“What do you actually know to be true, Tom?” my friend, Carl, asked.
“Life is a series of chapters, and often we’re kicked into a new chapter when we don’t want it,” I replied. For example, I shared with audiences (and sometimes a class of MBA students) that I didn’t know what grief was until my friend, “Joe” committed suicide. There was a chapter of my life when he was in it. And then the next chapter, he was not in my life.
How you handle the times life kicks you into a new chapter has a great impact on your success and happiness.
We’ll use the W.I.N. process:
W- wrangle your transition
I – identify
N – nurture
- Wrangle your transition
When life kicks you into a new chapter due to a divorce, or shakeup at work, or the loss of a friend or family member, you’ll need to adapt as fast as possible.
In order to adapt, you’ll need to have flexibility. I have emphasized with MBA students and my clients, that it’s vital to maintain your personal strength and flexibility.
So, “wrangle” your schedule so you keep yourself strong. When you’re in a “red alert” time, it is easy to drop things that seem non-essential like exercise, sleep, nutrition and, for the introvert, “alone-time.”
Keep yourself strong. Think of how you can be kind to yourself and to others who are involved in whatever life transition is taking place.
I’ve been asked: “What do you need in a business partner or life partner?” My answer is: Find someone who is flexible and kind. By the way, make sure you are flexible and kind, too.
You will save yourself a lot of time and grief if you identify what you most value.
- What’s most important to me about nurturing my family members?
- What’s most important to me about my business activities?
- What’s most important to me about making space for joy and for happy moments daily—in my life?
One the most powerful questions I’ve ever written, which helps my clients, is: “Does this strengthen me?” Ask yourself this question to help you identify what is actually building you up and what (or who) is trying to tear you down.
Take appropriate action and make sure that you stay strong.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Some time ago, I appeared as a guest expert on a TV show with Dr. Fred Luskin, co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. I remember that Dr. Fred said, “Forgiveness is letting go of a cycle of blame and suffering.”
What I get from this quote is that it’s important for each of us to be careful in how we use our brain. Consider if something bad happens … we’ll use a metaphor of a twig on a river. If you pick up the twig and shove it close to your eyes—no wonder you cannot see anything else.
It can be helpful to take that twig away from your face and toss it back on the river so the twig (or your thought about the twig) can flow away.
No matter what you do for your work activities or even your efforts to exercise or gain good nutrition, this is all designed to help you stay strong. Forgiveness is not about pardoning someone. You can forgive (that is, avoid obsessing about their bad behavior) and still avoid that person. Remember, forgiveness is letting go of a cycle of blame and suffering.
I identify myself as an OptiRealist. A couple of decades ago, I was more focused on just emphasizing the positive. In the course of owning companies and dealing with life’s calamities, I realize that being realistic about the necessity to stay strong is appropriate. Much of our days require us to stay strong so we can withstand the storms of life.
The storms of life are coming—or perhaps you’re currently in the middle of a storm. I’m optimistic that we can take action and expand our capacity.
If you do some weight training, you could expand the capacity of your muscles to hold your good posture. For example, every day I do some core strengthening exercises and that helps me avoid back pain. In essence, I nurture my back.
We can apply this pattern to many parts of your life. Do you want to avoid the pain of the end of relationship? Then see if you could spend some quality time with someone you love, at regular times every week.
If you want to rise in your profession, see if you can study and/or get executive coaching, so you can expand your capacity and your abilities as a professional. [Gain insights, methods and rehearsal in Tom Marcoux’s online course The Introvert’s Formula to Get Clients – next session June 11, 2018. CLICK HERE]
In summary, we all face surprising transitions and when life shoves us into a new chapter of life. The solution is to use the W.I.N process. Be sure to nurture yourself.
Use this question Does this strengthen me? If you discover that something is hurting your well-being, find ways to get coached and to change your behavior patterns. Then you can bring out the best inside you. When you do this, you can transform the surprise calamities into steps for your personal growth.
Remember: Life kicks you into a new chapter—often—when you don’t want it. Keep yourself strong, flexible and kind.
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 45 books so far 🙂
PitchPowerFest.com * GetTheBigYes.com
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