Here’s Your Permission Slip

What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from doing what you want? From pursuing your dream(s)? From living your best life?

I’m here to tell you those obstacles don’t exist for you anymore. I’m wiping them away for you. In fact, here is your permission slip to be who you authentically are. To identify what makes you happy and go get it. To define what success is to you and to make it happen. To step out of the role you’ve been siloed into so you can redefine what you want your life to be.

Here is your permission slip to be yourself.

Our world is full of voices telling us what we should look like, who we can love, what we’re supposed to do with our lives. What’s considered acceptable for who we are, based on the world’s definition of us.

But what if, with this permission slip, you decide to take a stand? What if you decide that what the world dictates is not right for you? What if you decide to find your own happy? How will you change? And with that change, what can you now bring to the world?

Remember this quote from Buckminster Fuller, a 20th century inventor and visionary: “What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

You are responsible for every decision you make. Your life is yours to live. Here’s your permission slip. Go live it.

Take Action
Take 10 minutes today to ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What makes a good day for me?
  2. What makes me happy?
  3. When do I feel successful?

Look at your answers. Do they align to the life you’re living? If not, take your permission slip, and make it happen.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Unhinged – How Do You Act When Things Don’t Go Your Way

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Be Someone’s Hero

We have an obsession with heroes. The Marvel and DC series have brought comic book super heroes to life. And we hear stories about super heroes in daily life, usually in the form of first responders. Verizon highlighted first responders as heroes during their “Answer the Call” campaign (it’s hard not to get choked up listening to that) and during the 2019 Super Bowl, they ran a “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here” campaign highlighting 12 NFL players that wouldn’t be here without first responders.

Whether it’s one person saving or helping another or a band of superheroes saving the world together, a hero ultimately comes down to the same definition: people who do or achieve amazing things.

We are eager to acknowledge and praise heroes. We give them trophies, medals and awards. We write about them, follow them, interview them and post their pictures everywhere.

Sometimes, however, our definition of hero leads us to forget about those who live among us. The talented, quiet and decisive people who show up each day, committed to being their best, doing their best and bringing their best to their world. They are our parents, partners, friends or employers. They are our kids, cousins or the employees at a store. They don’t do what they do for applause or fame; they do it because they have a personal standard of excellence that compels them to be great and to connect their greatness with their world.

We each have the opportunity to be a hero in today’s world by understanding who we are, knowing what we do best, and finding a way to share these talents and strengths with the world.

Here are some of my heroes:

  • My father, whose big heart always watched for those in need and was the first to find a way to help. Be it family or stranger, neighbor or employee, he was the first to raise his hand, volunteer or just show up in a way that made a difference.
  • The extremely successful CEO who took me under his wing early in my career to share not only his business wisdom, but also his broad understanding of life, how to be successful and how to balance a demanding career with a demanding household. His commitment to showing up as your best self is a lesson I still remember.
  • My partner, who brings a personal excellence to all he does, never swayed by what others say. He models confidence, courage and determination – always.
  • The employee at Panera who not only took exceptional care with my order and food allergies, but gave the same level of care to everyone in line. Entry-level job, hero attitude.

How do you become a hero? Here are my thoughts:

1. Always be your best self.
You choose how you show up to every event in life. Know what you are good at and passionate about and find ways to connect these to your world. Make greatness your personal standard. Inspire others to do and be their best

2. Be there for others, honestly, and without expectation.
Heroes care about people – they care about others. Here are the four most powerful 4-word phrases we can say to another

“I am really sorry.”

“I really love you.”

“How can I help?”

“Tell me about it.”

Say things and mean them. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Care about where people are and what is going on in their lives. Really be interested, connected and supportive. There is an element of the divine in all of us – and heroes treat others as the amazing person they were born to be, even when others’ actions don’t warrant it.

3. Add value to everything you touch.
Heroes watch for ways to show up, step up and stand out in life. They are always searching for ways to add value and to make whatever they encounter better. They add value not for the praise, but because doing the amazing is how they appreciate this great thing called life.

Take Action
Recognize the true heroes among us. Learn from them and try to become one by bringing your best, being there for others and adding value to everything you touch. See the impact living like a hero can make in your life and in our world.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Being Uniquely You

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Original article by Jay appeared on Intent on April 2, 2013

Being Uniquely You

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – Winnie The Pooh

Each of us is uniquely awesome. We have our own set of strengths and talents and we also have our own liabilities and limitations. This allows each of us to have our own area in which to shine. There is truly room for all of us to be unique and our true selves.

My 6th grade teacher encouraged my entire class to learn and recite and important poem as we started each day, called “I am an individual” (taken from Learning the Skills of Peacemaking by Naomi Drew):

I AM AN INDIVIDUAL
I am an individual.
I have dignity and worth.
I am unique.
I deserve respect
and I respect others.
I am part of the human family.
I have something special
to offer the world.
I am committed to
a peaceful world for all of us.
I make a difference,
and so do you.
I can accomplish
whatever I set out to do,
and so can you.
I am the key to peace.

Are you being true to you? Are you treating others – and yourself – with dignity and respect? Are you using your unique talents and strengths to make your difference in your world?

Take Action
When you start to feel yourself being inauthentic, or feel the pressure to be like others when it is not for you, revisit this poem. Remind yourself who you are, what value you have and how being you is a unique gift for our world.

Find your inner power. Become the leader of your life. Be happy. Be unique. Be an individual.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading How Your Memories of Childhood Can Improve Your Future

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What’s Your Red Nose?

By Kristin Allaben

There’s been a lot of talk about the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” specifically about how he was bullied and how there are bad messages for kids in the movie.

But quite frankly, I think it is a powerful story that teaches us that many times, others don’t understand, support or appreciate what makes us different, unique and amazing. Their comments come from the constant pressure that we should all look, act and think alike, instead of discovering, developing and using our true abilities.

Think about it. Christmas was going to be canceled because of the bad winter storm, but Rudolph’s vibrant red nose was just the right amount of light to guide the sleigh.

Imagine if you hid your unique attributes — the things that you, for some reason, believe others won’t appreciate. What could come from sharing that with the world? How might your ownership of who you really are bring something remarkable to your world, your life and the people in it?

Prompted by watching Rudolph this year with my kids, I asked myself this question and held myself accountable to be honest. Turns out, my unique attribute that I often try to hide or tone down is my need to organize. People love to point out how organized I am (in both a loving and not-so-loving-or-appreciative way) and I realized I started to diminish it or even apologize for it. I stopped organizing family events, parties and outings. I didn’t want to be seen as being a micro-manager, obsessed about seeing things done a specific way, so I stepped away from it, convinced by the comments of others that something was wrong with me.

And you know what I realized? It made me miserable and it made others around me confused and unsettled. Being organized — and keeping things around me organized — is my red nose. People didn’t realize how much they needed my organization until it wasn’t there, or until a big event required a unique approach to managing every element. In fact, a family member once said, “Thank God you’re here! We can’t get this game started without someone to take charge.” And in a previous role, one of my managers referred to me as the person who “keeps the trains running on time.”

We each come equipped with great gifts and abilities that are part of who we are. Don’t cover the brightness of what makes you great, even if others don’t understand or support it. Go be you.

Take Action
Take 5 minutes to ask yourself about your red nose. What is the one attribute that makes you uniquely you that you feel like you need to hide or diminish? Why? How different would you — and your world — be if you were truer to yourself and less concerned with what others think and say?

 

Consider reading Your Personal Board of Directors

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