance, discipline and innovation and ultimately create a wonderful balance of success.

Sometimes I joke about opening a Zumba studio / bar / bakery / Twilight fan base / dream interpretation / business extravaganza establishment. It sounds crazy. But is it?

Could be. But then again – the Marketing Coordinator of the Certified Public Accounting Firm gone Zumba Instructor wearing Hannah Montana socks just asked that.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Success is Only Another Form of Failure if We Forget What Our Priorities Are

Oh hey, have you met perspective’s older cousin, “priority?”

Ready? Family, friends, health, exercise, social life, holidays, promotion, money, kids… prioritize them… you have 30 seconds.

For some reason, Americans (myself included… very included) think they have to prove something by doing everything themselves. We all strive to appear to be in control. However, there’s no way you can be in control if you are constantly juggling projects, feelings and events.

I’ve been meaning to share my article with you… and blog a million times… but somehow the priority monster ate me up and spit me back out… with a really bad hair-do slicked back with stress.

Recently, an industry publication picked up one of my articles about “Wellness in the Workplace” … a topic that I am quite passionate on. So many companies invest their health care dollars to remedy illnesses rather than preventing them. What a crock of...

I encourage you to check it out. You can find it HERE … Scroll down to page 43.

In the past year alone, my life has had a complete makeover. There have been so many changes that have forced me to take a look at my priorities. Like almost everything I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, this is also a work-in-progress. (Marriage, work, Zumba, friends, family)

Did I ever tell you about how I was the worst fiancĂ© on the planet? Yes, I am usually very dramatic – No, I’m not being dramatic right now. It was a HUGE adjustment for me to get used to the idea of my new “family” in which 100% of the decisions affecting my life involved another vote. Letting go of some control was impossibly painful. Often throughout my engagement, I found myself acting very selfish… acting very… single. It’s amazing that I made it through with a husband. A husband who (IS NOT KNOWN FOR HIS PATIENCE!!!!) but somehow, had just enough to coach me through. Our relationship seems new and I have my God-forsaken-Mets-fan-of-a-husband, patience… and PRIORITIZING to thank. I think I like my husband a little now, imagine?

Certain changes at work have also forced me to prioritize and continue to do so. This one… not so easy. I suppose it’s all about taking an honest look at what I want to accomplish at work and letting go of the rest. It’s also about understanding that there are only 24 hours in a day. This would be easier if there were 24 hours in a WORK-day.

What gets me through?

I am a huge believer in lists! I make them in my sleep. Lists simplify my life. Just because sometimesI feel like I am being pulled in a million different directions doesn’t mean I am going to abandon my goals. Most days, I grab a cup of Joe (who is this Joe that deserves such an important nickname?) and I take a look at my planner. I am one of two people I know with a Blackberry and a hand
-written planner. (High-five to Ivan Brown, immediate past Partner in Charge of WithumSmith+Brown) I need to see it. I need to cross things off. I need to doodle.

Constantly reviewing/adding/crossing off/switching tasks seems to help me make the best use of my time and resources! Oh and by the way, these “lists” don’t work with a husband. I tried.

Not only is prioritizing important when time is limited and demands are seemingly …unlimited... but it’s also important when you have too much time. There’s a third cousin to perspective and priority and it’s PROCRASTINATION. I’ll tell you about that one when I get around to it.

I find prioritizing an essential part of trying to reach my “balance.” This is one of those “easier said than done” parts. I assume as I weave in and out of my life cycles my priorities will change. I just have to remember to keep a solid hold on what is important, what is urgent and what is unnecessary. Here's a kicker - you should be at the top of your priority list.  You can't do anyone or anything any good if you're not happy.  I also need to accept the fact that I cannot do everything… let alone in one day.

Family/Government proposal/hygiene > Glee/margaritas/pedicures

How do you prioritize your lives?