October 2012

“Lean into the sharp points” ~Chogyam Trunga Rinpoche

I’ve been noticing the tension I sometimes feel during my work day – the unease and discomfort that may come with changing priorities, uncertain objectives, difficult people, etc.  A sense of chaos can pervade and leave me feeling ungrounded.  My instinct is to label the stuff as ‘bad’ and try to push away my negative feelings or resist the unknowing.  As I labelled the latest thing, I got to wondering about a different way.

I found myself remembering how overwhelmed with fear I was last year when diagnosed with breast cancer.  At the time, I knew there would be uncertainty, anger, and doubt along the way.  My intuition told me I couldn’t bury or run away from that ‘negative’ stuff and come out of the experience completely healthy.  In a yoga class one day, the instructor suggested sitting next to my tension, to just be with my troubling thoughts and feelings.  I started trying that when I experienced uncomfortable emotions.  I would just breathe and imagine myself sitting next to whatever the feeling was.

You know what I found?  When I sat with the hard stuff – when I really allowed myself to feel it, see it, name it, fully step into it and experience it, not resist it or try to control it or make it go away – it lifted…and left me with hope.

Try This!

A book I received last week from a dear friend entitled When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron caused me to ask how I might use what I learned during my cancer experience to move through challenges at work.  What if I leaned into my feelings when things felt hard, overwhelming, heavy, frustrating, tiresome?  So here’s what I am playing with during the upcoming month to open to my fear and lean into the unknowing.  Maybe you want to try, too?

  • Notice what I am feeling.  Observe it.
  • Be still.  Pause.  Open to it.  Rest with it.
  • Breathe.  Relax.  Slow the chatter in my mind.
  • Listen.  Bring my attention to the feeling without trying to control it.  What is it telling me?
  • Name it.  Label it.  Describe it.  Maybe write about it or tell someone else about it.
  • Visualize it.  Imagine myself sitting next to the emotion I have named.
  • Be with it.  Bow to it.  Maybe embrace it.  Maybe touch it.  Call it a friend?
  • Then, go back to doing what I was doing.  Don’t hold onto it or confine it.  Just let it be.
  • Note what happens.

Quotes to Contemplate

  • In our fear we believe we must make things happen; in our practice we learn to let things happen. ~Rolf Gates
  • By taking a breath, we accept the invitation to linger in the restful sense of just being present.  Lingering in the moment – even for just a split second – can be very personal and touching.  ~Michael Carroll
  • Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.  ~James Thurber
  • One must be able to let things happen.  ~C.G. Jung
  • The thing in us we fear just wants our love.  ~Marsha Sintar
  • Making friends with our own demons and their accompanying insecurity leads to a very simple, understated relaxation and joy. ~Pema Chodron
  • There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul. ~Arnold Bennet
  • Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. ~Hans Margolius

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


September 2012

I have been getting lots of signals to pay attention.  So lately I have found myself paying attention – to paying attention.

Dictionary.com indicates that attention is the act of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object; it is a capacity to maintain selective or sustained concentration; it is observant care and consideration. Noted synonyms include awareness, consciousness, watchfulness, alertness, and mindfulness

Try This!

Option 1

Pick 1 of the 4 choices below and notice your experience.  Make note of what changed for you by being mindful of the person, task, feeling, or idea.

  1. Person – Give someone your undivided attention.  Be completely present with them, in the now.  Listen not only to their words but also to their emotions, tone, body language.  Really focus on what’s going on with them.
  2. Task – Focus completely on a given task.  However big or small, give the task your complete attention.  If you find yourself getting distracted, gently bring your attention back to the task. Notice how you feel, what you think.
  3. Feeling – Sit quietly and dedicate all of your energy to understanding what you are feeling.  Check in  emotionally with yourself.  Close your eyes, turn your attention inward, take several deep cleansing breaths.  Name your feeling.
  4. Idea – Clarify your thoughts about something.  Notice an area where your head seems a bit fuzzy regarding something you need or want to do.  Choose to focus on it.  Set an intention to gain clarity and direction.  Write it out, talk it out with a friend, blog about it…express yourself in whatever way works for you.

Option 2

  • Consider your life.  Look at various aspects of your life such as career, finances, relationships, growth, health, environment, recreation, and personal development.
  • Which area most needs your attention at this time? Where are you experiencing major challenges? Where do you want more?  Where are the greatest opportunities to stretch?
  • Write down your intentions,  What actions might you take to move in that direction?  Pick 1 or 2 actions to guide your attention.

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Powerful people decide where, how and what they are going to use their precious energy for. Whatever you’re giving your attention becomes your intention.  ~Therese Kienast, Radical Leadership
  • Whatever you pay attention to – or not – has a huge effect on how you see the world and feel about it. ~Kare Anderson
  • The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.  ~Henry Miller
  • When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~George Washington Carver
  • When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. ~Jim Rohn
  • You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle. ~Paulo Coelho
  • Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon. ~Booker T. Washington

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


August 2012

With the wind of change whirling endlessly, I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘sanctuary’. The dictionary refers to sanctuary in terms of places: 1) a sacred place, such as a church, temple, or mosque, 2) a place of refuge or asylum, or 3) a reserved area in which birds and other animals are protected. I seek places I can go (where it’s quiet or still or beautiful) as well as activities I can participate in (reading, writing, running, yoga…) and people who create a sense of safety and shelter, comfort and protection.

Try This!

I asked some colleagues and friends,What is your sanctuary? I got answers such as a special chair, a church, yoga, hiking, horseback riding, husbands and babies. Thinking about their sanctuary brought up some of the emotions they experience when they are in sanctuary such as comfort, relaxation, strength, gratitude and love. People even mentioned how there were smells and physical sensations associated with their sanctuary. Maybe you can create a taste of your sanctuary right now, just by considering these questions and imagining your sanctuary?

  • Where do I find sanctuary?
  • What do I do to nurture myself?
  • Who do I turn to for comfort and love?
  • What do I experience when I’m in my sanctuary?
  • When do I most need refuge?
  • How can I give myself a little sanctuary today?

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul. ~Christopher Forrest McDowell
  • There is no sanctuary of virtue like home. ~Edward Everett
  • It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.  ~Irish Proverb
  • At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security. ~Jodi Rell
  • Although we love the idea of choice, we seek refuge in the familiar and the comfortable. ~Hugh Mackay
  • How can one take delight in the world unless one flees to it for refuge? ~Franz Kafka
  • Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort. ~Peter McWilliams

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


July 2012

I’ve noticed lately how often the topic of change comes up…at work with my colleagues, with my husband, and even with my friends.  The old addage seems to fit more and more: The only constant is change.

A teammate and I had a lively conversation about how work these days seems to always be in motion. I never seem to reach a point where everything is stable and predictable, although I work really hard thinking that if I do this or that, then I’ll get there. The result is that I keep pushing and pushing toward something – an illusive calm, stable and secure place. What seems to happen is that I don’t have natural resting points or places to naturally celebrate what I’ve accomplished. And, I get tired.

What is the secret to mastering change? The question used to be how do I move through change?  However, given change is always happening, the opportunity seems to be in moving with it, being a part of it, not trying to get past it, but enjoying being in it.

Try This!

This past weekend I found myself reading a book that I picked up a few years ago by Martha Beck called Finding Your Own North Star.  I was absorbed in it!  I made note of a few of her suggested strategies for moving with change that I thought I’d share (in my own words):

  • Be open to the unexpected
  • Trust that mistakes are great learning opportunities
  • Revisit your goals and dreams often
  • Try something different

I also found myself coming up with mantras that I thought I would try this month.  Maybe there’s one you want to try?

  • Change is good.
  • Work is an adventure.
  • I make a difference.
  • Making mistakes is learning.
  • I’m best when I am rested and energized.

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Just because everything is different doesn’t mean that anything has changed.  ~Irene Peter
  • We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.  ~Anais Nin
  • To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.  ~Mother Teresa
  • Every wrong step discarded is another step forward.  ~Thomas Edison
  • There is one thing which gives radiance to everything: it is the idea of something around the corner.  ~A.K. Chesterton
  • Life becomes joyful when we can open to the constant flow and ride freely with it. ~Higher Awareness

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


June 2012

So many things to do…so many competing demands.  I could move from one meeting to another all day every day, keep busy with little task after little task, just follow the demands of the day, being pushed around like the finished fluff of a dandelion on a windy day.  And, lately I’ve been wondering, just how can I be more like the daisy standing tall, facing toward the sun?  I’ve come to the conclusion that a key part of the answer lies in being focused.

Try This!

So how to be more focused? Given my experience during the month of May, when I had a really low point, followed by several welcome highs, I have a sense that there is a correlation between the amount of time I spend on the telephone in conference calls and the extent to which I feel effective.

So the answer for me right now is to spend less time on the phone and more time thinking and creating.  I’ve decided to try limiting myself to 4 hours of conference calls a day.  I’m calling this my ‘4forfocus’ initiative – a critical project for my 2012 success.

The objective here is to create a balance between collaborating with others in meetings/on conference calls and having time to think and create and spontaneously reach out to colleagues.  I shared this idea with a friend and she said “Do you really think you can do that?  Only 4 hours of calls per day?  Isn’t that what your work is all about?  Isn’t that the culture of your workplace?  Isn’t that what you have to do if you work virtually?”  My response was another question: “Can I really afford not to try?”  What is at stake is my ability to identify what is important, to tune in to the highest priority activities, to perform quality work, to genuinely connect with others, to feel like I am making a difference…

So, here are my ideas for how I might make this work.  Perhaps you want to try them, too?

Consciously open and evaluate each new invitation to a meeting and consciously do a daily calendar review to create the free space by moving things around.  Ask:

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • How will the meeting help me achieve my goals?
  • What can I offer to contribute to meaningful outcomes and results?
  • How important is it for me to invest of myself in this right now?

Here are some of the response choices to consider as I evaluate each meeting:

  1. Yes, this is important.  Accept and adjust my schedule as needed to attend.
  2. Yes, although this can wait.  Propose a later date.
  3. Yes, however we don’t need as much time as allocated.  Propose a reduce timeframe.
  4. No, someone else should attend this.  Decline and suggest another person.
  5. No, this can be handled by email or online chat.  Decline and make a note to send email or chat.
  6. No, this is not important.  Decline.

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days. ~Zig Ziglar
  • That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. ~Steve Jobs
  • One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. ~Tony Robbins
  • The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear. ~Brian Tracy
  • If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent. ~Isaac Newton
  • The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.  ~Mozart
  • The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. ~Bruce Lee
  • Often he who does too much does too little. ~Italian Proverb
  • If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. ~Jack Dixon

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


May 2012

A few days ago, I had the extraordinary pleasure of seeing a baby Cardinal learning to fly.  I watched it as it fluttered awkwardly off the ground and then came plopping down again, over and over, each time strengthening it’s muscles and becoming more graceful in its movements.  I envisioned this little bird one day floating freely in the air like its parents, with purpose and a sense of freedom.  And, I wondered, how am I like the bird, or the butterfly?

Try This!

Below are some questions I am exploring as I think about myself moving into the next chapter of my life and soar from a place of passion, feeling I make a difference in the lives of people.

  • What does it mean to fly?
  • How do I know that I am flying?
  • How do I feel when I am flying?
  • What am I doing when I am flying?
  • How do my strengths support my flying?
  • What is comfortable to me about flying? What is uncomfortable about it?
  • What do I like about flying? What do I not like about flying?
  • What is possible when I am flying?

To me flying is a kind of freedom.  It comes when I am following my heart, when I release my soul from the imprisonment of my ego.  I know that I am flying when my work flows, when my world feels calm, when I move with ease and grace.  I make a difference in the world and touch people’s lives when I am flying.  My focus on relationships, my ability to put myself in others situations, my intentional communication, and my focus on the ‘big picture’ support my ability to fly.  Flying is comfortable because it feels good and I am filled with joy; yet, it is scary sometimes with my feet off the ground, trusting my wings to carry me.  I keep stepping off the ground to ascend because flying is my path to feeling fully alive and experiencing the joy that is my essence.

Quotes to Contemplate

  • The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.  ~Cesar Pelli
  • I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious.  And why shouldn’t it be? – it is the same the angels breathe.  ~Mark Twain, “Roughing It”
  • The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly.  ~G.K. Chesterton, “Orthodoxy”
  • The butterfly is a flying flower…  ~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun
  • The bluebird carries the sky on his back.  ~Henry David Thoreau
  • Pilots are a rare kind of human.  They leave the ordinary surface of the world, to purify their soul in the sky, and they come down to earth, only after receiving the communion of the infinite.  ~Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra
  • When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.  ~Leonardo Da Vinci
  • I pick the prettiest part of the sky and I melt into the wing and then into the air, till I’m just soul on a sunbeam.  ~Richard Bach
  • The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.  ~Wilbur Wright
  • My soul is in the sky.  ~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


April 2012

I am preparing for a presentation I’ll be giving as part of the IBM Sales Management Support Academy event in May on Creating Your Career Success so I have been giving a lot of thought to what it takes to create a successful career.  I think the great thing about the Top 10 list and quotes below is that they apply equally well to life success.

Try This!

  1. Discover who you are. Make time for reflection and use the power of questions to gain self insight.  A great starter question is “Who am I?”.  A couple of other questions that provide valuable insights are: “What makes me happy?” and “What am I passionate about?”. 
  2. Find out what you want.Knowing what you want is key to getting where you want to go. Explore questions like “What am I looking for?”, “What do I want to be known for?”, and “What am I here to contribute in the world?”. 
  3. Explore your strengths. If someone asked you today what makes you great at what you do, would you be able to tell them?  To get started, consider “What do I do well?”, “Why do I do it well?”, and “How do I know I’m good at it?”. Tom Rath’sStrengthsfinder 2.0is a great tool for discovering your strengths. 
  4. Focus on your personal brand.  Do you know what comes to the top of people’s minds when they think about you? How you show up and what you focus on play a huge role in shaping your ‘brand’.  Consider these questions to tighten your brand:  “What is my work/job vision/mission?”, “Are others aware of my vision and priorities, say, through my actions & what I communicate?”, “Am I spending my time in a way that aligns with my priorities?”, “Do I solicit feedback to make adjustments and continue to improve in the direction of achieving my vision?”, “Am I staying true to myself?”, and “Does my behavior at work fit with my beliefs and personality?”.
  5. Set realistic goals.Focus on things that YOU really want – make your goals relevant.  Allow for evolution and refinement of your goals because life happens and what you want changes over time.  Share your goals with other people who will help you be accountable for achieving your goals.
  6. Create an elevator pitch. We always have an impact. Everything we do speaks to who we are. One of the first opportunities we have to make an impact is when first meet someone. Create an ‘elevator pitch’ that is memorable, sincere, and shows your personality, highlighting what makes you unique and the value you bring.
  7. Create a Board of Directors.Are you sharing the great things you do with other people? Engage with peers and leaders to create a support network for yourself. Identify the team of people that guide you in your development and ask “What do they need to know about me?”, “How can they best support me?”, and “How can I contribute to their goals?”. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help – by doing so, you give someone else the gift of giving to you.
  8. Build your network. Be curious about everyone you meet. Every day is an opportunity to expand your network. Share your accomplishments with the people you meet. You’ll be amazed at the connections you make. Ask these questions: “What kinds of networking am I engaged in?”, “How much time do I spend nurturing relationships?”, and “What do I give/get from my relationships, either short-term or long-term?”.
  9. Be open to detours.Think of your career like driving a car – look ahead, occasionally glance in the rear view mirror, and use the side mirrors. You’ll move toward your destination with your goals pointing you in the right direction, supported by the wisdom you gain from reflection about your experiences and awareness of the things happening around you. Remember that most people are not going to the same place, and those headed for the same place get there in different ways, mainly because they are all starting from some place different. Be sure to take the detours that invariably show up along the way – they offer a new perspective. 
  10. Do your best where you are.If you find yourself in a role that is not what you had envisioned for yourself, or you are doing something that you are not excited about or do not enjoy, the secret to moving ahead is to engage with it. Give your all wherever you find yourself to be. I find it helpful to trust that I am right where I need to be and the path forward starts in the present moment by being my best right here where I am. 

Quotes to Contemplate

  • If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will do.  ~Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland
  • People cannot find their missions until they really get to know themselves.  ~Kathy Hill, Executive Coach
  • There comes a point in your career when the best way to figure out how you’re doing is to step back and ask yourself a few questions.   ~Robert Kaplan, HBR article “What to ask the person in the mirror”
  • Reflection is one of the most under used yet powerful tools for success.  ~Richard Carlson, a successful American actor of the 1950s
  • Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.  ~Tom Peters, the American business management writer
  • Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.  ~Henry Ford, prominent American industrialist and founder of the Ford motor company
  • The best way to predict your future is to create it.  ~Peter Drucker, writer, management consultant, and self-described ‘social ecologist’
  • One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.  ~Henry Miller, American novelist and painter
  • Few people get ahead by staying in their offices and letting their work speak for itself.  ~A Brand Called You article in Diversity Executive magazine
  • If you want to go fast, go alone. But, if you want to go far, go with a team.  ~African proverb
  • There is no single path to success.  There is no right way to create a brand called you.  ~ Tom Peters
  • The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating.  The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.  ~John Schaar, an Americanscholarandpolitical theorist
  • The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.  ~Ayn Rand, a Russian-American novelist
  • If you don’t yet know what it is you want to be doing, keep doing what you are doing, but do it better.  ~Mike Dooley, author of Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic
  • Life is a narrative that you have a hand in writing.  ~Henriette Anne Klauser, an American leading authority on communications and writing productivity
  • Your future depends on many things, but mostly yourself.  ~Frank Tyger, an American Editorial Cartoonist, Columnist and Humorist

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


March 2012

Last month I had the opportunity to participate on a panel about The Art of Feedback.  For me, the foundation to a powerful feedback session is spending time getting clear about what I want to create, really focusing on the other person as a human being, and looking at what I am trying to achieve.  When I prepared for the session, I was visualizing a meeting between two people, maybe myself as the giver, and then maybe as myself as the receiver.

And, I’ve found myself exploring the feedback ideas as they relate to me and the ego voice in my head.  What kind of feedback does my inner voice give me?  What kind of relationship is that inner voice creating?  Many times I discover that the little voice doesn’t sound anything like the way I talk to other people.  To help the ego voice see new possibilities for how it can talk to me, I’ve invited my ‘best friend’ to join the conversation.  She offers a different perspective – usually much kinder and more compassionate – and opens new possibilities.  Who would have thought that a grown woman like me would be playing with imaginary friends?  Hey, whatever works, I say!

Try This!

Here are some of the questions I prepared related to my 3 keys to great feedback: Intention, Perspective, and Outcomes.  You might try them out for giving feedback, or receiving feedback, be it formal feedback, or informal feedback.  You might try them when the feedback is from a colleague, manager, friend – yes, and even when it’s coming from the voice inside your head.  The result for me has been formation of stronger relationships founded on trust and respect.

Clear INTENTIONS are the foundation

  • What do I want to create with the other person?
  • How do I need to be during our interaction?
  • How do I want to feel as a result of our exchange?
  • What do I want the other person to experience?
  • How do I want things to be the same? Or different?  Why?

PERSPECTIVE opens possibilities

  • What will this be like for the other person?
  • What assumptions am I making about the intentions of the other person?
  • What might I be ‘making up’ about the situation?
  • Why might the other person want to hear what I have to share?
  • What can I ask to learn more about what the other person thinks?

OUTCOMES are the destination

  • What does success look like?
  • What do I or we need to achieve?
  • What are the options for getting where we need to go?
  • How can we help and support each other in meeting our objectives?

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Feedback is the breakfast of champions. ~Ken Blanchard
  • Everybody needs feedback, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than paying a trainer. ~Doug Lowenstein
  • Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain … and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
  • A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials.  ~Chinese Proverb
  • What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication. ~Unknown
  • People may not remember what you say, people may not remember what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel.  ~Maya Angelou

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


February 2012

My wonderful new coach has helped me realize the power of stories in shaping my life.  As I step into the adventure of my new job at IBM, I am discovering new things, connecting with new people, and moving into places I’ve never been before.  On this path, I’ve noticed that I feel most alive when the stories I tell myself align with my values and what I want to create in life.  I’m seeing that every day, in almost every interaction, somewhere inside, there is a story…perhaps it is about why I’m on this journey, or about what’s possible, or about where things are going…I’m consciously tuning in, evaluating the story, and either embracing it or rewriting it.

Try This!

Here are the kinds of questions I am asking myself.  Perhaps you want to try them as well?

  • What stories do I tell myself?
  • What stories do I share out loud with others?
  • How do these stories serve me?
  • How do these stories zap my energy and limit my power?
  • What do I like about my stories?
  • What might I change in the stories I tell?

The process I’m going to try goes something like this:

  1. Observe my stories.  Notice when I tell them or speak them.  Don’t judge, just look at the stories for awhile.
  2. Then, after getting a sense for when and why I tell stories, gradually begin to evaluate my stories.  Notice how they feel to me, what they create for me and others.
  3. Once I have a sense for what these stories create in my life, begin to write new stories.  Determine what it is I want and what story best supports it.  Get colorful and creative.  When I feel energize and alive by the story, I’ll know I’ve got the right one.

I have the following goal for myself:

CHOOSE MY STORIES.  Listen to myself – catch myself saying things that don’t ‘feel right’, that create some discomfort or resistance, and ask whether what I said is really true, whether that’s really what I want to believe.  If not, make up a new story and write it down. 

Quotes to Contemplate

  • Your imagination is your preview to life’s coming attractions. ~Albert Einstein
  • Your own words are the bricks and mortor of the dreams you want to realize. Behind everyone word flows energy. ~Sonia Choquette
  • Life is a narrative that you have a hand in writing. ~Henriette Anne Klause
  • Life is an echo; what you send out comes back. ~Chinese Proverb
  • One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. ~Henry Miller
  • The next level of success comes from thinking the thoughts you haven’t thought before. ~Robert Holden
  • Words are just words and without heart they have no meaning. ~Chinese proverb
  • It is the ability to choose which makes us human. ~Madeleine L’Engle

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012


January 2012

I celebrate wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the adventure and discovery ahead.  I am grateful for the opportunities and possibilities that are yet to come.  I embrace growth and learning and continue the journey connecting with my true self and realizing my full potential.

Try This!

I am exploring these questions to step more powerfully into my work with a fresh start.  Perhaps they offer something to inspire you to greatness as you begin the new year?

  • How do I hold myself back?
  • When do I withhold myself from situations?
  • What does it take for me to totally immerse myself?
  • How can I open myself completely?
  • Where do I seek control?
  • How can I  let go?
  • What would being in ‘flow’ look like?

Quotes to Contemplate

  • The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • We must make some effort to do things differently or to do different things, or our lives remain the same.  ~Higher Awareness communique
  • Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.  ~H. Jackson Browne
  • The harder you fight to hold on to specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them.  ~John Seely Brown
  • It’s not the style that motivates me, as much as an attitude of openness that I have when I go into a project.  ~ Herbie Hancock
  • When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.  ~Tuli Kupferberg

© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012