Changing The Focus - Blog

Thoughts, Ideas, Hopes, and Dreams
from John Chappelear
Just breathe, a guide to quiet.
July 24, 2020 at 8:06 PM
by John Chappelear
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Settle into a comfortable position and close your eyes or keep them open with a softened gaze and have some contact with the floor.

Take several long, slow, deep breaths breathing in fully and exhaling fully. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth. Feel your abdomen rise and fall, abdomen, not chest.

Allow your breath to find its natural rhythm.

Bring full attention to each in-breath as it enters your nostrils, travels down to your lungs, and causes your belly to expand.

And notice each out-breath as your belly contracts and air moves up through the lungs back up through the nostrils or mouth.

Continue full attention to the flow of your breath.

Notice how the inhale is different from the exhale. You may experience the air on the intake is cool, and warm as you exhale.

As you turn more deeply inward, begin to let go of noises around you.

If you are distracted by sounds in the room, simply notice them, bring your intention back to your breath.

Simply breathe, not striving to change anything about your breath.

Observe and accept your experience in this moment without judgment, paying attention to each inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders to thoughts, plans, or problems, simply notice your mind wandering.

Watch your thoughts as they enter your awareness, remain as neutral as possible.

Imagine placing each thought on a leaf and watching it float out of sight down the stream. Then bring your attention back to your breath.

Your breath is the anchor you can return to anytime when you become distracted by thoughts. Notice when your mind has wandered. Observe the types of thoughts that hook and distract you.

Noticing is the most enriching part of learning.

With this knowledge, you can strengthen your ability to detach from daily thoughts and mindfully focus your awareness back on the qualities of your breath.

Practice "coming home" to the breath with your full attention.

You might become distracted by pain or discomfort in the body or twitching or itching sensations that draw your attention away from the breath.

You may also notice feelings arising, perhaps sadness or happiness, frustration, or contentment.

Acknowledge whatever comes up, including thoughts or stories about your experience, and then let them pass untouched.

Simply notice when your mind wanders without judging it, pushing it away, clinging to it, or wishing it was different. Then refocus your mind and guide your attention back to your breath.

Breathe in and breathe out.

Follow the air all the way in and all the way out.

Mindfully be present moment by moment with your breath.

As this practice comes to an end, slowly allow your attention to expand and notice your entire body and then beyond your body to the room you are in.

When you're ready, open your eyes and come back fully alert and awake.

Our breath is always with us to use as a refocusing tool, a safe space.

Set a clear intention to use this practice throughout the day to strengthen your attention.

Adapted from a Breathing Script written by:

Shilagh Mirgain, PhD

Drop the Weight !
July 17, 2020 at 4:42 PM
by
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Are You Carrying Too Much Weight ?

Carrying around resentments, judgments, anger, worries, and such creates weight.

This weight can do as much damage as obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Learning to let go of our mental and emotional negative baggage is the perfect diet for what ails us.

Is it simple, yes ! Is it easy, no !

But there is a path to success !

Creating a Path of Intention

We all know that it is our actions and not our intentions, which create change.

But how do we do that?

Imagine how would you like others to perceive you today?

Same as usual or different?

If different, what will you do to make your intention a reality?

Each day when you wake, set your Path of Intention.

Start with short positive self-talk statements.

Today, I will let go of _____________! Today, I will be ____________!

About three times each day, give yourself a check-in on your Path of Intention.

Find a place apart.

Take a minute or two to mentally and emotionally check-in, asking,

"how am I doing with my intentions."

If you are on track, great keep up the excellent work.

If you find yourself off track, gently move back to your Path of Intention.

As you practice regularly, you will see your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and results, changing permanently and positively.

Questions for One-on-One Weekly Meetings
June 29, 2020 at 12:30 PM
by John Chappelear
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Supporting your people means clearly outlining what success looks like, keeping a pulse on their wins and struggles, seeking out learning and development opportunities for them, and championing their accomplishments. Whether you choose these meetings to be formal or informal, a structured agenda is a must to ensure your people feel heard, understood and empowered. These four questions check all of those boxes:

1. What’s on Your Plate?

The first order of business should be just that – the business! Allow your employees the opportunity to give you a general rundown of what they are currently working on. While you oversee their work, it is unlikely that you are aware of everything they touch. As a manager or supervisor, you are responsible for driving results through another person’s work, which is why it is imperative that you are “in the know.” Gaining this understanding will also help you to delegate better, keeping in mind what else your team members are working on. You can help them prioritize to meet more urgent needs and reasonably balance their workload.

2. What Is Going Well for You Right Now?

With the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day, good work can easily go unnoticed. Asking your employees this question invites them to share and discuss recent achievements you may or may not be aware of – and makes them feel noticed and recognized, which will lead to increased motivation. Dig deeper with this question by trying to uncover what specifically led to their success, so your employees know which key behaviors they should continue.

3. What Obstacles Are You Facing, and How Can I Help?

Framing the question this way allows you to be the one to acknowledge that challenges are an expected part of work life, that it is all right to discuss them and that you are a resource for your people. The notion that employees can only approach managers and supervisors with solutions, not problems, has been ingrained in many people. As such,

organizations are often blind to their greatest issues. Let your people know that you understand that hiccups exist and that addressing them with you is not taboo. You can offer behaviors for them to stop doing or ways to do it differently. In the case that their problem is with you, you requested the feedback, created a safe space for discussion and this will help you identify your own blind spots as the leader. Keeping this topic as a recurring agenda item will also allow you to intervene in a timely manner, nipping issues in the bud before they become larger.

4. How Are You Progressing Toward Your Goals?

The first step in employees’ achieving their goals is to identify them and share them with you. It is never too late – or too early – to have this conversation. After all, as a

manager, you are responsible for providing them with the tools and resources they need to achieve their goals. Goals will continually evolve throughout the year, so having them top of mind will ensure you are both aligned with them. Besides helping your people reach their goals, awareness of those goals will help you identify growth opportunities.

Having consistent conversations with your employees and delivering and soliciting rolling feedback is crucial to performance management. Including these four questions in every one-on-one meeting will address the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

After all, you never know until you ask.

Limit or Remove Negative Words and Phrasing
June 10, 2020 at 12:30 PM
by John Chappelear
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Positive words encourage positive thinking. The same goes for negative words and phrasing – when we allow ourselves to use negative language, our thoughts become negative and vice-versa. Studies have shown that there are five key phrases that any person should remove from their vocabulary in order to ban negative language.

Just – This word limits our accomplishments and devalues our skills. By saying phrases such as “I’m just an accountant” or “I just work in customer service” can’t make anyone feel happy in their job.

Try – This word can often give us an excuse to fail. We will ‘try’ to accomplish something, but if we don’t succeed then it’s not our fault. We warned you earlier. Do or don’t do, there is no try. Master Yoda

Can’t – This word is often used when a person does not want to take the effort to reach a goal or accomplishment. Replace this word with a mental action plan on how you can act on your goals.

Impossible – This word is normally used when we are faced with something big and overwhelming. However, anything can seem possible if broken down into smaller, more attainable jobs. Anything can be accomplished when we take things one step at a time.

Someday- This word can have the same problem as ‘try’ – it sets us up to allow failure. When we plan to reach our goals “someday”, we are giving ourselves permission to procrastinate. Set a timeline for your goals and stick to them.

Transforming Stress, Anxiety, and Fear By Using Empathy
May 25, 2020 at 4:00 AM
by John Chappelear
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When our US Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor was going through her confirmation hearing to be selected for the Supreme Court, some people seem to lose their minds that she might be empathic to cases that which come before the court. 

Being empathic doesn't make you a poor judge; it makes you an exceptional one. Empathy is truly, "I feel your pain." A lack of empathy, in psychiatric circles, often is defined as the mark of a sociopath, showing an evident lack of willingness or inability to hear and understand the perspective, experience, and emotions of others. I see empathy as allowing a judge to understand all components of the case better. On the other hand, politics, ambition, or character may prevent a judge from being empathetic. So, empathy can be the difference between providing justice or not.

As leaders, we are judges for the success or failure of the people we lead every day. To be both significant and useful, we need to not only understand empathy but embrace it wholeheartedly. 

Empathy, as you might guess, falls under the emotional umbrella of Emotional Intelligence.

It is the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes", or in some way experience the outlook or emotions of another. That makes empathy directly connected to two of EI's four cornerstones, Self-Awareness, and Social Awareness. 

Using empathy correctly is a powerful relationship, engagement, and communication tool. The good news is that empathy is both a teachable and learnable skill allowing it to provide both demonstrably and measurable benefits. 

When individuals and organizations (including the Supreme Court) utilize empathy as a communications tool, interviews go much better, open and honest dialog is possible, and the gathering of information increases dramatically. Empathy honors everyone included in the process.

Here are some examples of how EI and Empathy connect:

• Willingness: to see the problem through the other person's point of view

• Respect: which allows recognition, acceptance and the possibility of agreement 

• Authenticity: honesty, a real expression of opinions without hypocrisy

• Warmth and openness: allowing for unconditional positive recognition

• Self-exposure: using personal experiences from to expand perspective

• Resolution: To identify and name the feelings on both sides and reach acceptance.

My practical experience has taught me that traditional intelligence measurements (such as IQ) are too narrowly focused to effectively determine how someone will react and behave in critical and stressful situations. 

As we understand and utilize EQ, we provide more extensive areas of understanding, which allow us to predict, identify, and enable how we can each be more "successful." 

"Empathy also plays a role in cooperation. One needs to pay close attention to the activities and goals of others to cooperate effectively. Effective cooperation requires being exquisitely in tune with the emotional states and goals of others." 

Frans de Waal - Emory University Department of Psychology.

Embrace Conflict
April 10, 2020 at 12:00 AM
by John Chappelear
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Your team will never become its best without conflict. The BEST answer to almost every issue you face will be a composite of the creativity and knowledge of the various players on your team. If you aren’t contributing anything to those best answers by opening your mouth and sharing your insights – as risky as that might feel – you are doing your team a great disservice

Here are five suggestions for healthier conflict in the workplace, and this comes from lots of personal experience – good and bad.

Face it. If you are human and you speak, you will eventually say something stupid. It’s going to happen. Set your ego aside, share your thoughts freely and be equally open to considering thoughts from your teammates. None of us have all the answers, and if you do, you need to surround yourself with new people who are smarter than you. To get to the truly great answers, we need to collaborate and mix it up with some great, passionate fighters.

Welcome statements that are raw and less polished. Establish a “just say it” rule for your team. Propose something even when you know there may be significant flaws in your thinking. That’s okay. Someone has to be bold enough to put something on the table that the team can react to, refine, and perfect. Your proposal sets the stage for counter-proposals that shape a better solution. So just say it!

As soon as it becomes about you, your team is going to suffer. Self-interest leads to defensive, combative, destructive behavior, so all dialogue must keep the greater good of the whole team in constant view.

Attack the issue, never each other. Focus on resolving the root cause behind each issue. Even when the issue concerns someone’s behavior, identify the root cause behind the behavior and focus on resolving that.

Take a break. When you get stuck or tempers have flared and it seems like you’re at an impasse, step away from each other and the issue for a short time, cool down, consider everything you’ve heard and then come back to see if the answer comes to the surface. Sometimes it’s just a 10-minute break, sometimes a day or two. Just let it settle a while, and the answer will come.

The good fruit that comes from healthy conflict in the workplace is worth all the risk and personal discomfort. Commit to being better fighters and see how that produces a healthier, more prosperous team

Desperate Times require Clear Values
March 12, 2020 at 5:00 PM
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I believe change is the one word that most accurately sums up our current set of circumstances. Change or even the prospect of change is uncomfortable and fear is often the by-product.

But embracing change by finding good in bad situations is not only possible, it is essential to any successful strategy for moving forward, whether in the midst of a crisis or not. We must be willing to face our fears and view change through a positive lens.

My book, The Daily Six, was published back in 2005 and it lays out the foundation upon which my life’s work is built. It is the basis for all that I do both personally and professionally. Today, as we deal with the fallout from Covid19, the principles espoused in my book are proving to be even more pertinent than when originally published. And the explanation is simple. Desperate times call for clear direction.

When universal truths are reduced to their most basic form, a clear path emerges. The ability to remain balanced and positive while we navigate a myriad of unexpected challenges requires that clarity. We are living in complicated times, facing multiple issues such as: personal health and safety, loss of loved ones, work from home, virtual communication, financial insecurity and significant adjustments to our various business models. We are struggling to accept a new normal that is still in the making. At the same time, we are striving to remain mindful of the commitment we have made to our core values.

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, let us look forward and accept that the future depends on our ability to change.

1. Willingness – Before we can face what lies ahead in positive ways, we must be willing and open to change.

The life we knew before the pandemic will never be the same. We must be willing to adapt and make the changes necessary to not only survive but also prosper in ways we may never have considered before. We must be willing to: ask for help and support, try new things, solve problems by redirecting or expanding our skillset and think in more creative ways.

When we are willing to face our fears and accept change, we will be ready to move ahead, toward a better tomorrow.

2. Quiet Time – Think of Quiet Time as our emotional reset button. It allows us stay calm and balanced when the rest of life is spinning out of control.

While we may have influence over our circumstances and the actions of others, we do not have control. The only things we truly have the ability to control are our own thoughts, emotions and actions.

Quiet Time can take the form of prayer, meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques or anything else that brings us peace and helps us focus our thoughts, reign in our emotions and control our actions.

3. Service – A connected community is a healthy community. When we help and support our family and friends, our employees and co-workers, our fellow citizens and the world at large, we are indeed, helping ourselves. The value of Service is taught in every religion. It is a universal core value and comes in all sizes and shapes, from a simple kindness to a charity that changes the lives of millions.

4. Love & Forgiveness – This is a big one, especially if we are sheltering in place. Even those we hold dear can eventually get on our nerves when we’re together 24/7. Just ask my wife. But when we practice love and forgiveness, we become thoughtful, kinder and more caring. We are quicker to forgive and move on which strengthens our bonds and allows our relationships to grow stronger.

5. Gratitude – Nothing changes our perspective quicker than gratitude. For example, if we are sheltering in place and are grateful for the extra time with our family, our spirits will be much higher than if we are angry and resentful about being stuck at home.

Life is a series of choices, and choosing to be grateful for where you are in the moment, goes along way toward personal fulfillment and happiness.

6. Action – We begin with willingness and we end by taking action because without action, all we have is a plan. For example, 75% of all strategic plans fail, and the primary reason is lack of action. Organizations often invest heavily on the plan but not the implementation. Consistent follow-up and action are the keys to any successful strategic plan.

The path to a successful new normal is not easy but it is simple. The journey begins when we are willing to face our fears and accept change. We stay on the path, remaining centered and balanced, by using some form of quiet time. To stay positive, we incorporate service, love & forgiveness and gratitude into our daily lives. Lastly, we take actions to create a future that far exceeds the past. It is our ability to move forward, creating and accepting change that will guide us in the years ahead.

Checking Back on Progress
February 28, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by John Chappelear
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Have each team member write down the top three to five things that he or she has in process, using one sticky note per work item. Be granular rather than sky level.

“Building the week view of the new calendar feature” is better than simply writing “Calendar” on your sticky note. Specifics help the whole team understand the details of each work item.

1. Each team member picks a sticky note from their selection of current work items, sticks it to his or her shirt and “becomes” that piece of work.

2. Figure out where your piece of work is in your team’s process by asking the following three questions: Where am I right now? Where did I come from? Where will I go next?

3. Make sure you’ve taken into account not only the work of your team members but also how workflows into the team from leaders, customers and other parts of the organization.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong process. There’s only your team’s process, as simple or as complex as it may be, at this very moment.

7 Tips for Effective Project and Goal Implementation
February 17, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by John Chappelear
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1. Clearly establish your S.M.A.R.T. projects or goals. What you want success to look like.
(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Trackable)

2. Create a well-designed map of milestones, creating a plan for success.

3. Generate a task list, to achieve the milestones. Taking small bite size chunks.

4. Determine what support (people, time, money, space) you need to achieve each task?

5. Create a mutually agreed to timeline for your tasks, milestones, goals and projects.

6. Work consistently toward completing each task.

7. When you achieve your goals, celebrate with all contributors.

5 Reasons Why Strategic Plan Implementations Fail
February 10, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by John Chappelear
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  1. The biggest problem is the lack of willingness to adopt change. The number one error is failure to invest adequately in change management. The complexity of managing behavioral and cultural change is underestimated in the project planning and scoping stages, resulting in a blow out of time and costs.
  2. A lack of readiness to change is next. This comes from not understanding and not having the capability to manage the people-impacts and risks. A flow-on issue is that the budget allocated to manage the people aspects of change will most likely be insufficient. The change initiative then takes more time, requires a lot more effort, or comes to a grinding halt.
  3. Change efforts fail (about 30%) in the initial phase due to a lack of urgency to the needed change. Spend time building a business case for change. While it’s important to have a strong vision and to communicate what that is, it’s also important to paint a picture of the difference between changing and remaining stagnant.
  4. Leaders overlook the need to create the right “home” for change. Create an environment and culture that welcomes – open communication, critical thinking and proactive learning that is vital to reshaping an organization.
  5. The soft stuff is the hardest to get right – changing mindsets and attitudes require adaptive leadership; different stakeholders will need different information and support to change. Organizations that are too regimented and focused on systems can lack the adaptive leadership needed to get EVERYONE on-board the initiative.
Change Your Focus, Change Your Life
Permanent, Positive Change for Organizations and Individuals
February 1, 2020 at 4:30 PM
by John Chappelear
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At Changing the Focus, LLC, we excel at working with small and mid-size organizations that value their employees. Our clients often ask about our learning process. We engage each employee in a productive and positive manner.

We offer three service areas which are tightly intertwined and create significnat results. We'll outline them for you below.

We offer three service areas which are tightly intertwined and create results. We'll outline them for you below.

The Three Services Offer Our Clients

Our specific and tailored approach may change client to client but our core elements always remain the same.
Our years of experience allow our professional business consultants to deliver exceptional results that will improve your business from the inside out.

1. Leadership

Your business needs effecctive leadership to thrive and guide your employees through your day to day operations. It starts with your senior staff, and itmoves down through your management to your front line employees. Our business consultants come to your business and work with each tier of your staff to teach them the essential leadership skills that they can use to guide them successfuly to success.

Essential leadership skills that we help with include:

  • How to communicate effectively
  • How to give positive feedback
  • How to receive feedback
  • The importance of building trust
  • Professional responsibility

When every tier of your business learns these strategies, it opens the lines of communication and builds up a supportive environment where your staff want to do well and stay in their positions.

2. Positive Change

Change can be scary in a business, no matter how large or small, fast or slow it is implemented.

If a process isn't working as it should, it will cause negativity to ripple out across your organization.

We will teach your employees how to make positive changes in your workspace to help increase everyone's productivity levels. Positive changes can improve your overall morale and culture.

Positive change can impact your business in both the long and short-term. You should notice immediate changes in your processes and employees once you implement the changes. The long-term effects of positive change can help to improve your bottom line. 

3. Emotional Intelligence

The final area we work on with our clients is developing more emotional intelligence. Having a high level of emotional intelligence in a business setting is very important because you can find yourself in a lot of high-stress situations.

When emotions run high and you don't have control over them, it can cause arguments, more stress, and low employee morale. Developing emotional intelligence can lead to calmer teams, more efficient processes, and more.

Contact Changing the Focus, LLC --------------- Today !

Do you need a business consultant to help your business thrive? Maybe you have questions about our processes or services. Whatever the reason, we want to hear from you! You can reach out and get in touch with our staff today! We'll answer your questions or set up a consultation today! 

What a difference a day makes
April 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by
bc09 kevin young

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Time after time
April 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by
b2e7 garrhet sampson

This is a sample blog post. After this paragraph you will see nonsensical-looking text called "lorem ipsum" text. "Lorem ipsum" text is placeholder text that publishers and graphic designers commonly use to visually represent text in a specific layout or design before the final text is ready. This text looks like Latin because it is based on a 1st-century BC Latin text that was subsequently altered to make it nonsensical Latin.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam in nisl maximus lorem ornare condimentum vitae sed sem. Donec neque magna, sagittis at lorem ut, placerat porta nibh. Cras fringilla malesuada tincidunt. Suspendisse sagittis metus vel augue facilisis, id sollicitudin est luctus. Nunc sollicitudin diam lectus, non fermentum felis imperdiet sit amet. Mauris consectetur viverra libero id aliquet. Nulla massa tellus, faucibus at dapibus id, hendrerit vel lacus. Suspendisse est erat, interdum eget tortor vel, vestibulum varius sem. Etiam venenatis imperdiet magna, nec congue lorem convallis non. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Vestibulum viverra dui sit amet eros fermentum, quis vehicula ex sagittis. Quisque hendrerit dignissim ex, a aliquam lacus rhoncus non. Praesent et posuere tortor. Nullam in arcu nec purus consectetur cursus. Quisque quis imperdiet risus. Quisque vel tempus lacus.

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Everyday is a winding road
April 8, 2019 at 12:00 AM
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This is a sample blog post. After this paragraph you will see nonsensical-looking text called "lorem ipsum" text. "Lorem ipsum" text is placeholder text that publishers and graphic designers commonly use to visually represent text in a specific layout or design before the final text is ready. This text looks like Latin because it is based on a 1st-century BC Latin text that was subsequently altered to make it nonsensical Latin.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam in nisl maximus lorem ornare condimentum vitae sed sem. Donec neque magna, sagittis at lorem ut, placerat porta nibh. Cras fringilla malesuada tincidunt. Suspendisse sagittis metus vel augue facilisis, id sollicitudin est luctus. Nunc sollicitudin diam lectus, non fermentum felis imperdiet sit amet. Mauris consectetur viverra libero id aliquet. Nulla massa tellus, faucibus at dapibus id, hendrerit vel lacus. Suspendisse est erat, interdum eget tortor vel, vestibulum varius sem. Etiam venenatis imperdiet magna, nec congue lorem convallis non. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Vestibulum viverra dui sit amet eros fermentum, quis vehicula ex sagittis. Quisque hendrerit dignissim ex, a aliquam lacus rhoncus non. Praesent et posuere tortor. Nullam in arcu nec purus consectetur cursus. Quisque quis imperdiet risus. Quisque vel tempus lacus.

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Desperate Times require Clear Values
March 12, 2020 at 5:00 PM
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I believe change is the one word that most accurately sums up our current set of circumstances. Change or even the prospect of change is uncomfortable and fear is often the by-product.

But embracing change by finding good in bad situations is not only possible, it is essential to any successful strategy for moving forward, whether in the midst of a crisis or not. We must be willing to face our fears and view change through a positive lens.

My book, The Daily Six, was published back in 2005 and it lays out the foundation upon which my life’s work is built. It is the basis for all that I do both personally and professionally. Today, as we deal with the fallout from Covid19, the principles espoused in my book are proving to be even more pertinent than when originally published. And the explanation is simple. Desperate times call for clear direction.

When universal truths are reduced to their most basic form, a clear path emerges. The ability to remain balanced and positive while we navigate a myriad of unexpected challenges requires that clarity. We are living in complicated times, facing multiple issues such as: personal health and safety, loss of loved ones, work from home, virtual communication, financial insecurity and significant adjustments to our various business models. We are struggling to accept a new normal that is still in the making. At the same time, we are striving to remain mindful of the commitment we have made to our core values.

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, let us look forward and accept that the future depends on our ability to change.

1. Willingness – Before we can face what lies ahead in positive ways, we must be willing and open to change.

The life we knew before the pandemic will never be the same. We must be willing to adapt and make the changes necessary to not only survive but also prosper in ways we may never have considered before. We must be willing to: ask for help and support, try new things, solve problems by redirecting or expanding our skillset and think in more creative ways.

When we are willing to face our fears and accept change, we will be ready to move ahead, toward a better tomorrow.

2. Quiet Time – Think of Quiet Time as our emotional reset button. It allows us stay calm and balanced when the rest of life is spinning out of control.

While we may have influence over our circumstances and the actions of others, we do not have control. The only things we truly have the ability to control are our own thoughts, emotions and actions.

Quiet Time can take the form of prayer, meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques or anything else that brings us peace and helps us focus our thoughts, reign in our emotions and control our actions.

3. Service – A connected community is a healthy community. When we help and support our family and friends, our employees and co-workers, our fellow citizens and the world at large, we are indeed, helping ourselves. The value of Service is taught in every religion. It is a universal core value and comes in all sizes and shapes, from a simple kindness to a charity that changes the lives of millions.

4. Love & Forgiveness – This is a big one, especially if we are sheltering in place. Even those we hold dear can eventually get on our nerves when we’re together 24/7. Just ask my wife. But when we practice love and forgiveness, we become thoughtful, kinder and more caring. We are quicker to forgive and move on which strengthens our bonds and allows our relationships to grow stronger.

5. Gratitude – Nothing changes our perspective quicker than gratitude. For example, if we are sheltering in place and are grateful for the extra time with our family, our spirits will be much higher than if we are angry and resentful about being stuck at home.

Life is a series of choices, and choosing to be grateful for where you are in the moment, goes along way toward personal fulfillment and happiness.

6. Action – We begin with willingness and we end by taking action because without action, all we have is a plan. For example, 75% of all strategic plans fail, and the primary reason is lack of action. Organizations often invest heavily on the plan but not the implementation. Consistent follow-up and action are the keys to any successful strategic plan.

The path to a successful new normal is not easy but it is simple. The journey begins when we are willing to face our fears and accept change. We stay on the path, remaining centered and balanced, by using some form of quiet time. To stay positive, we incorporate service, love & forgiveness and gratitude into our daily lives. Lastly, we take actions to create a future that far exceeds the past. It is our ability to move forward, creating and accepting change that will guide us in the years ahead.