I am speaking next week to a national audience on the topic of self-care. This group is IT professionals whose service to their organizations makes it possible for them to succeed at what they do. Any pressure here?
It's hard to create a self-care practice when you're really busy. The irony is that being really busy creates many of the challenges that need to be overcome for self-care to be effective, to be real.
I'm sharing a Road MAP for self-care that anyone can use:
Mindset: Your self-care journey is your responsibility. You will succeed only if you own it. Ownership is a level higher than just being accountable for something. When you own it, you are in charge. Be in charge of your self-care.
Actions: Your self-care and mine may not be the same. I have to "walk my heart" and I have to "care for my brain" due to my family history of heart disease and my own traumatic brain injury. Events changed my life and forced me to take actions that will help me overcome and live my best life. Your positive mindset says you can choose actions good for your body, your mind, and your soul. Choose well!
People: Yes, you are doing this for you. But a wonderful "why" for this journey is the fact that you are not an island. You have people you love and work with and serve. Think of it as circles. You're the inner circle, and like ripples on a lake, your self-care practice goes out, affecting those you love, work with, serve, etc.
There are many great inspiring reasons to practice self-care. Perhaps the best is summed up in the message above: If you don't make time for your health and wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness. Be pro-active. Make the time for you and your self-care for another very simple reason: you're worth it!
Have you ever sailed or been on a ship?Do you remember the first time? If you're from the Midwest, that's a big deal. Small lakes are inviting and cooling on a hot day. The ocean? A ship on the ocean? A bit scary for some of us.
Courage is a JourneyWord designed to help us face our fears. Courage is on display with Avenger movies and with mighty battles in Game of Thrones.
Courage for those of us who aren't super heroes is a bit simpler. It is guided by both a "how-to" and a "why-to" strategy.
First, the how-to is simple: showing up, being and doing your best. That's all anyone can ask of you. And that's enough, if you self-monitor and ask yourself if you've done what you can. You know the difference, and so do those you work with, lead and serve.
Second, the why-to matters: your authentic acts of courage inspire others to be and do their best. We emulate what we see, what we hear. Your actions teach others how to do it: how to step up, be your best, find a better way, be a better team member and leader. It's your character, in action. Every day.
Courage helps us create engaging conversations, deliver excellent customer service, solve problems fast, innovate for better solutions. The opposite is staying put, doing what we've always done, because that's comfortable, even if it's not good enough, it's what we know and as human beings, we usually prefer what we know to what we don't know.
You will not always know where you're going. And sometimes, the water is pretty scary. But if you do your best, you will find your path to excellence. And that will always be a path worth taking.
Last month I spoke for a school in-service, helping inspire nearly 400 staff to meet the challenges of the upcoming year with a positive mindset.
Teachers, paras, cooks, custodians, security, administration and others face great challenges in today's world as they try to prepare students for success. One of the greatest strategies they have is to remember that those students and their parents/grandparents are actually their form of "customers."
What does that give them? A focus on service, a joy in knowing they make a difference, a reminder to never give up, a chance to remember that those students who drive them crazy are the reason--the only reason--they have their jobs.
A focus on creating a great experience also requires a commitment to take care of yourself. I call it "Self Care for Real Life," and it helps all of us remember that while service is critical, so is the job of taking care of us so we CAN be there for those we serve.
This month, if you would like to receive my free 15 week program, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get an ezine each Monday for 15 weeks, each designed to give you simple, yet solid strategies for self care.
Back to school means back to real life for schools across the country. Here's hoping for a wonderful, SAFE experience for everyone this school year!
Quality is easily taken for granted, until it doesn't exist.
It can be very frustrating to be an airplane passenger in today's world. If you fly first-class, or purchase another upgrade, you might be immune to what others face: more seats installed, resulting in less space; delays related to maintenance issues you would think could be detected BEFORE passengers get on board; and cold planes.
Of all of those, the cold plane showed me the lack of quality. When I fly, I wear layers, I carry a light blanket, I wear socks. And still, one day on a flight, I was so cold I had to complain. The stewardess said, "Oh, I know, we always have that problem with this plane."
OK, so she was aware. That led me to the logical question: "Can I please have a blanket?" To which she replied, "Oh, no we only have those in first class."
Really? To know you have a problem with a particular product, but to not be prepared to offer alternatives or something, anything that would help?
Quality. When it's not there, and you still pay a high price, it's not much fun. Neither is freezing on flights.
This is a week of vacations and celebrations in America. We take the 4th of July seriously. We plan for it, prepare for it, enjoying the day--and perhaps the entire week--with those we love on vacations, at lakes, concerts, picnics and more.
Let's remember the reason for the day: celebrating our country's birthday, and the effort that went into creating this great democracy. An experiment for the world still plays out 242 years later, a feat not to be taken for granted.
Let's remember that service to our country is service to fellow Americans, helping to ensure America remains what she has been: a wonderful country, filled with promise, filled with ideas to solve problems and through those solutions, create hope always for a better future.
And let's remember that our experience as Americans is a pretty special experience, not to be taken for granted. Celebrate it with joy. Happy 4th of July!
Dee Dee has helped create and coach "customer care" programs and cultures for healthcare, government, travel, financial services, plumbing, retail, publishing, automotive and entire communities.