Attitude Follows Perspective.
I had a realization the other day about the things we all avoid, procrastinate, and don’t like … you know the ones I’m talking about, the things that need to get done, that are important in their own rights, but that you’re not necessarily that interested in or good at.
I have done a lot of personal work to understand where my potential lies and how to really maximize my strengths. Of course, this process is evolving but I’ve always been a strong advocate of ‘playing to your strengths’ (see my post on doing what you love). Although there is lots to be said about understanding our weaknesses or ‘our shadow selves’ — another topic altogether — I believe that our real work lies in cultivating our strengths. Besides, what’s the point in attending to your weaknesses or doing things you don’t like, anyway?
Well, as we know, life sometimes offers us things that aren’t quite as inviting — in my case like taxes, financial statements, receipts, filing, and so on. As Benjamin Franklin said, “nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”.
It’s tax time again. This kind of harsh reality reminds us that sometimes we need to face the things that we don’t like to do. What I realized is that something as seemingly frustrating and difficult as taxes, can actually be a simple, efficient, productive, and joyous task <did I say that out loud?!>. It’s all perspective.
Last year, after a painstaking I-don’t-know-how-many hours getting my taxes and year-end income statements in good working order, I swore I would be much more diligent and organized. “Next time will be different”, I told myself. But as time passed, my system got lost in the shuffle. My focus and heart just weren’t in it. After all, I’d much rather be working at the things I love to do such as building my business, working with ideas, helping inspiring people see things that they may not have otherwise seen, facilitating their personal growth so that they can be the best that they can be, and ultimately getting these amazing individuals from point a to point b (or c or d!) on their journey.
My philosophy at Uplift! is that the more you focus on ‘you’ — and your emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual potential — the closer you are to realizing your own success and the success of your team.
More importantly, the better we know ourselves inside and out, the happier we are and subsequently, this world becomes a better place. It’s just that simple.
We all have days when we are faced with chores, errands, or responsibilities that we don’t want to do. At times like these, it’s easy to get into a bad mood and stay in one as we tackle these tasks. However, given the fact that our bad mood will not change the fact that we have to do these things, and will most likely make things worse, we can also try to shift our attitude. Many wise people have pointed out that it is not so much what we do as it is how we do it that makes the difference in our lives.
It’s important when we’re facing something that’s really hard for us, whether it’s doing taxes, paying bills, or visiting a challenging relative, that we lovingly support ourselves through the process. The more supported we feel, the easier it is to open our minds to the idea that we can change our way of looking at any situation. In truth, most of the chores we don’t like doing are intimately intertwined with our blessings. When we remember this, we feel gratitude, which makes it hard to stay in a dark mood.
Yesterday and the days leading up to it weren’t nearly as dreadful as I’d initially thought.
First I began to visualize working in ease and flow with what needed to be done. I mapped it out and then let it go to sit in “the abyss” for a while. First thing in the morning on the day of, I felt completely supported so I went about my daily ritual which begins with my breath and gratitude journal over tea. This eventually leads to working with and sharing a few ideas online on Uplift’s Facebook page or the Women Inspire LinkedIn group. This outreach takes me to my Yoga practice. On this day, I spent time awakening my body through gentle postures and then moved into a 30 minute meditation to clear my mind (and set the intention to work with ease and flow). Then off to the races I went.
To the task at hand. The result was spectacular and I pleasantly surprised myself. I worked throughout the day with laser focus, presence, and curiosity. Everything came together without a hitch. I got lost in time, and though I don’t want to admit it, I really enjoyed the work. My experience was quite the opposite from last year. With the sense of softness, focus, concentration, and mental clarity awakened by my Yoga practice and daily rituals, I turned a dreaded task into something quite effortless and enjoyable.
In fact, in one moment, as the sun and the warm winds were streaming through my window, while I was so careful to keep everything in place, sorting through papers and receipts a bit hunched over on my office couch, I looked out the window, the wind and sun on my face – I felt an implicit moment of joy and a great appreciation of life. This is Yoga.
The key ingredients here…
If we want to do something well, we need to believe in ourselves and commit to the task with a positive attitude.
When we pause, stop, and pay attention to what is before us, ‘smell the flowers’ so to speak, things are brought back into perspective. There’s so much more to life than the harried schedules on our smartphones.
Any task can be transformed from a burden into a necessary aspect of caring for something we love. All we have to do is shift our perspective, and our attitude follows shortly behind.
This story is just one of the many benefits of regular meditation, yoga, and mindfulness practice. Incorporating at least one of these into your own daily ritual can bring a sense of peace to your personal life and your business. If you’d like to talk some more about how you can bring this sense of peace and grounding into your own life, drop me a line. I’d love to connect with you.