Gratitude for the Now and Cheers to the New Year

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Today, have you expressed gratitude for the now? Have you told your friends, family, colleagues or coworkers that you are grateful to them for the joy and happiness they bring?

Gratitude and appreciation are simple things. Yet, if we cannot exist in the now, future plans mean nothing.

If you do not have enough now–assuming your basic needs are met for food, shelter, and security–if today is not enough, then what will be different in the future?

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. —Melody Beattie

As you wrap up this year and look to begin the next with a clean slate, ask yourself these questions.

  • What you would like to let go from this year?
  • What would you like to take with you to the next year?
  • What can you do today to make change happen, so that you continue to have and build the life you want?

Gratitude and appreciation for the now makes a humble home a palace, and a snack a feast. It is a simple way to give back to the people in your life, and let them know you appreciate all they do for you.

Gratitude for the Now and Cheers to the New Year | Impact Zone Consultancy

This season is often looked at as a season of “getting”, but it is really the giving that matters.

Giving to others brings happiness. We cannot own happiness; it is a state of mind. It comes from living every moment in a state of gratitude, appreciation, and grace.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. —Oprah Winfrey

As you prepare for the new year, please remember to plan in time for your friends, family, coworkers, and colleagues. Let go of focusing only on material achievements. Those are only one part of success.

Here’s to living in gratitude for the now, with cheers to the New Year.

Happy 2017!

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How to Handle Betrayal and Trust on the Job

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Betrayal and trust on the job is a funny thing.

When a trusted colleague or organization betrays you, it is a moment of disbelief, when the world stops and you can only breathe in and breathe out, as you try to comprehend what happened.

The funny thing about betrayal at work and in your career is that so very often, the people who betrayed you don’t notice or think they did anything wrong.

If it is a superior, then you may not be able to confront them with their wrongdoing. As for an apology, you can forget that idea.

You may ask for an apology, but the likelihood of receiving one is often very small. Betrayal and trust at work is a confusing beast to handle.

Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal? —Jean Renoir

The hurt lingers and you try to trust again, and you find you cannot. If you are able, then you find another job.

If you cannot leave your position, then you are stuck in a kind of circular purgatory where you have to complete your job tasks, and yet the trust is gone.

The covenant of trust has been broken and makes it challenging to complete the work.

Forgiving Betrayal, and When to Trust Again

Yes, you can forgive. You can let go of your hurt and anger. Do you have to restore that person or organization to a position of trust? No, you do not.

You are required to forgive, both for your mental and physical health, and because God commands it.

Forgiveness, however, is not the same as absolution. It is not letting someone or some organization off the hook. It is merely letting go of your upset.

You can very much hold someone or an organization accountable. You need to let go of your emotions. That is all forgiveness is — letting go of your negative feelings.

But trust again? No, you are not required to trust someone or an institution again, nor do you have to restore them to their previous position in your life.

In some instances, it might be irresponsible of you to put your trust in a person or organization again.

How to Handle Betrayal and Trust on the Job

If you can, leave and find another position.

If you cannot leave your job in the immediate near term, compromise as you can, but for your own sanity, search around until you find a job at an organization whose promises you can trust.

Most of all, protect yourself and stay away from people who are not worthy of your trust and confidence.

How to Overcome Betrayal and Trust at Work

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for yourself is to move on mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Forgive, do not restore the person or organization to a position of trust again unless they take responsibility — and even then you may want to think on it a bit — and move on.

Forgive yourself for trusting, and let yourself be happy again.

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Persevere by Keeping the Faith When Life Hits Hard

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Persevere. Whether in life or in business, it can be hard to keep the faith and stick it out.

The key is to face the brutal reality of your current situation, while believing that the future will be better than your present and your circumstances will improve.

Yes, it is a paradox.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –James 1: 2-4

The first two years of business are simply about survival. During this phase, you must face the brutal reality of the challenges you are facing. While 1/3 of new businesses do fail in the first two years, overall 50% of businesses do survive the first 5 years.

These numbers are pretty daunting, and can be scary. But they needn’t be. You do need cashflow. You do need a product or service people want. You do need to know how to market your business. You do need to know how to pivot and adjust your products or services, as needed.

What you also need is the ability to be brutally honest about your current reality, while keeping faith that eventually, your situation will improve. You must find a way to prevail. You must persevere. This is called the Stockton Paradox.

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest-ranking United States military office in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over twenty times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again.

He shouldered the burden of command, doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken, while fighting an internal war against his captors and their attempts to use the prisoners for propaganda. At one point, he beat himself with a stool and cut himself with a razor, deliberately disfiguring himself, so that he could not be put on videotape as an example of a “well-treated prisoner.”

He exchanged secret intelligence information with his wife through their letters, knowing that discovery would mean more torture and perhaps death. He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture (no one can resist torture indefinitely, so he created a step-wise system–-after x minutes, you can say certain things–-that gave the men milestones to survive toward).

He instituted an elaborate internal communications system to reduce the sense of isolation that their captors tried to create, which used a five-by-five matrix of tap codes for alpha characters. (Tap-tap equals the letter a, tap-pause-tap-tap equals the letter b, tap-tap-pause-tap equals the letter f, and so forth, for twenty-five letters, c doubling in for k.)

At one point, during an imposed silence, the prisoners mopped and swept the central yard using the code, swish-swashing out “We love you” to Stockdale, on the third anniversary of his being shot down. After his release, Stockdale became the first three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

How on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?”

“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”

Finally I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused given what he’d said earlier.

“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.

This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end–-which you can never afford to lose–-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” –Jim Collins, Good to Great

Now, starting and running a business are not the same thing as being in a POW camp and tortured for several years. However, what knowledge can be gained from this is simply this: keep the faith and persevere.

Do not be an optimist. Be a disciplined realist about your current situation. Have faith that your future will be better, and that whatever your current circumstances, it won’t always be like this.

Persevere by Keeping the Faith

Know that your business will succeed. Be disciplined. Have the support systems and plans in place to implement your goals. Persevere and face the brutal reality of what you are are doing and must do to succeed.

Most of all, keep moving forward, knowing that you will eventually prevail, even if you don’t know exactly when.

Persevere by Keeping the Faith

Good luck on your journey.

(Many thanks to M. Pellicer for bringing the Stockton Paradox article to my attention.)

Be Patient, Persevere and Succeed, But Be a Realist, Not an Optimist