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The Soul is Everything

Laura Novakowski  -  Apr 11, 2018  -  , , , ,  -  No Comments

Ray_Charles_quotePicture1There once was a very successful marketing executive. He had a lovely wife and four small children, fabulous home and income. But, he wasn’t happy.  He didn’t connect with his company’s soul – its culture. It was time for him to move on. His wife understood. He walked away from the home and income – moved into a small apartment and opened his own advertising agency.  He and his family lived on a shoestring budget. He had more time for his wife and his kids. Client meetings were held at the family’s dining room table. Time passed and he build his company into a multi-million dollar success with several dozen employees and large office space.  When it was time to sell, instead of selling to the highest bidder – his employees took over. That “force” continues today.

products_message_image-469-d-mp13g1ye10srxubhp2nnduigwztx0ilb16tpy73134In contrast, there was a very powerful CEO of a very large corporation.  Twice divorced, she ruled the company with an iron fist. She started early and stayed late, the bottom-line was everything. When targets weren’t met and stakeholders not happy, she swept through the organization with a broom eliminating position after position.  Then, one day and no surprise, she was escorted out. The business closed soon afterwards.

When the “soul” of the company is nurtured there are very strong forces that will hold it together. If the “soul” of the company is not nurtured there are equally strong forces to tear it apart.

The above two stories are fact not fiction. Do either of these stories resonate with you? How healthy is the soul of your life, your home, your work or your community?

 

What is Life Expecting from Us?

Laura Novakowski  -  Apr 04, 2018  -  , , , , ,  -  2 Comments

This question continues to haunt me, “What is life expecting from us?”

To learn what life is expecting of us, we need to listen with more of our senses, we need to be fully present. When we look and feel beyond what is being said,  we can more fully understand and be present. Internally, we may feel tension, connection, ambiguity.

2018 blog_graphics_landscapeThis reminds me of a story I once heard about a woman who complained every day to her husband about her neighbor’s dirty laundry hanging on a clothesline.  This went on for days, until, one morning, she was pleasantly surprised and commented to her husband, “She finally learned how to wash clothes.”

His simple response, “I washed our windows this morning.”

Love this story.  How many times have I judged someone else for a situation that I might have created? Life expects me to be more aware of myself and others When I take the time to be present and evaluate the entire situation, I might find that I contribute to the issue or conflict. I may need more information to have a different perspective.  I need to ask, “Have I washed my own windows lately?”  “Am I the cause of disruption, conflict, or confusion?” “What am I doing that leads to misunderstanding and tension?” “Am I willing to be more present in life with myself and others?

I believe life is expecting me to be more discerning, self-reflective, less judgmental, in short more mindful and loving.

I would appreciate learning from you, dear readers. “Are you present in your life?” And if so, “What is life expecting from you?”

Life’s Expectations

Laura Novakowski  -  Mar 28, 2018  -  , ,  -  No Comments

 

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.”

Recently, in re-reading Viktor’s Frankl’s autobiography, A Man’s Search for Meaning, I discoMan's Search for Meaning_March_28_2018vered the above  humbling insight – that to experience life at its fullest I needed to focus on not what I would “get”, but instead, what I would “give.” This sounds simple enough, but now, older and wiser, I appreciate the deeper meaning of “What does life expect from me?” This question has caused me to do a one-eighty in my thinking and ask – “What am I really giving back to life?”

Some immediate thoughts about what life expects from me:

  • To take time to know my strengths, talents and opportunities to change and grow
  • To embrace and love myself
  • To strive every day to be the best “Me” so that my “giving” is genuine and heartfelt
  • To focus on health, not disease
  • To explore and expand universal potential
  • To leave each day better than I found it

As I ponder this question, I realize there are no quick answers.  And so, I am reaching out to all readers for suggestions to help me answer this question –    “What does life expect from us?”

Someday I’ll – (aka. –  the land of  Someday Isle)

Laura Novakowski  -  Jun 28, 2017  -  , , , , ,  -  No Comments

There is a strange place that I often go

It doesn’t take much imagination

In fact, it actually allows one to hold back on taking action on dreams and goals

 

Someday,  I’ll stop and play,

when I am not too busy

 

Someday, I’ll  slow down and enjoy the lovely swing on my back deck,

right now I have phone calls to make and bills to pay.

 

Someday, I’ll  visit a friend and spend sometime catching up,

right now I have more important things to do.

 

Someday, I’ll spend more time with my parents,

when I have nothing else to do.

 

Someday, I’ll take a walk in nature,

when it stops raining and I stop working

 

Someday, I’ll take time to get to know the clerks in the market,

right now I’m too important to get to know them.

 

Someday, I’ll volunteer to help veterans,

right now I need to read a book about leadership

 

Someday, I’ll pay attention on long drives with my husband,

right now I need to check my emails and return phone calls

 

As one can see, I have spent a great deal of time in the land of Someday I’ll,

And this is only a very short list – it certainly could go on for pages.

 

There are no excuses, many regrets and a new appreciation that

I can leave this land of Someday Isle for  today I am choosing to  join the land of The Present!

 

 

Laura Novakowski, A Positive Power Strategist

Life is like the Weather –It Changes

Laura Novakowski  -  Mar 14, 2017  -  , , , , , , , , ,  -  No Comments

weather3_14-2017Just when I thought that I had everything planned perfectly, the day changed.  The weather forecast was for snow. Well, I traveled from the North (NEPA) to DC thinking that I was leaving the weather behind me.  Surprise – surprise, it followed me here. 

The old me would have wanted to have everyone soldier through – to suck it up –to keep going no matter what. The new me says, “Yeah. Let’s take advantage of the day, the time, the location and the people.”  And so that’s what I am doing.

As an early riser, I woke well before the alarm – a little after 5AM (which is in my mind 4AM, time just changed on the East coast in the US).  In downtown DC, I normally hear trains and trucks, all the usual early morning wake up traffic. Instead, I woke to the sound of a winter mix of sleet, rain and snow.  Really a refreshing sound – the sound of nature giving people the day off. 

A call roused me from my enjoyment of nature to tell me the day was postponed and we would need to reschedule.  “What a pleasant surprise,” I thought. “Now what?”  Normally, I like to follow my plans, it makes life so much easier, so much safer. Then I realized that I could make this a special day to really visit DC.  (Fortunately, I had planned for the weather (boots, scarf, gloves, coat- not my typical style). After a hotel breakfast, I venture out on foot.

There is slush, ice, and water everywhere.  Almost no cars on the road.  In spite of wet feet (okay, not totally prepared – my boots look great, just not very water proof), I trudge a few city blocks to the Metro. The people that I passed were wonderful.  Dressed for the weather- they shoveled, swept and tossed salt on the sidewalks. Stopping respectfully for me to pass.  Everyone has a wonderful smile and kind greeting. – Whomever says, “DC is not a friendly city,” might want to reconsider and visit in the midst of a storm. 

Coffee shops were open and the welcoming attitudes continued to envelop me.  In the lobby of the Constitution Building, an employee whom had been there since the previous evening welcomed me with a smile and showed me a warm and welcoming place to sit. 

Moving on to the Metro, again I encountered warm, welcoming people. Despite delays, people were gracious and respectful with phones, seats and juggling bags – people would stop to allow someone enter the car ahead of them.

Quite a refreshing way to spend a morning in DC.  Today, I am allowing my life to enhance my work, rather than allowing my work to control my life.  Thank you Mother Nature for helping me to see the value of weather to help me improve my life and my work.

How about you? Are you willing to take the “weather” as it comes and allow yourself to go with the flow when you encounter the storms and delays?  I’d love to hear from you. 

Have an amazing day and enjoy the” weather.”

Happiness – One of the Top Employee Engagement Motivators

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 26, 2016  -   -  Comments Off on Happiness – One of the Top Employee Engagement Motivators

Did you know that according 2010 Gallup Employee Engagement Survey – “Lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the U.S. economy $370 billion annually“?  Research is showing over and over again that Happiness is one of the top employee motivators.  The Free Dictionary by Farlex provides the following definition of Happy Enjoying, showing, or marked by […]

The post Happiness – One of the Top Employee Engagement Motivators appeared first on 720 Thinking.

Some Shortcuts Are Dead Ends

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 19, 2016  -  , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Some Shortcuts Are Dead Ends

It is always exciting to find a shortcut, especially one that saves time and aggravation. There is a great feeling in missing three blocks of traffic by making a quick turn you never knew existed. Shortcuts at work can provide the same type of satisfaction. But what needs to be considered is what is being […]

The post Some Shortcuts Are Dead Ends appeared first on 720 Thinking.

The Value Of Lessons Learned

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 12, 2016  -  , , ,  -  Comments Off on The Value Of Lessons Learned

A lot can be learned from listening to sports coaches when they talk about not getting too high over a victory or too low over a loss.  Everything has to be kept in perspective. In business, mistakes happen, all kinds of disasters occur, and sometimes they result in doors closing.  On the other hand, there […]

The post The Value Of Lessons Learned appeared first on 720 Thinking.

The Value Of Lessons Learned

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 12, 2016  -  , , ,  -  Comments Off on The Value Of Lessons Learned

A lot can be learned from listening to sports coaches when they talk about not getting too high over a victory or too low over a loss.  Everything has to be kept in perspective. In business, mistakes happen, all kinds of disasters occur, and sometimes they result in doors closing.  On the other hand, there […]

The post The Value Of Lessons Learned appeared first on 720 Thinking.

Motivation One-on-One

Laura Novakowski  -  Oct 05, 2016  -  ,  -  Comments Off on Motivation One-on-One

People on a team, even a small, collaborative team, may not be motivated by the same things or in the same way. A leader can give a rousing motivational talk that she thinks she has hit out of the park and still leave half her team feeling unmoved. This is not uncommon, nor is it […]

The post Motivation One-on-One appeared first on 720 Thinking.

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