The end of the workday will come with or without us. It is tempting to think that the day will never end, that the meeting is going on forever. Look back at the activity that you were in yesterday. When you were sitting in a chair looking at a screen. Did you say, when will this end?

Now it is 12 hours later. Are you still in the meeting? The meeting ended. You got in your car, you drove home. At some point, you had food, food that you cooked, or food you prepared. Perhaps you talked with friends, perhaps you didn’t.

The point is, the statement you made yesterday didn’t come true. What time does best is that it moves? Time is in constant motion. Time doesn’t take a day off. 3 o’clock doesn’t go on vacation.
Three o’clock will arrive at three o’clock. That isn’t a charge to us to work harder. It is a charge to appreciate the time we have and to cherish it. To connect with the fact that it will arrive tomorrow just on time and that we may be around to see it or won’t. If the day starts without us, that means that we have run out of days.
So with the time we have. Consider this, We have it. We can make choices in how we use it. How we think in it, and how we show up in it. We can fear, We can be sad, but we can also be happy, excited, and thankful. We can find ways to serve and find ways to contribute. Then we get to do it again tomorrow. That is the good thing about time. We get a second chance. The time comes back for us. Time doesn’t forget. Time doesn’t judge. Time is just time. What is your relationship with time? Take a bit of it today to consider it. How do you use it? How does it use you? Take some time to think about time. While you have the time.

Interruptions

As a leader, you have to be approachable. Along with that, if you are a leader, you have to be a person who handles interruptions well. Don’t choose your paper schedule over the people who arrive seeking your help.

Even if the timing is off.
Even if it seems not appropriate.
Honor the people who are in front of you.

Could you help them?
Resist the urge to get frustrated.
That is a part of being a leader.

You will be interrupted.
Your plans will be changed.
That’s leadership.

Memorial Day

I have several memories of Memorial Day as a child. The first was each year, my mother would take me to the cemetery.

We went each year to see the grave of my older brother, who died when he was two years old. He died almost 20 years before I was born.

The second memory was that my Father would barbecue on Monday. The last was that the Indy 500 was the Sunday before Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was designed to honor those who died in battle defending the United States of America. I take the time to remember this today.

Sacrifice for other people is hard. It often leaves people sad and not jubilant. Sad is hard. I do think that there is a purpose to facing sadness. Honoring the sacrifice of others makes us a little less self-focused. A little more sensitive to those around us and a little more humane.

On Memorial Day, take a few moments to be thankful for your day off work, the friends you have around you, the options available to you. They are present for us because many before us gave up what they had.

The Weekend

What do you think of the Weekend? No, not the pop singer. These days, for a good part of the population, the Weekend is Saturday and Sunday. We get excited for the weekend because we don’t have to work. I know in my workplace, and in other workplaces, people will call Thursday Friday Eve, Then on Friday, once it hits five o’clock, there is a celebration. Some people don’t have a weekend, they work on Saturday and Sunday, often serving those who are off on the weekend. A side note, make sure you are nice and respectful to those who work on the weekend.

Ok back to the main narrative.

What does that say about the workweek? If we look forward to Friday and dread Monday?

I have to ask that question myself. For years, my favorite night of the week is Friday. I know that Saturday is freedom. I can wake up when I want; I don’t have to rush to be anywhere.

So what is the answer? Some people think it is to drop off the workplace; others see the answer as working for yourself?

Dropping out of the workforce isn’t an option; it is a choice, but for me, work is how we meet our responsibilities, bills, caring for ourselves, and making a contribution.
Working for yourself, well, that means that you still have to generate an income.
So what is the answer? What if we decided to look forward to Monday rather than dreading it?

What if we saw Monday-Thursday as precious? A precious time where yes, we find stress, grief, loss, situations, and circumstances that aren’t favorable. The weekday. The workplace.

We can’t just dislike four days a week over a year; that adds up to 208 days. Reflect on this for a minute. I still look forward to Friday, Sat, and Sunday, but what can I do to look forward to Monday?

I believe some options are available to us. I can look forward to seeing people, I can look forward to contributing, I can look forward to and be thankful that I have a workplace to go to. We can look forward to connecting with the relationships that are available to us. What if we looked at our workplace with curiosity? With hope? With possibility.

These thoughts don’t bind us; they aren’t a promise, it is just a way of living that will help you generate a positive internal climate inside of yourself, and maybe, hopefully, our work weeks will go better.

Choice

On Monday my phone told me that it is four minutes to the Arco station. It wasn’t magic. Each Monday, I stop and buy gas at the Arco station, which is near the entrance to the 405 Freeway, that I get on before transitioning to the 10 Freeway and the cruise for 25 minutes until I hit my exit, which I use to get me safely to my place of employment.

My phone looked at my data and then made a prediction based on the patterns.

That is all it was. Look at data and making a prediction. A prediction of future behavior doesn’t bind me to select that behavior. Why? I am a human. I have free will. I can make choices.

On the day my phone told me it would take four minutes to reach the Arco station, I decided to wait. Wait until I got off work for the day, and then I drove to a different gas station, close to where I work.

This is what we need to do from time to time. Break out of our own predictable patterns and try something different. Our technology works as a useful tool. It can make suggestions but remember we are still the boss. We still have a choice. It is limited to technology. We all have options in front of us.

Some have more than others. Some were fairly gained; others were not. Some have been swindled, hustled, and duped. Yet to those who did the swindling, hustling, and duping, the day will come when you will have to face the consequences for those actions, and for those of us who were on the receiving end, get back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving.

You did it once, twice, three times; you can do it again. Look inside and analyze your own data, and make decisions based on your patterns.

Meetings with myself

Throughout the weeks, I have the opportunity to administer several formal meetings.

The meetings have a similar format. They begin with strengths, then move into needs; in fact, we don’t even use the word weakness.

When these formal meetings were put together, designed, I believe that there was intentionality behind them.

There are solid reasons to lead with strengths. Except in one meeting each day, I have a hard time leading with strengths.

The meetings with myself, when I meet with myself, I lead with my weaknesses, I think it is the right thing to do; in fact, I learned this skill, it is something that people have told me, preached at me, explained to me, I heard people say if you want to get better focus on your weaknesses.

It is time to stop. Leading with my weaknesses reveals a lack of maturity, and it is an inaccurate measurement of my actual daily process.

I did it for a long time, except now I know there is a cost. Leading with my weaknesses typically leads to me unleashing toxic elements of my personality inward on myself. So I need to stop.

Focusing on your weaknesses or your needs isn’t designed to nullify your strengths. Speaking to yourself in a kind manner isn’t wrong.

Perhaps in the meetings with myself, I can adapt the protocols that exist informal meetings.

I can lead with my strengths. How about you?

Going back

We can go back to places. We may go to some places every day. For example, work we go back to work each day. We go back to Starbucks or a favorite restaurant.
Age is a different story.

You don’t go backward in age. When you hit 30, you will never go back and see 18 or 16 again.

What does that mean? It means that in our bodies, we are aging. Yet, it is possible to keep our spirit. To go back or forward and approach events with a rejuvenated spirit. We may not be able to back to a younger age, but we can go back to a youthful spirit. One where we approach each day with curiosity, joy, and passion. Like a child running through a playground.

Success Stories

The great success story. I want to be able to tell one. Often I am looking for the next great success story, striving and working hard for the next outcome, the next accomplishment. The next thing.

This is fine. Daily progress towards the desired goal isn’t wrong. Our work benefits others, and this is why it is important to continue in it. Even when you don’t feel like it or want to.

The feelings don’t finish the work. In fact, your feelings will lead you away from work; in some cases, it leaves the work you started unfinished.

Here is what you do. Forgive yourself for the unfinished projects. Some will just be something that you started and decided it just wasn’t for me.

Now go back to the current projects. The goal you conceived in December and started in January. Remember that it was you who was sound of mind. Who developed a solid plan. Who started it, and who was encouraged. Go back to that day. Back to those memories, and live from that place.

Live from those emotions. The excitement. The hope. The possibility. See, that person was you, and that person still is you. Take a breath if you need it. Pause if you need a drink. Take a sip of motivation. Then get back up. Go! Go forward!

On safe

“ I need a safe place.” I hear that term daily. I also hear the term debated. Not all of it is positive. Or I hear a request, I need so and so to be a safe person.

I paused for a minute. Is it. A good or a bad thing that we have to make a request for a place to be safe?

The expectation of safety isn’t irrational. The request for safety, to me that reveals a fissure a tiny crack.

Lack of trust.

As a host, if I have to promise safety as a reassurance, am I really a safe person?
Am I approaching the event, the situation, and hoping that I can remain safe throughout the experience?

If I am a participant am I bringing in past hurts and pain from other experiences?
The request for a safe place is being made because somewhere, somehow, trust was broken.

The response to the request is not to do the opposite; it could be tempting to request wildness or reckless abandon in a situation.

I am offering an alternative. I am offering trust. Calling yourself to practice what you preach and what you expect of others. Bind it to yourself first.

To create a safe place, I need to be a safe person. A person who strives for consistency. I need to be aware that mistakes will happen, then be willing to own them, and atone for them, even to makes amends if needed.

To embrace what is hard and seek to work on paths forward when the road appears to be blocked.

Perhaps the request is not for the place or person to be safe. The opportunity we have is to work to be a person that other people can trust.

What do I think about?

What do we think about it? I guess the question is for you, but it is also for me.
Please take a moment to look at your thoughts, then write them down.
Write them either in specific detail or put them in a category.

For me, I think about possessions that I don’t currently have.
Next, I think about ways to purchase them.
Then I attempt to come up with a plan to acquire the possession.

Or I will consider the relationships that I have across the various communities that I belong in.
I move to my job, my family, my worries, fears, goals I want to accomplish.
Projects I am working on, Projects I want to work on.
The present moment, The future, The past.

These are some of the categories of my thoughts.
What have I learned from examining my thoughts?

First, I can generate them.
Second, at first, it seems that I have thousands going around in my head.
Third, the reality hits that it is just a few that seem to be moving around and around.
Fourth I realize that I need to clear some away and put them to the side for a bit.
Fifth- I see that behind some of those thoughts are the current priorities.
Sixth: The current projects need a lot of my energy, and it is easy to avoid them, by thinking of other things, the future wants and desires are fine to think about for a time, but the current projects, were once the things I thought about. These were the things that I wanted. So I need to give them the proper time, energy, and focus.
It comes back to the present moment. In the past, the present moment was a future goal.

Now it is up to me to use the present moment to bring about my goals. Day by Day, drip by drip. With the moment and with purpose. So back to the original question. What are you thinking about? Write it down.