Better or Bitter
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer   

Last week I wrote about what I had been learning as I traveled through these challenging times. The post that I sent out wasn’t the original post. Item number four was “cleaned up” quite a bit. The first draft was filled with a lot of whining and bitterness. On the day that I was writing it, I had already had my second migraine of the week. When I mentioned my headache to my son, his comment was pretty direct, “I’m not surprised considering the 12 plus hours per day you are staring at three computer monitors.” I found myself getting bitter, not better. I was getting jealous and annoyed with people who were able to find balance. How did I get there? What happened to me?

Let’s start with the fact that I love what I do. For me, it is more of a calling than a job. This is both a blessing and a curse. Add to that the reality of the crisis we are in, and you have a perfect storm. I felt that I was making a difference, people were relying on me—I  become energized when there is a need, so I jumped in with both feet. My adrenaline was pumping; my brain was energized, and I went into almost a wartime mode. I forgot about taking care of myself and didn’t review my values enough—values of family time, learning time, and my personal health. Even after hearing one of my mentors articulate the need for personal care, I missed it until the second migraine. So, its time for a shift. A shift from crisis mode back to living with intentionality.

The key to regaining intentionality is to prioritize properly with my 3 Rs. Take a break from rushing around, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and review your life. Please note that I said life, not work day. You need to look at the entire picture, not a segmented picture. When we compartmentalize our lives, we run the risk of leaving out critical parts.

  • What is Required? What is required of me for the day? These are the tasks that must be done or the “world,” as I know it stops. Stephen Covey would have called this Quadrant 1 Work: urgent and important.
  • What gives me the greatest Return? What can I do today that will move my goals the most? Can I leverage other activities for greater gain? Covey would call this Quadrant 2 Work: important, but not urgent.
  • What gives me the greatest Reward? What activities speak to my heart? What will bring me real satisfaction and align with my personal WHY statement?

Don’t just assume that all the things you started doing as we entered this challenging time are bad. Some things you started are great. Others, however, may have run their course, and need to stop. Another great tool to help you with this are your reflection questions.

  • What’s going well? – Keep doing these and try to expand them.
  • What isn’t going well? – Stop, learn, and move on.
  • What did I learn? – Identify new things that you experienced and learned. Write them down, so you don’t forget.
  • What will I change? – Start the path today for a richer tomorrow.

If you would like to hear what my answers to these questions, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 152 of The Next Page podcast as we discuss what we will be changing so we can move from bitter to better.

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