Aliveatwork's Blog

Holidays … A Blessing or a Curse?

blessing-or-curse-e1302612954465Sometimes in the heat of an unfavorable situation we wish things were different.

We wish that the circumstances unfolding in our life were unfolding in a different manner … preferably in someone else’s life.

And yet how many times, after the fact, after time had passed, were you able to see the good that resulted from the situation? The very same situation you were cursing a day, a week, or a few months ago!

During challenging times it can be hard to focus on the good. Why? Because we are so focused on how uncomfortable, painful, stressful, or inconvenient the situation is that we are experiencing.

The holidays can be stressful, they can put undue pressure on all of us. For some reason, our feelings (negative or positive) seem to get magnified as we come to the end of one year and transition into the next.

Here are 3 thoughts that can help you focus on your blessings this holiday season: 

  1. It’s All Temporary – Remind yourself that all things in life are temporary; including pain, discomfort, stress and visits to or from your relatives during Xmas.
  2. Count Your Blessings – Literally … make a list of all the things that are going well in your life and the things that create a feeling of being blessed. Yes, that includes your spouse and children (remember some folks will not be experiencing the holidays with their whole family this year … people will be missing for one reason or another)
  3. Get Out of Your Head – A friend of mine once said, “A walk through my mind is a walk through a dangerous neighborhood.” Sometimes we get so focused on ourselves (inwardly) that the only way out of our pain and discomfort is to focus (outwardly) on others by blessing them with an act of kindness.

This holiday season can be crazy, hectic, rushed, stressful, uncomfortable, and filled with angst or …

It can be joyful, wonderful, relaxing, peaceful, and filled with blessings.

I guess you just have to decide what you want it to be and then focus on looking for whatever it is you want … a blessing or a curse.

Have an extraordinary holiday season!

Goodwill Hunting?

Good-Will-HuntingIn the movie Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon plays a tough, wise-cracking, but emotionally scarred math genius  named, Will Hunting. And although he is extremely brilliant he is working (hiding) as a night janitor at Harvard.

Robin Williams play a therapist who attempts to help Will go inside of himself in order to own the truth about his abusive past and discover his authentic self.

The climax of the movie is a scene where Williams, on the verge of giving up on his rebellious patient, takes a leap of faith and starts telling Will, “It’s not your fault, listen to me son, it’s not your fault.”

Damon literally pushes back but Williams persists, “It’s not your fault, It’s not your fault,” until Will surrenders and the tears erupt like a broken dam.

Have you ever put up a facade that things were fine on the outside, yet on the inside you were going through a tough time (troubles at work, fractured relationship at home, the loss of a loved one, or just plain loneliness)?

Sometimes what people project to the outside world isn’t an accurate picture of their inside world. And the holidays can be especially tough because there is an expectation to be cheerful and filled with holiday spirit even though there is an emptiness on the inside.

What if … you believed that over the course of the next 2 weeks you will encounter someone who is in need of an extraordinary act of kindness?

What if … you believed that this person was put on your path for the specific reason that you were chosen to show them that they matter, that they are valuable, or that they are not alone?

What if … by helping that person you later came to the conclusion that they were really put on your path to help you in some unexpected way?

This holiday season, do a little goodwill hunting … it will certainly bring a bit more peace on earth and who knows … maybe even some goodwill towards men (people).

Happy hunting!

A Quality Quality

quality-seoHow do you define quality?

Is it something that you value when buying goods or services?

What about when it comes to your qualities, how would you define your qualities?

Quality when used as either an adjective or a noun pertains to excellence or value.

I once had the opportunity to listen to a speaker present who was extremely intelligent and very much a self-described introvert.

During the Q & A period someone who apparently admired his qualities asked him this question, “How is it that you can be such an intellect and an introvert, but yet you speak with such casual easiness?”

His response was astonishing. He replied, “I have spent tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours working to be able to come up here and do this, so please don’t think it is easy!”

Making it look easy is the sign of a true professional.

So many of us watch professional athletes or musicians and gawk at the amazing ease at which they perform and yet we never see the years of hard work, the 10,000 hours of practice, or the countless hours in the gym. We never really see the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to the point of making it look … easy.

So what about you? What profession are you in and what qualities are you working on? Are you working on those qualities so hard that when people see you at your craft they say … you make it look … so easy!