Have I mentioned that I love life coaching?

 

I do. (A-not-so veiled reference to today’s royal wedding.)

I absolutely love being a life coach, and honestly think everyone can benefit from working with a great life coach. 

That’s a pretty bold statement, and could be seen as exceptionally self-serving because I am a heck of a great coach, but here’s the thing – many years before I became a really great coach, I hired a really great coach, and it changed my life – for the better, in sickness and in health until death do I part! (I didn’t marry my coach, but wanted to work in another royal wedding reference – and my coaching experience really has helped me through thick and thin, in sickness . . . )

I love that I am now able to use my coaching experiences, subsequent life coach training, years of research and review of positive psychology and Appreciative Inquiry studies and techniques, and my educational and professional background to successfully life coach others. 

I also love that Wishful Thinking Works life coaching gets great reviews from coaching clients, but most of all, I love helping clients make a  positive difference in their lives. 

To read more about what Wishful Thinking Works life coaching can do for you, and some Wishful Thinking Works  reviews, click here and here. Or, give me a call at 813-719-0769 or email me at wishfulthinkingworks@gmail.com.

In the meantime, have a perfectly royal day!

WTW Dandelion

ROWE, ROWE, ROWE your boat

 

 

Did you know that on cognitive skill based tasks intrinsic motivation is the only thing that gets really good results?

Huh?

Or that people – when solving or addressing problems, challenges or tasks, which  require them to think even the least bit outside the box, do better when they are not given external based rewards – like money or free stuff! 

Huh?

It’s true. External rewards work well for mechanical tasks or when goals and the path to those goals are extremely clear-cut  such as:  build this and then you will get this. But when we have to think our way around how to do something, we do better when we are not offered an outside reward. We do better when the reward is internal – like the fun of mastering the task or the feeling that we are acting with a bigger purpose.

Turns out that intrinsic motivation rocks our worlds. 

Listen to Daniel H. Pink’s TED talk to find out more about how and why this works. The research on intrinsic motivation led some really creative and smart people (like me and you – we are doing it right now) to rethink how the world works and how it could work even better. Here’s what ROWE developers Cali Ressler and  Jody Thompson have to say: 

ROWE is the future of work.

Results-Only Work Environment is a management strategy where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. In a ROWE, people focus on results and only results – increasing the organization’s performance while creating the right climate for people to manage all the demands in their lives . . . including work.

With ROWE:

    • Teamwork, morale and engagement soar, which leads to less workers feeling overworked, stressed out or guilty.
    • People are where they need to be, when they need to be – there is no need for schedules.
    • There is no judgment on how people spend their time, so people at all levels stop wasting the company’s time and money.

ROWE for Employees

ROWE recognizes that life is an individual experience and that no two lives are identical — and leverages this to achieve better performance from each individual. ROWE is not Flextime. ROWE is not Telecommuting. ROWE is not Job‐Sharing. ROWE is not about allowing your people to work from home a couple of days per week.

In a Results-Only company or department, employees can do whatever they want whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. No more pointless meetings, racing to get in at 9:00 am, or begging for permission to watch your kid play soccer. No more cramming errands into the weekend, or waiting until retirement to take up your hobbies again. You make the decisions about what you do and where you do it, every minute of every day.

ROWE benefits:

    • You control the clock and results are your  responsibility.
    • Healthier lifestyle – not overworked, less stress
    • Autonomy & accountability
    • Environmentally friendly – save on the commute and work from home!

ROWE for Business

Successfully adopting a Results‐Only Work Environment will position your company to attract and retain talent that will show up energized, disciplined, flexible and focused—ready to deliver all results necessary to drive the business. A ROWE workforce is more efficient, productive and loyal to the organization while also feeling satisfied, fulfilled, and in control of their personal and professional lives.

A Results-Only Work Environment is all about productivity. But more importantly, your workforce will respond to the business as if it were their own. Innovate won’t be a buzzword, it will be what you do. With ROWE you can stop monitoring the hallways and focus your energy on the business.

ROWE business results:

    • Increase productivity & efficiency
    • Talent retention & attraction
    • Optimization of space
    • Elimination of wasteful processes

 Learn more about the results seen in a ROWE  (I really liked this video.)

Let me know if ROWE floats your boat. For me, ROWE is not just about how we work it also applies to how we roll – how we raise our kids, take care of our homes, structure our lives. Focusing on the result or goal – living a fun, fulfilling and flow-filled life, not a pre-ordained pattern of how the process should look – just might relieve a great deal of stress. Giving ourselves and others the gift of autonomy and time to master tasks, develop skills and define our purpose sounds good to me – I’m working on it!   

Will ROWEs work? I hope so. Companies have had great success using them in offices with project based assignments. Folks are trying to figure out how to adapt ROWEs to retail and other service environments. Maybe ROWEs will work best as an option, some people enjoy a set schedule and a place to go each day, and that’s great. The goal is to create options that produce the best results for employees and for businesses.

Would you be willing to jump aboard a ROWE?

The head stand of happiness

 

The Happiness Advantage

Would you like to increase your productivity by 30% without sacrificing your happiness? If so, click The Happiness Advantage  to watch a 2:39 minute intro video as former Harvard lecturer, Shawn Achor explains how happiness is the key.

Achor is a positive psychology expert. He taught for years in one of Harvard’s most popular classes, “Positive Psychology”, conducted research in the field and travels the world lecturing on the topic. I will be sharing more from Achor’s great book, The Happiness Advantage in the weeks ahead.

WTW Dandelion

“The Glass Castle”

 

  

  

 

  

Jeannette Walls’ 2005, gut-wrenching memoir about her traumatic childhood is an amazing story, but even more important than her tale are the insights that writing it gave her.

 

 

 

My book club recently read “The Glass Castle”; I re-read parts of it in preparation for the discussion, having devoured the book years before. I also spent time on the web before and after our discussion looking for new information about Walls and her family. Here’s what I discovered.

At forty, Jeannette created the life she wanted with each word she wrote on the page. She faced her demons; took huge risks – real and imagined, and learned to forgive herself. This amazing woman swears her biggest triumph was forgiving herself for surviving, not her parents for what they did. In her 2009 National Book Festival presentation, Jeannette talks about the complexities of “survivor’s guilt”, and learning to deal with “doing better” than her parents and leaving her siblings “behind’.

Jeannette’s mother is alive and well, and lives with her and her husband tending horses on their Virginia farm. Jeannette clarified that she’s not a saint – her mother doesn’t actually live with them, but rather in a small house on their farm. It’s clear Jeannette’s sense of humor and humility are fully intact.

Jeannette is not a survivor she is a thrivor! She has successfully traversed her childhood traumas again and again: first, when she somehow managed to live through them; second, through her book, and third through the hundreds of talks or interviews she has given. This inspiring 6-foot, 50 year-old, red-head has maintained her grace and dignity each step of the way. In addition, Jeannette is more than willing to give her parents credit for the positive moments and memories she has, and for the enjoyment she receives from her current relationship with her Mom.

Walls believes that “everything in life is both a blessing and a curse” and “it’s entirely up to us which one we choose to focus on.”

If you haven’t read the book, it’s a tough tale, but well worth reading. Perhaps listening to the Book Talk ahead of time is a good idea, since it will reassure you that Jeannette turned out fine.

 

During her National Book Festival talk, Jeannette briefly discussed her 2009 book, “Half-Broke Horses”, which is about her maternal Grandmother. I haven’t read it, and didn’t think I would (Judgemental, I know, but I didn’t want to cut her mother any slack for the way she treated her children.) – until I listened to Jeannette’s talks and interviews. My new-found interest is really an act of respect for Jeannette – for the woman she is, and the person she shows each of us we can become.

For those of you who have read the book, she also mentioned in National Book Festival talk that her older sister Lori was still an artist in Manhattan; her brother retired from the police force and was teaching 9th grade English, and in an October 2010 article about a presentation Walls did in Cleveland, Ohio she mentions that her sister Maureen, “lived safely in California, but hadn’t managed to transcend their hardscrabble beginnings.”

 

Have you seen it?

 

“I AM”

I’ve heard about, but haven’t seen it. Have any of you? If so, what did you think? It was released in March and is playing in some parts of the country.

Here are excerpts from the film’s official website.

. . . The filmmaker behind the inquiry is Tom Shadyac, one of Hollywood’s leading comedy practitioners and the creative force behind such blockbusters as “Ace Ventura,” “Liar Liar,” “The Nutty Professor,” and “Bruce Almighty.” However, in I AM, Shadyac steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for good. . .

Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a twenty-first century quest for enlightenment.  Meeting with a variety of thinkers and doers–remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia, and faith–including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks, and Marc Ian Barasch –  Shadyac appears on-screen as character, commentator, guide, and even, at times, guinea pig. . .

. . .  Shadyac’s films grossed nearly two billion dollars and afforded him the glamorous and extravagant A-List lifestyle of the Hollywood blockbuster filmmaker. Yet Shadyac found that more – in his case, a 17,000-square foot art-filled mansion, exotic antiques, and private jets — was definitely less.  “What I discovered, when I began to look deeply, was that the world I was living in was a lie,” he explains.  “Much to my surprise, the accumulation of material wealth was a neutral phenomenon, neither good or bad, and certainly did not buy happiness.” Gradually, with much consideration and contemplation, he changed his lifestyle.  He sold his house, moved to a mobile home community, and started life—a simpler and more responsible life –  anew. . .

But, at this critical juncture, Shadyac suffered an injury that changed everything. . . He suffered months of isolation and pain, and finally reached a point where he welcomed death as a release. “I simply didn’t think I was going to make it,” he admits. . .

But, as Shadyac wisely points out, “Death can be a very powerful motivator.” Confronting his own mortality, he asked himself, “If this is it for me –  if I really am going to die  –  what do I want to say before I go?  What will be my last testament?” . . .

Shadyac’s transformation remains in process. He still lives simply, is back on his bicycle, riding to work, and teaching at a local college, another venue for sharing his life-affirming discoveries. Reflecting Shadyac’s philosophy is the economic structure of the film’s release; all proceeds from I AM will go to The Foundation for I AM, a non-profit established by Shadyac to fund various worthy causes and to educate the next generation about the issues and challenges explored in the film. 

When he directs another Hollywood movie, the bulk of his usual eight-figure fee will be deposited into a charitable account, as well. “St. Augustine said, ‘Determine what God has given you, and take from it what you need; the remainder is needed by others.’ That’s my philosophy in a nutshell,” Shadyac says, “Or as Gandhi put it, ‘Live simply, so others may simply live.’”

Let us know, if you go! 

Signs

 

My family, friends and I have spent time talking about signs over the past couple of days. Daisies were my Mom’s favorite flower and my Dad always thought that when he saw them it was her way of letting him know that even though she was gone, she was thinking of him.

What are your thoughts on signs? Can loved ones, who have passed away, send us signs? Do people, places and events show-up in our lives to guide us or help us along the way?

A time to take the week off

My Dad died in the early morning hours of this past Sunday.  He was 91, and I was lucky enough to be with him when he passed away.

My Dad's 90th Birthday

I was asked to write my Dad’s obituary for the funeral home web page, not something you’re ever prepared to do. But that’s how funerals go, folks are asked to do things they never really thought they would or could. They pick out caskets, select flowers, make final arrangements and generally stand strong and tall. They rise to the occasion, because they love the person who passed away and the family he or she left behind. My family has been doing a great job of that all week.

When you are done reading this, go hug family and friends who are in reach, call or Skype the ones who aren’t and remember to do both every chance you get.

I’m taking the rest of the week off. I hope your week is filled with work that makes you happy (my Dad loved his) and family and friends, who make you feel loved!

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