We say soothing words to others when they are upset. Why not use the same approach with ourselves when we’re feeling down, asks Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind (William Morrow). Gestures of compassion—even when given to ourselves—release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes feelings of trust. You might speak soothing words to yourself when you are upset, just as you would to someone else. You might say, “I know that I am feeling bad right now. And I’m ready to do anything to support myself right now.”
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born…and the day you find out why. ~Mark Twain
It is essential to know why you do what you do. This is your purpose. And when the purpose is clear and communicated to everyone in a way that is understood, everyone is on the same boat, so to speak and can move forward in the right direction.
Like building a house and putting down a strong foundation, this is the first foundation block to creating an Amazing Company.
A company is a system, just as an individual, a family, and even the Universe. When you know how to optimize the system, you bring the best into your world. A big part of this is in knowing why you exist. In the business world, it is the reason why the company exists.
Here are a few examples of great purposes from our model companies that we feature in our book, Engage!:
– TOMS Shoes—it is a “One For One” movement; not a shoe.
– MindValley—it is about “Pushing Humanity Forward” and optimizing human potential through personal development products and education.
– HCL Technologies—putting “Employees First, Customers Second” has taken this global technology company to $4 billion in revenues in 3 years—and the primary focus has shifted to their people.
– Whole Foods—they know that “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” make the world a better place
– Southwest—giving their customers the “Freedom to Fly” drives their business forward and give clarity to all business decisions.
– Achievers—they are “Changing The Way The World Works” through recognition.
The clear purpose is one of the key foundational elements that you can build your company on… and your life too. When a company is not in touch with its purpose, it will be lost.
Why do you do what you do? Let’s say you’re an executive of a company. You want to make a good living.
• Why is that? Because you want to live a good life and take care of your family.
• Why is that? Because you want to make them happy.
• Why is that? Because it’ll make you feel good.
• Why is that? Because you want to be happy too.
When anyone does this exercise on a personal level, eventually we end up with just a few core reasons: love, happiness, and peace.
It’s a simple exercise and it shows that even though we all come from different walks of life, we all have the same core desires within us…which doesn’t make us so different from each other after all.
A purpose statement is like a compass—guiding you on the path to reach your destination. A company may have a purpose well defined, but the important question to ask is this:
Is it a purpose that will inspire others to take action?
If not, it is probably not the bigger purpose. We can lift a company’s purpose to a much higher level just by asking “and why do we do that?” several times until you discover that higher purpose for being. Knowing the purpose then becomes the guiding light for smooth sailing. The same is true on a personal level.
After going through so many difficult years, I now know my purpose is “Bringing Joy To The World” by teaching all that I have learned along the way through my books, courses, programs, etc. Even Jim Carrey, one of the funniest people alive, has his own personal purpose defined very clearly—“Free People From Concern”.
A clearly defined purpose statement is the foundation to building a purpose driven life and a purpose driven company.
Smile at everyone who comes within three feet of you, says Kevin Knebl, social-media and networking consultant and coauthor of The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking (McGraw-Hill). He believes that the Knebl Three-Foot Rule, as he calls it, is the “right way to live” if you want long-term success in business and in life. The rest of the rule goes like this—“If they smile back, say hi. If they say hi back, start a conversation with them about them.”
In the last two months, my life has been turned upside down and sideways by two major family crises. Everyone will eventually be fine but it has been challenging to say the least.
I have done my best to manage everything and kept thinking to myself, what am I meant to learn here? So I decided to write down five tools and tricks that I’ve been using myself to maintain my level of inner peace, even when things seem to be falling apart all around me.
- Stay Present – I may not be the best at practicing mindfulness but in these times, it has certainly helped to just be living in the moment because you don’t know what else may be there. Staying focused on the exact moment, the feelings and making sure that you are giving love, can help. As with all crises, this too shall pass, the sun does eventually come back out.
- Prioritize – when you’ve got things coming down at you from many directions, it is a matter of figuring out what is most important and focus only on that. All else can wait. We knew with the situation that we faced, that it would require our full focus and energy and therefore we cleared all the other major projects that we had coming. It just wasn’t going to be viable to take on big projects in the middle of having to deal with a crisis. Family comes first above all else and this was definitely the right decision for us at this time.
- Reframe – I’m a big believer that things happen for a bigger reason. It can be hard to see that when you’re in the middle of having your life falling apart around you. But if you can lift yourself up to become an observer of your life, you can then start to ask, what is the lesson from this experience? Our attitude is what will make a difference in your outlook and how well you can manage. Reframing helps to make sense out of chaos.
- Trust – Life doesn’t happen TO us, it happens FOR us. If you can break out of the victim mentality of things happening to you and instead realize there must be something in the crisis for you to learn, you become empowered. There are times when you just need to surrender and allow the process, without being attached to the outcome. This is NOT easy but when you can trust that the Universe (or insert the word/name that resonates with you) will take care of you, you can move past the pain and suffering and into a place of gratitude and love…and peace.
- Self-Care – I can’t emphasis this enough! Be kind to yourself. Get extra sleep. Eat well and get some exercise. Do things that make you happy and listen to uplifting music, even if only for a little mental escapism so that you can feel better. In the middle of the first crisis, I was hit with a horrible flu. For a week, I was sleeping 10 hours a night. I haven’t gotten that much sleep in years! But my body needed it and I allowed myself the “luxury”, although it was more of a necessity. Pamper yourself in whatever ways you can so that you can be strong for others.
Crises and chaos are a part of life. And especially during these very turbulent times, I believe we are facing a massive clearing. Things are being brought to light in everyone’s lives so that we can deal with issues and move on energetically. It seems like so many people are facing tough challenges right now. Know you are not alone and there are tools that can help you manage. Collectively, we will all get through these challenging times and I have faith some really amazing times are just around the corner for humanity.
Many of us complain that there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything we need and want to do. But sometimes the more we do, the more we can do. Researchers are finding that when people spend brief periods of time helping others, they end up feeling as though they have more time. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that people who spent time volunteering felt more efficient and less stressed and hurried than those who did not. We know that volunteering is good for our health, but who knew it also could help with time management and stress management?