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Keeping Your Edge Without Being
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD.
world seems to DEMAND attention, doesn't it? It can be
truly "in your face."
Headlines suggest that
unless you're on the fast track constantly, you'll soon
be on the sidelines. Often, you might get the feeling
that you simply want to sideline yourself to stop,
breathe, and smell the flowers...but there's always such
pressure to keep running. How can you create the balance
that allows you to hone your competitive edge in the
marketplace without being on edge within?
You have chosen the
things you have in your life. Whether or not you think
they were thrust upon you, you have definitely chosen
them or you would be doing something else. Remember why
you chose them. When you entered the work world, what
were your dreams? What prompted you to enter the field
you are in? What is it that feeds you there?
Why have you chosen the
lifestyle you have? Are you in a mutually supportive
loving relationship? Are you wishing you were? Perhaps
you have some things that need to be better worked out
with your partner or your family. Why are you in those
relationships and how do they serve you? You are there
for a reason. Figure it out and decide whether or not
you value those reasons.
If children seem to be a
pressure in your life, remember why you chose to have
them. What were your dreams when you knew the first one
was arriving? How did you want to feel? What were you
looking forward to? What did you want to give to your
children? You chose parenthood. (If you're thinking that
you did not, where was the birth control?) Remember why.
Are you choosing to take
care of your health? Why? Why not? It's a choice. Think
Taking some quiet time to
reflect on these items will help you sort your
priorities once again. It will serve to remind you of
what you value.
Everyone has a different
energy level. There is no one right schedule, amount of
sleep or perfect diet. You only know what is right for
you. The question is "Do you pay attention?"
In this hurry-up, keep-up
world, you may think that there is a big 'should' in
what is possible for you. Stop for a few moments and ask
yourself what is right for you. What pace works? Where
do you get your energy? Are you giving yourself what you
need to optimize your day? If so, congratulate yourself.
If not, re-think it.
A recent TV news story
showed that the research was clear that most people
areliving in a state of sleep deprivation. Somehow,
sleeping is considered non-productive. Now, there's a
demonstration of how crooked our thinking has become.
The news said that most folks need an average of 8.6
hours of sleep. Are you sleeping enough?
It is not news to you
that you need to exercise in order to have energy. Are
you taking yourself for a walk most day? Are you doing a
little weight-training? At a minimum, are you avoiding
elevators in favor of the stairs and parking far enough
away from the stores that you do a little walking?
You do not need a diet
book to tell you what comprises a healthy
diet—vegetables, fruit, fish, poultry, breads, dairy
products, and small amounts of red meat. You know to
limit your fat intake to something reasonable—less than
30 grams per day. That's not news. What can be news is
treating yourself well by using this information for
your own good. That will affect how you feel at the end
of the day.
Do you know the five most
important things in your life? The five things that are
the most valuable, important and significant to you? The
five things that you would never want to be without,
such as your health, your family, your traditions, your
Now set aside some time
and sit down with your calendar and checking account for
the past three months. Tally up the hours and dollars
spent on the five most important things in your life. If
you find that the number of hours and dollars is not the
most significant portion of your income, one of two
things is amiss. Either you don't value the things you
think you value, or, you don't demonstrate that you
value them by spending your time and money accordingly.
Quite a quick measure, isn't it?
I suggest that you make
those five important things the ones you say "yes" to
before taking on anything else. That way, you'll live in
integrity with what you value.
Next step: know what your
next goals are in each of those areas. You know that you
can "have it all" in life, you just seldom can have it
all at once. When children are growing, they take time,
attention, love, and care. It's very difficult to
provide that while wanting to create a million-dollar
career. One or the other may suffer. What is important
right now? Put those things first and plan for the
Clarify your goals. Then
ask yourself what you may have to do to realize them. If
there is even one thing on your list that you would be
unwilling to do, modify your goal. You cannot achieve a
goal if there is any unwillingness on your part. This is
a secret. Many folks fail to achieve their goals for
that very reason.
Make a plan to achieve
your goals in tiny increments. Another secret to
success. Break your goals down into what I call "TTDCs"—Teeny,
Tiny, Doable Chunks™. Those are the ones you'll actually
accomplish. If the work seems monumental,
procrastination is likely. Chunk it down into something
you can accomplish in an hour. Then, each hour spent
will lead you to the goal. It's simple really. If you
find yourself resisting this, though, go back to point
one in this list...know why you're doing what you're
doing. There will be an answer for you there.
considerations will assist you in knowing where you want
to be in life and why. Your competitive edge is simply
creating by clarity of purpose and awareness what is
important to you. To compete actually comes from the
Latin word "competere," which means to come together,
agree, and be suitable. So often, we think that our
competition is outside ourselves. However, it's first
internal. We need to live in alignment and integrity.
Is your life "agreeing"
with what is important, significant and valuable to you?
Spend some time with the ideas presented for you here.
This will help you hone your competitive edge without
losing your balance.
Article by Rhoberta Shaler, PhD. Dr.
Shaler speaks, coaches and conducts seminars for
organizations who want to motivate their people and
entrepreneurs and individuals who want the strategies to
achieve their dreams. You can subscribe to her three
free e-zines at www.OptimizeLifeNow.com.
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