Lead Your Life

Awake, Aligned, and Grounded In Truth

Ready for what? May 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 1:52 pm

It’s Monday morning, and are you ready?  If your response is “ready for what?” then I think we can assume no.  Success is a blend of vision clarity & connection, workplan mastery, and execution brilliance.  All 3 are vitally important.

Know that person who you just keep thinking; “They have so much potential!  Such brilliant ideas!”  Yep.  All vision no follow-through.

How about that person who is always so busy but feels like they can’t get ahead?  Lots of execution; weak visioning & work planning.

How about your co-worker who has that colored GANTT chart but struggles to reprioritize as new opportunities or better ways emerge?  Enviable workplan mastery, yes?  Willingness to see the forest beyond the trees?  Nope.

I use the word “willingness” with intention because all 3 can be learned & hard coded into a self-led planning rhythm that drives your actions.

I’ll use myself as an example.  I have a naturally innovative mind; always creating new ideas & seeing possibilities.  Vision is a strength.  I am also fabulous at massive action.  I am the stereotypical workhorse.  But that essential “link” between the two?  Oh Boy.  The process of creating a game plan to bring vision to outcome?  I’d rather watch paint dry. (Not really, but you get my point).  Know Thyself.

I know that, without workplan mastery, I will never reach my potential.  Nor will any project I touch.  Nor will my impact in the world.  And this is unacceptable to me.  So, I have forced myself to learn through study & copying the systems of people who LOVE to work plan.  I SCHEDULE my work planning time by setting up appointments with myself to complete the work.  I use project management software – even for non-work projects.  On any given project, if I discover I’m dragging my feet to develop the workplan, I use public accountability to incent myself.

So it’s Monday morning…  Are you working a plan that supports your vision of success?  If not, what can you shift starting today to create the results light you up?

Vision – Workplan – Get it done.  


What’s your PB? May 10, 2016

When you perform, how do you measure success?  By what’s expected of you?  A number set by someone else?  A comparison of yourself against your peers?

My son, Jack, recently ran his 200 meter junior high track event & was over the moon with his results.  Did he set a school record?  Beat the field?  Hit his coach’s number?  Nope. Nope. and Nope.  In fact, he finished in last place; over 10 seconds behind the first place runner.  So why the exuberance?

Jack ran his personal best time (which he affectionately calls his PB).  He knew he placed last, and still, he was completely content with his result because it was his best effort.  You see, Jack has a neurological “hitch” that compromises his motor coordination and muscle control among other things.  As a result, physical achievements expected of kids his age come slowly & painstakingly to him.

Wisdom like Jack’s is rare.  Jack understands his reality & refuses to be stopped by it.  He isn’t a pitbull – he simply keeps trying hard, accepts himself as he is and as he isn’t, and enjoys the process.  In fact, Jack rarely gets frustrated with what is.

I learn a lot from the way he leads his life.  I learn that, even in the midst of challenge, joy is an option.  I learn that, even when you pale in comparison to the field, steadfast commitment to your own progress is still success.  And I learn that accepting our weaknesses with as much tolerance as we embrace our strengths makes us a fabulous team member, exemplary role model, and happy person to our core.

Jack is the most humble person I know.  And yet, every time I tell him how awesome he is, he says “I know.”  Matter of fact.  Yes – I know I’m awesome just as I am and just as I am not.  May we all embrace our own brand of awesome; creating success against our own benchmarks and dropping the need to “be something” for someone else.


Character Vs The Coveted May 4, 2016

This week, my son asked my daughter if he could borrow one of her pencils.  Not just any pencil but a mechanical pencil from her arsenal of coveted writing utensils that she purchased with her own money.  This resulted in a narrowing of the eyes and a sharp breath.  Dead silence.

Then, the slow release of an exhale followed by one simple syllable:  No.   Crestfallen, my son’s eyes welled.  The pleading ensued; matched by equally convincing stonewalling.

In steps Switzerland (aka: mom).  I prompted them to consider that, in every moment, we are building character habits.  It’s not enough to want to be someone who shares freely – we must actually do it even when its hard.  It’s not enough to want to be resilient – we must actually persevere even when we feel defeated.  It’s never about the mechanical pencil.

What is your mechanical pencil?  Is there something or someone you covet so strongly that you compromise your character for it?  Your “something” might be the need to be right (ouch), the need for control, or even your fear of failure.  Or, it might be as simple as an ego-feed object (think designer boots, luxury cars, big homes).  It could even be stress.  What?

If you find yourself talking about how busy you always are or how crazy your schedule is (this conversation is always concluded with a sigh), then perhaps you are addicted to your story of stress.  And this is your mechanical pencil.

Let me explain.  If the qualities you desire to envelope your life are peace & joy, this story of stress is competing against your character.  What are you choosing?  Just look at what you are talking about.  Are you talking about how you are creating more peace and joy or how crazy your life is?

If you desire to live a life blanketed in your faith, do your actions and words line up?  If you desire to make a difference in the lives of kids & your gift is writing, are you writing that children’s book or is fear holding you back?

Our modern world loves to distract us, and we all have our personal Goliaths lurking everywhere.  Instead of blindfolding ourselves in their presence, conceding to their strength based on their intimidating size, or worse yet, befriending them, can we all see that the choice we make in these moments have a compounding result?  That it is more than a decision about a mechanical pencil – it is a choice of character.

How did the pencil story end?  I’d like to say she had her own AHA after my profound guidance. But alas, no.  She promptly opened our junk drawer, pulled out a nub of a #2 pencil with broken lead & no eraser, handed it to her brother, and walked out of the room.  Better than nothing, but not exactly what my motherly idealism hoped for.  And in this moment, I get choose:  My parenting “value” of believing in my kids to create their own learning as they are ready or my need to control.  What will I choose?  And what will you choose when it counts?