Create a Thankless Day Celebration

Holidays are great. They serve as reminders of the important things that interrupt our busy schedules. But when you take a deeper look at most holidays, they really suggest a different perspective for the entire year, not just on the specific holiday. Look at Thanksgiving, for example.

Once a year, we force ourselves to remember to be grateful for how much we have, a departure from most of the other days when we dwell on what we don’t have, what is missing, what is wrong or what is disappointing about life. But on Thanksgiving, that one special day every year, we refocus on what is going right, who in our lives are amazing and, overall, how blessed and fortunate we are.

So, here is an idea. What if we had one day to celebrate everything that is wrong with our lives, our relationships, our work and our choices. Just one day. And then for the remaining 364 days, we focused on what about work and life was good, upbeat, successful and engaging. I know that for those who implemented this and did it with intention find they could start their day off with a list of the things they are grateful for, to see past the negative and focus on the positive.

So mark you day on the calendar – your Thankless Day. Celebrate it any way you want. Complain. Cry. Vent. Scream. Get it all out.

But when it is over, it is over for 364 more days. Committing to a Thankless Day, and to do it with intention, would allow us to not just look at the people in our lives, but to really see them, to see how they add value and make life better. We would look at the things we have and notice how much we have, not what is lacking. We would see others for their potential and not for their flaws. We would notice the remarkable quality and choice of food we have instead of complaining about what we don’t have.

Over time, with both practice and intention, you won’t see the need for a Thankless Day. You’ll start to see life as neutral; that it just happens and is not out to get us. You’ll start to see past the aggravations, frustrations and irritations that mark most of our days and instead see all the good.

Take Action
Make it your intention to adopt a thankful mentality for every day of the year. Start small; make it an intentional effort for the first few days of the New Year, bringing your thankful mentality with you after the holidays are done. See how you feel. Notice how others around you are impacted and respond.

Commit to seeing the value, greatness and possibility in your life. Don’t make the thankful days the exception; make thankful days the norm and make the thankless days the exception. Over time, you will not find the need to have a Thankless Day.

By Jay Forte

This article originally appeared on Thrive Global on February 3, 2020: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/create-a-thankless-day-celebration/.

Consider reading Your Check Engine Light

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Eyes are Everywhere

There’s a saying, “Dance like no one is watching.” And I love the positive message behind it – that you should be able to do what makes you happy without caring what others think. Beautiful.

But take a step back for a moment. Ask yourself: what is it I love to do that I don’t care if people see? And a follow up question: why would it matter if they see?

These are important questions for a two main reasons.

  1. Someone always sees. Think about the number of surveillance videos that are regularly shared on the news catching someone in the act of doing something. Think about the unintended audience of children who see what you do and often try to mimic it or do it themselves later.
  2. You’re not being true to you. If you’re ashamed to let others see you enjoying something you love to do, there is more work for you to do as it relates to living your true self. Are you hiding something you love to do for fear of criticism? For fear of being cast out? For fear of being made fun of? Or are you hiding something that you love to do because it’s so different from how people know you?

Consider for a moment what life would be like if you were free to be who you really are, the person who loves art, dance, rap or theatre. The person who lives for fitness, sports and competition. The person who loves to make money, share ideas or help others. What if you could know yourself and be yourself. What could your life look like?

Oftentimes, the hardest part to gaining greater clarity of oneself is making the time and the effort to tune in to oneself to see who you really are and what you really want from this one great and amazing life.

Take Action
Take a moment to tune out the world and tune in to yourself. Are you living honestly and authentically? Are you taking advantage of the strengths and talents you have to make your life exactly as you want it to be?

Consider the expectations people have for you. Are these expectations aligned to your values, goals and strengths? Or, do you find yourself making decisions to please others more than to align to who you are and how you can live your best life?

By gaining greater self-awareness, you may find that some expectations just don’t fit you any longer based on your evolution as a person; as you’ve grown, your values have changed. Be open to being who you are at this moment, and go live and be the best version of that person. In doing so, you will be happier, more confident and more capable to live who you are, with or without and audience.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading I Don’t Believe in an Identity Crisis

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Be On the Disengagement Hunt

There are things in your workplace and life that disengage the people around you.

It could be meetings that run long, have no agenda and don’t seem to get things accomplished. Or working for a manager who has never learned how to be self-managed so they make everything urgent and operate in react mode.

It could be outdated household rules that used to make sense but now don’t. Or it could be conflict between two siblings who just haven’t learned how to respect and honor the feelings of each other.

Regardless, there are things in our days that make work and life disengaging, things that take the wind out of us, tax our energy, challenge our emotions and encourage a feeling to either do just enough or to check out.

Can you think of one of these going on right now?

In these situations, work and life don’t seem either great or productive.

What to do?

Amp up your vision and become more intentionally aware of those things that you and others say and do that deactivate, depress or stress others. Pay attention on purpose to not only what is said and done but how it happens. These moments have information for you from which you can start to make small changes that result in raising the energy and engagement in your situations.

It could be something as seemingly small as saying a positive comment to a coworker on their way into a meeting. It could be sharing how to have a productive argument with your two teens so they learn how to solve problems instead of just aggravating each other. It could be being aware and mindful enough to not say that sarcastic or biting comment because you know the effect it will have on the recipient.

Ask yourself: are you watching, considering and choosing (on purpose) what and how you do things to raise the engagement and make the outcome better?

Take Action
Place a Post-It note in a place you will see it frequently with a message like “make things better” or “engage don’t disengage.” Create whatever word or phrase will remind you to watch for the events, circumstances and things that disengage the people around you, then choose to change what and how you do things to change the mood, energy and engagement level. The change will impress you.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading Thank You For What Didn’t Happen

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Living Life On Purpose

By Jay Forte

Most of us move through life too quickly. We rush from one event to another, barely aware of being part of them. We fall into bed at night, remembering very little of what happened during the day. Not only do we not remember our moments, but we didn’t use them to celebrate our successes or learn from our challenges. We actually miss out on our lives.

We don’t do this on purpose. And that is the problem: we don’t do a lot “on purpose.” Most of what we do, we do out of habit. The same ride to work. The same coffee in the morning. The same food for dinner. Same old, same old. Not that doing something over and over is a bad thing, it is just that when we allow ourselves to mindlessly go through life, we miss out on really experiencing what our world – and our unique lives – can offer.

So how do you start to live more purposely and intentionally? Here are three ways to start.

  1. Take a walk down memory lane. Our memories, when we take the time to make them and revisit them, give us a deeper connection to our lives. We reconnect to who we are and what we experience. We see things more clearly and show up more intentionally.
  2. Slow down instead of speed up. Do fewer things but be more involved in them. Rushing to get things done limits both how effective you are in what you do and the quality of what you experience. Commit to being fully present to where you are and to what you are doing. You will see more, feel more and connect more to your moments.
  3. Listen to your inner voice. Most of us let the outer voices direct us through our lives. Though it is important to have input and information from those in our lives, we each truly know ourselves best. Living life on purpose also means living your life – the one you have and the one you direct. You must learn to hear and trust your inner self – it knows you best. You are accountable for your impact and happiness.

Life is best lived with intention, so do things on purpose. Communicate on purpose. Celebrate on purpose. Learn from your mistakes on purpose. As you tune in with your greatest attention, you learn the lessons of life and participate more fully in each.

Take Action
What is one area of your life that would benefit from approaching it on purpose? Start small but start today. Show up like you mean it and in the process, take note of how everything about life will improve.

 

Consider reading Living Today on Yesterday’s Beliefs

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What the Super Bowl is Teaching Me About Awareness

By Kristin Allaben

I’m a Pats fan. I married a Pats fan (though he claims his first love is the Vikings…) and both of my sons are decked out in Pats gear for each game. I laugh at the various “Pats are the best” memes I see online, I cringe at the thought of the trash talk that will be coming our way from my brother-in-law (an Eagles fan) and I’m anxiously trying to remember what I did during the Super Bowl last year to ensure another win (yup, uber superstitious).

I think most of Patriots Nation can relate as the Super Bowl approaches, but how many of these fans are completely aware of their actions?

I admit I wasn’t completely aware of my own actions during the most recent Pats game until my husband mentioned I was louder during the game than he was, and I was holding our 5-week old son.

This gave me pause. I vividly remember yelling at the TV as Amendola scored the winning touchdown, and remember apologizing to my son for screaming as I removed my hands from his ears. Yes, covering his ears was a subconscious reaction, but I didn’t realize how loud I was until he looked up at me with a confused expression, as if asking “Was that necessary?” I was so caught up in the game, I wasn’t aware of my surroundings.

Reflecting on this specific situation made me realize how unaware I am of so many of my actions in my daily life. It happens; you find yourself on autopilot, going through motions without really paying attention to what you’re doing. You don’t stop and notice. Instead you move through life in habit-mode.

Whether it’s watching a football game or moving through the tired haze of parenting at the end of the day when the kids are in bed, there are so many opportunities to be fully present to improve your connection to, and participation in, the moments of your life. It takes intention and awareness.

So, here are a few things you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you become more tuned in to stop, notice, consider and appreciate more of the things life can offer.

  1. Breathe – take an extra breath before making a decision or reacting to a situation. Count to 10 to help you reset your mind and your energy.
  2. Look around – what’s happening around you? Where are you? Who are you with? How will your next action impact your surroundings?
  3. Reflect – what would, or could, you have done differently during your day to generate better results?

These simple tips can have a significantly positive impact not only on how you feel and act every day, but also on those around you. Give it a try.

And go Pats!

 

Consider reading Look to the Left, Look to the Right

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