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The Balancing Act® E-Newsletter: October 2012 Special Edition

I'm providing you with a Balancing Act Special Report, below. If you find it useful, I ask only that you cast a vote for me in a beach photo contest. I'm engaged in heavy competition with my photo #3, Heavenly Gull. You can vote for it here:

I don't win any money, but just the honor of my photo and gull coming in first place. Let's immortalize the bird!

And with my compliments for your consideration of the above, here's "How to Escape Misery":

How to Escape Misery

How to escape misery. Thatšs right. Išm going to help you very quickly, very rapidly escape misery. So listen, if one or more of these apply to you, herešs how you escape.

Number 1, stop internalizing and personalizing everybody elsešs problems. Therešs a word for that and itšs call "neuroses." Other people have problems and they are responsible for solving them. Believing that you are somehow the one who has to take on the burden is ridiculous. Let them have the responsibility. By all means, support them. But donšt think itšs your internal problem or challenge to do so.

Next, forgive yourself. Thatšs right, you deserve to be happy. Start giving yourself a break. You forgive others, right? Why not forgive yourself. The person we least forgive is the person in the mirror. So stop suffering, stop holding long and deep grudges, stop treating yourself like you ought to be beaten down. Youšre not unworthy. So stop telling yourself you are.

Next, stop isolating yourself. Donšt avoid contact. You need a support system. It might be loved ones. It might be family. It might be friends. It might be colleagues. It might be people at work or people at clients or people in trade associations or people in the community or people at the coffee shop. Donšt allow yourself to be isolated. Donšt reject help thatšs offered. Išm not talking about unsolicited feedback. I am talking about honest to goodness offers of support.

Next, stop trying to please everybody. We spend a whole lot of time trying to make sure everybody else is pleased with us. Donšt compromise your standards. Itšs okay if some people are ticked off. ŗWhat did he say?˛ Yes, I said it. Itšs all right. Your personal value doesnšt depend on acceptance of others. Your personal value depends upon self-mastery. That is, how do you feel about yourself?

Next, stop comparing yourself with others. Youšre your own person. So speaking of self- mastery, be ipsative not normative. In other words, who are you according to you? Stop looking at others as your standard. Stop looking at others as the people who are your avatars. A lot of those people have feet of clay. A lot of those people are before congressional hearings right now or theyšre indicted for fraud. Please stop worrying about it and just be yourself.

Next, live for the moment. Donšt look back in nostalgia and donšt look forward in anticipation, look around and enjoy yourself. Today is today; it wonšt come again. Nor will this minute. And so, enjoy yourself in the moment. Thatšs what self-actualization is all about. Donšt be afraid to relish where you are right now. Donšt feel guilty about that. Enjoy yourself. Connected with that, donšt dwell on past mistakes and failures. Išve got news for you, you canšt undo them. In fact, the best thing you can do is learn from them. But then, move on. Stop focussing on things you can no longer change. Itšs astounding how many people spend time focussed on things they have no power in the world to change. Making yourself miserable doesnšt help others youšve made miserable in the past, trust me.

Next, try to stay positive and oriented towards solutions and new levels of performance. Donšt be negative. Donšt always look at problems. I talk to people who sigh after every other sentence. Thatšs right, ŗ{sigh} well I guess Išll get more money today.˛ Oh thatšs too bad, sorry to hear it. For goodness sakes, remain positive. Self-talk is real talk. Talk to yourself positively and look at your surroundings positively. Believe me, it could be worse.

Next, donšt allow yourself to be controlled by others or by circumstances. Itšs too easy in a world that is trying every day to make you into something else to fall victim to that. So donšt allow yourself to be controlled. Donšt worry about what the advertisements say you should be wearing. Donšt worry about what unsolicited feedback tells you about your behavior or your speaking or your interactions. Donšt allow yourself to be controlled by others unless you respect their opinion and unless you solicit it.

Next, take on involvement and responsibility. People who take on accountabilities are better off. The best people I meet on committees, on boards, on task forces are those who stand out in a crowd and chair something, or head something, or take a risk. Try things new. Youšll be successful. Youšll get increased satisfaction. But donšt sit around avoiding involvement, avoiding responsibility. The world is not like that. Step out in the crowd. Get into the limelight.

Two more. First, set realistic expectations for yourself. If you want to lose weight, if you want to get in shape, fine. But telling yourself to lose 35 pounds in 2 months is ridiculous. On the other hand, signing up for a gym and promising to go 3 times a week is probably pretty achievable. Donšt set unrealistic goals. Donšt tell yourself youšre going to make a million dollars one year from now. If you do, great! Listen, Išm not against having all the confidence in the world. But itšs much better to say, ŗSomeday, but in the meanwhile, Išm going to double my present income from $200,000 to $400,000.˛ So donšt set unrealistic expectations. Set expectations and achievements that youšre likely to hit.

Finally, base your worth on things that you believe in. Donšt base your worth on externals. Not external feedback. Not the way you look. No what you do. That is not your job title. Not the possessions you have. Love yourself unconditionally. Donšt base your worth on things to be pointed to. Now that comes from someone who wrote "Million Dollar Consulting," and I am well aware of that. But I also know who I am. You have to know youšre a good person. You have to believe that youšre a good person. And if you do, the world will look a lot better because youšre a good person.

Š Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.
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