Take Time Out To Check In

Steven Gaffney After 9/11 many people vowed to do things differently -- talk to someone who has been estranged; take action on a dream or a goal; say something important which was previously unsaid.

So how is it going? Are you doing what you said you would do? Are you saying what you said you would say? Or are you still putting off, delaying, or rationalizing that someday you will get to it? My grandmother kept delaying her vacation with my grandfather because of her fear of flying. When she finally decided to confront her fear and go on vacation, my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer and died shortly thereafter. I am sure many of you know of stories like this … I just don't want you to be part of one.

So if you are still stuck, here are 3 actions you can take to get moving:

    Choose a goal that is bigger than you. After 9/11 many of us felt closer to each other and as a nation we pulled together. Why? Because our grief suddenly bonded us by a common purpose. Many of our differences seem miniscule compared to what we commonly shared and what we needed to do as a country. Being bonded by a common purpose can also be applied to our daily life. How? Create a goal that is larger than yourself, larger than your marriage, larger than your family, larger than your team at work. By creating a purpose -- a goal larger than you -- you are forced to disengage from the small things and engage in the big things… things that are most important.

    For example, do you notice how a family in crisis often pulls together? The crisis requires that the family focus on something that is bigger than their individual or personality differences. Rather than waiting for a crisis to strike, proactively create a goal that is exciting. For example, plan a big family reunion or a celebration that honors all the great elders of your family. Celebrate their infinite wisdom and what they have done for the subsequent generations.

    You can create big goals at work, too. If you're the boss, decide to be the #1 office, area, group, department, or company in your industry. Decide to double sales, double growth or double productivity. What you and your staff have to do to accomplish this results in everyone refocusing on the large stuff…not the little stuff. If you can't think of an inspiring big goal, ask!

Even if you are not "in charge" at work, you are "in charge" of your own life. Decide to be the very best, most productive, highest acclaimed or most renowned individual in something. You could ask your boss for a description of an ideal employee -- then commit to being one.

Someone once said, "Choose a goal not only for what it will bring you, but what it will make of you."

    Do what needs to be done. Are you putting off taking action on a goal? Most elderly people say they do not regret what they did; they usually regret what they didn't do. So take action -- talk the talk and walk the walk. "If you are not progressing, you are regressing." So take action! Even if it is a small action, it can set you on the path to bigger things and open doors you never knew existed.

    Say what you need to say. Share what you need to share. Express what you need to express. What goes unexpressed can haunt us, just as what gets expressed can free us and move us forward in ways that we may never realize.

As many of you may know, one of my favorite quotes is by Norman Cousins who said, "Death is not the greatest loss. The greatest loss is what dies within you while you live." Don't let something die within you. Later in life when you are reminiscing about this moment in time, what do you want to say that you did? Remember -- we may not be able to choose what happens to us but we can always choose our response.

… Live and celebrate your life!

"Steven Gaffney is a professional speaker and author in the area of communication, motivation and leadership. He can be reached at (703) 243-7994 or 1-877-6Honest or e-mail Steven directly at Steven@StevenGaffney.com."

Copyright 2004 by Steven Gaffney and the Steven Gaffney Company.

Category: Communicating
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