Happy New Year and Happy New Goals

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Every year, I make a list of things I want to accomplish, places I want to go, and other goals I want to meet in the general categories of health, wealth and happiness.  This year is no different with the exception that I am launching a paradigm shift regarding how I am living my life. Making BOLD NEW CHANGES and tackling the ‘What Am I Passionate About Doing (for a living)’ question, a deep dive that may take some time as I explore what feeds my soul.  Literally, what feeds my soul and puts a roof over my head! I ask you to bear with me in this journey and, perhaps, we can both learn and grow in the process.

Conditions meeting this target include creating multiple streams of income, both passive and investment rather than trading hours for dollars, allowing me to take control of my time while freeing me to enjoy the life I want – with loved ones, family and friends. The life I want includes travel, enjoying certain luxuries, and helping friends and family while working from home or anywhere whenever I desire.  Obviously, this requires a substantial income. Reaching this goal, I believe, will require me to determine;

  1. What am I most passionate about?
  2. How do I monetize that passion into a product or service that adds value? And,
  3. How do I launch, market and promote this product – successfully?

Popular management theory promotes making SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. My paradigm shift will be DIRTY: Done In Response To Yearning! I have no specific topic yet, no idea how to measure my progress, although I know the end result I desire. I know my end result is attainable, but I haven’t fleshed out the how or, necessarily, the when I will arrive. All I know is what I have been doing and how I have been living has not fed my soul. I have to flesh out the passions from the interests. There is a lot I don’t know, but what I do know is that I have broad interests, an excellent education, and expert skills which I know are transferable. But so far, I have not applied those skills to a passion.

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So…onward with the journey.

Check back later for progress updates!

Namaste

Lesley

 

For Success, Celebrate Your Victories

Last year I blogged about a new and better way to make goals, confront obstacles, AKA opportunities, and be accountable. (“New Year’s Resolutions.” You can find it here: https://corporateculturology.com/2015/12/14/new-year-resolutions/ ) To recap, briefly, make short-term, immediate goals of 90 day increments and build upon those successes. Brainstorm possible obstacles and use those challenges to form short term targets. In creating 90 day goals, do these three things to increase success.

  1. WRITE it down.
  2. BREAK it down.
  3. CONFRONT

Now, I want to teach a secret method to increase your chances of success. By CELEBRATING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, no matter how small, you can reach your New Year’s Resolutions. Being mindful of your achievements reinforces motivation and often improves reaching and surpassing goals.

croppedI make goals yearly addressing health, wealth and happiness. My wealth goals involve reducing and eliminating liabilities while maximizing my streams of income. Everyone usually has this type of goal. Happiness goals are about improving my general well-being. Happiness is core and interrelated to everything, including my health and wealth. In these broad areas, I make short-term, 90 day increment goals which I want to build into a yearly goal. By celebrating my successes, I keep motivated.

For example, my health goal this year was to eat better and tackle a goal such as a 10K or half marathon running race with an ultimate goal of a full marathon; something more significant than run/walking my dogs daily. Although Hobo and Taco keep me in good shape, I wanted something more intense and something in which I would be accountable. My chosen target was the Gate River Run, the largest 15K race in the United States with a course through Jacksonville, Florida, from our Gator Bowl (if you’re an old-timer local, you know where I am referring!), over the John T. Alsop (Main Street Bridge – the blue one!), through historic San Marco and up and over the GREEN MONSTER (The Hart Bridge. You guess the color!).hart_bridge_in_jacksonville

Initially, I had convinced my daughter to run and (or walk) the race with me. Unfortunately, as the day of the race approached, my daughter succumbed to a spring cold. This left me with a huge dilemma: wake up early and drive downtown to run the race alone or suffer the guilt. Neither was a fun prospect. I made up my mind that if I woke up early (a huge challenge for me in and of itself), and found parking in the maze that is only worse during Florida v. Georgia Football weekend (AKA the Largest Cocktail Party on Earth); I could walk during the race. The only exception would be the GREEN MONSTER which I told myself I had to run because my very significant other has photographs running the beast in races years past. Small goals, right? Show up, walk to the last bridge, then stage a successful run down the bridge to the finish line. A good game plan, I thought.

As I parked and found my way to my starting heat, the energy of the event enveloped me. Proud that I actually made it out of bed and downtown, early and alone, I changed my strategy. Celebrate small successes! I decided I could start the race running and stop when I felt tired. But due to the energy, camaraderie, music (oh, it’s a party!) and sideline champagne (Thank you San Marco!), I kept running. I ran over the Main Street Bridge with firemen dressed in full gear and continued through the beautiful, historic river front homes of San Marco until I approached a man cheering racers with a sign that read “7 Miles! You’re almost there!” I was stunned. I had been having so much fun with other runners, cheering fans, and the entertaining bands, I lost track of the miles. Upon realizing my accomplishment, my goal changed again to run the whole race, no matter how slow I may have to go.

12832546_10208797052073793_7287160034175854763_nThe Green Monster loomed ahead of me. I ran in slow motion (ok, it felt that way!) up the on-ramp. I knew that if I could make it to the top, gravity would carry me down. I envisioned the photograph of my boyfriend running toward a photographer on the bridge. It fueled my energy and my speed. As I crossed the finish line, I saw the clock read 2:04. Not only had I run the whole race, alone, I finished in 2 hours. I laugh thinking that if I didn’t take so many pictures and play along the route, I could have finished 20 minutes faster! That may be next year’s goal!

My 2016 successes included completing the Gate River Run, selling my big house and decluttering my life, completing a mindfulness meditation program, increasing my plan for multiple streams of income while leaving behind toxic environments and/or relationships and eliminating stress.

gateTo recap the important moral of my story, don’t focus on what you didn’t do or achieve, focus on the small triumphs. If you didn’t succeed and it is still a goal, write down what blocked you from accomplishment. Brainstorm how to overcome these obstacles. That renewed focus will allow you to see new opportunities. All challenges are opportunities in disguise!

Do you have any questions on how to make, break down, or strategize short term goals for long term success? Any examples you would care to share?

I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

Bloggers LOVE comments! Please like and SHARE!

Namaste!

 

The Most Significant Black Swan To Date: Election 2016!

15003288_1490403050975843_8467644078558680926_oHappy Election Day!!! Did you see it coming? The 2016 campaign between the first female presidential candidate and non-Republican insider Donald Trump? I admit I didn’t. But what I can predict is that election 2016 will become the most significant Black Swan event in American politics….until another, that is!

The Black Swan Theory, coined by writer, finance professor and probability philosopher, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, [in his book ‘The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable’ and The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”] defines an event that is unforeseeable, has a major impact, and is explained or rationalized as probable after the fact. Hindsight is 20 /20, after all. But Taleb explains that these Black Swan events are not predictable in traditional (think of your standard bell-shaped curve) risk analysis primarily and especially because the occurrence is as unknown as the possibility of the occurrence. Taleb describes this as being blindsided by ‘unknown unknowns.’

Taleb refers to these unprecedented, outlier events with low predictability but high consequence as ‘Black Swans’ using a medieval English phrase alluding to the impossibility of seeing a black swan as, of course, at that time all the Queen’s swans in England were white. When black swans were found in Australia, the metaphor for a Black Swan took on new meaning – being something that is unknown. Taleb has used his Black Swan Theory to explain the short comings for financial risk assessment based on standardized statistical formulas, such as the normalized bell curve. However, Taleb also describes cultural and historical events as Black Swans, exacerbated and made possible by their mere unexpected nature. And here we are. Election Day 2016.

Taleb continues discussing how the lack of what we know and the limitations of our limits of what we know prevent us from properly analyzing probabilities for ‘unknown unknown’ events which equates to ineffectual risk assessment. Confusing, eh? Although the predictability and probability of this campaign was an unknown outlier, the fact that it is here and it is now is not.

So whatever color you vote or whichever spirit animal you follow, get out there and make history!

Any comments you would care to share?

If you like my writing here, please like and share! I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

Bloggers LOVE comments! Please LIKE and SHARE!

Namaste.

Lesley Davidson

 

Think of your READER!

My number one tip for business writing is: THINK of your READER! That sums up the advice from my best and hardest business writing professor ever — Dr. Fiona Barnes from the University of Florida MBA program (insert shameless GO GATOR plug here!). I apologize if I am not using all her classroom points, but here goes my summary for improving business email writing. Take note!

  • Use the subject line.
  • Front load the email with the topic and action items requested.
  • Be brief, brief, brief and brief again (Get it?).
  • Use bullet points highlighting important items.

MBA 2013 225.JPGDon’t write a huge block of black-and-white text and expect someone to open it and think, “Oh. Great. Look, I have an hour of reading ahead of me.” You won’t get it read until the end of the day if at all. I once managed a team of consultants one of whom would send me daily emails demanding attention and action for the following day. The problem was that the emails were pages long, unorganized and did not state what action was being requested. Typically, I ignored the emails until late in the evening when I felt I had time to sort through the text. Sometimes, I would not read them for days. Don’t do this to your reader!

Parse words, check grammar and spelling, and delete unnecessary sentiments. It has been attributed to Mark Twain, but was probably borrowed from Blaise Pascal, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.” Save your reader his time and he will be grateful!

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Any comments you would care to share?

If you like my writing here, please like and share!  I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

Bloggers LOVE comments! Please LIKE and SHARE!

Namaste.

Lesley Davidson

How To Change Your Inner Dialogue

IMG_1096Last summer, my daughter and I took a ten day road trip through the American southwest. The road trip, planned by my daughter, included not only the classic southwest destinations like the Grand Canyon and Antelope Valley, but also odd locations that only a 19-year-old could ferret out of the most obscure Pinterest and Instagram boards. We visited places such as Austin’s Hope Outdoor Gallery, Sante Fe’s Brontosaurus Family, the underground Caverns of Sonora, the Space Murals Museum in Las Cruces, the funky town of Marfa Texas with its Prada art installation and Chinati Foundation modern art statue garden, and, of course, Las Vegas where we toured the Neon Sign Graveyard Museum.

Along the way, we hiked through some beautiful but unique natural places as well, such as Hamilton Pools and Reimers Ranch along the Pedernales River, White Sands National Monument, the amazing Monument Valley Navajo Nation Tribal Park and Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.

img_1314It was at Tent Rocks that I ran into a two-year-old boy who could teach the wisest of adults a lesson in motivation. Hiking down a very steep and challenging section of the tent rocks slot canyon trail, we happened upon a father and his two young children who were hiking up this very difficult terrain. The young son was working his way up, grabbing boulders as he passed with one hand and holding his other hand in a tight fist all the while talking to himself, “I am the greatest at this. I am the best. I am the bravest.” Think of the little boy with the fist meme (You know the one. Don’t make me break copyright laws!).

Down the trail, the father stood watching me laugh while I waited for the young boy to pass. He raised his arms and said, “I don’t know where he gets that,” to which I replied how much I loved it and that it was wonderful because he was giving himself positive, motivating self talk, a lesson that many adults have forgotten.

Many of us are guilty of listening to the doubting Thomas perched on our shoulder 13729122_1223734190978983_1738275961153739840_nspouting negative self-talk filled with doubt and fear. Here this young child had learned to turn that off. Or, perhaps he had never learned to turn it ON! Instead, he coached himself with a stream of motivating self talk as he conquered this hike. Sport psychology studies show positive self talk enhances performance in athletes. Not only does the positive self talk increase motor performance, it reduces stress and depression.

Next time you are listening to doubt and negative self talk, stop the panic and consider the actual thought. Write it down on a piece of paper — called a crap board –and say, “OK this is what I am thinking.” Then analyze it. List why it is wrong or why it is illogical. If it is needless worrying about a possible negative outcome to a pending event, write down what would be a positive outcome. Change your question to, “What if something good was going to happen instead?” Something better? Start thinking about the good things that can happen and tell yourself you can worry about the negative in a few days.

Write down how you will feel when everything turns out to be ok. Then decide not to worry about it for, say, three days, or whatever is suitable. Chances are the negative outcome will never happen and you won’t have wasted time worrying. Moreover you will have enjoyed the positive and the uplifting feeling of reaffirming and constructive self talk.  Try it.

 

Any comments you would care to share?

If you like my writing here, please like and share!  I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

Bloggers LOVE comments! Please LIKE and SHARE!

Namaste.

Lesley Davidson

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Falling Up! (The Happy Five-O Birthday Blog)

You may have noticed that I have not blogged in some months (Thank you for noticing!). Excuses range from selling my 2500 square foot house, downsizing and moving into a 1300 square foot condo (see my past blog on Clutter: The Hidden Costs!), my twice-postponed-but-still-promised 10 day southwestern road trip with my daughter, work ($!*%!), family obligations, important time with loved ones, BIG birthdays (ya TODAY!) and general unproductive business (busy-ness).

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Things have a tendency to fall away. I do love blogging, but this is an important point to realize. If you are too busy for something, then perhaps you don’t have the passion you should have for it or it is not that important. If it IS important to you (like blogging is to me), your time management and focus must be realigned. Reassess the things you should delegate, automate or eliminate.

I had a good boss once that told me, “Things fall off your desk. If they’re important or urgent, they’ll get back up there.  If they’re not, they won’t. Let things fall away.”

After you reread my blog on Clutter and its effect on your life, consider letting some things fall away. Allow yourself to drop some things. Decide to delegate things. Accept that it is ok. Enjoy!

Any comments you would care to share?

If you like my writing here, please check out my blog CorporateCulturology.com.  I promise I will have fun new stories soon!  I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

Bloggers LOVE comments!  Please LIKE and SHARE!

Namaste.

Lesley

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Own A Piece Of History In Provence France

Do you want to live in a thousand year old (established 990) perched, medieval village castle?!  My cousin’s ‘castle’ in the perched, medieval village of Viens in Provence overlooking the Luberon range is for sale….Message me for information.

12th century Provence village house of great historical interest and completely restored.

Location: In the walls of the medieval village of VIENS situated in the heart of the Luberon range, approximately 80 km east of Avignon. 50 minutes from Airport, TGV station and motorway.

There is a grocery shop, a baker, a restaurant/bar and weekly traders in the village. The village also has its own school and post office. The house dates back to the 12th century. It has been restored with great taste. Originally two houses, it could be split back into two residences.

There are several balconies and a terrace on the top floor with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The oak beams are centuries old, the doors are ancient and the walls are up to 5 feet thick. There is even a magnificent Louis XV fireplace. This house has a great deal of character.

 

 

Good security due to its location in the village. The entrance is at the back of the house inside the village walls. A large spiral staircase leads to all floors and gives access to the “Chemin de ronde” balconies on the second and third floor. Electric heating supplemented by wood fired fireplaces with vents to the upper floors.

The roof and electrical wiring were redone in September 2004. Broadband available. Lots of charm and prestige. Exceptional house. Approximately 250 square metres excluding the cellars. Note: Some of the period furniture can also be negotiated for, at the time of the sale.

 

The accommodation comprises:
– 1 Entrance Hall.
– 1 Dining Room.
– 2 Lounges.
– 7 Bedrooms.
– 4 Bathrooms.
– 1 Utility room.
– 2 Kitchens.
– 2 Chemins de Ronde , 1 balcony.
– 1 Terrace.
– 3 Vaulted cellars.

Ground floor.
– Entrance hall. Facing the entrance door is an old bakers oven. Quarry tiled floor.
– Dining Room

– Main kitchen. Tiled counter tops and double sink. Gas fired cooker. Quarry tiled floor. Window facing the inside of the village with external wood shutters.
– Utility room. (Washing machines etc.). This room also has a toilet and sink. Window with external wood shutters facing the inside of the village.
– Ground floor lounge. Quarry tiled floor. Main window facing the inside of the village and small windows facing the outside of the village. Large fireplace with enclosed glass wood burner fitted with
vents to heat upper floors.

– Winter kitchen. Quarry tiled floor. Small sink, gas fired cooker. Electric oven. Small window facing the outside of the village. Between first and second floor in the tower.
– Bedroom 1. Carpeted floor. Window with external wood shutters facing the outside of the village.

First floor.
– Bedroom 2. This room has a secret passage used as a closet. Terrazzo tiles flooring.  Window with external wood shutters facing the inside of the village. En suite bathroom (bathroom 1).

– Bathroom 1. Decorated sink, toilet, bidet and bath. Terrazzo tile flooring. Window with external wood shutters facing the inside of the village.
– Small room used as an office.
– Bedroom 3. Tiled floor. Window with external wood shutters facing the outside of the village.
– Bathroom 2, with sink, bath and small storage area. Tiled floor.
– Separate toilet

Second Floor.
– Bedroom 4. Tower room. Semi circular shape. Carpeted floor.
– Bedroom 5. Terrazzo tiled floor. Both these rooms lead to a small balcony.
– Bathroom 3. Sunken bath, sink and toilet.
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Second floor lounge with access to “Chemin de ronde” balcony with views of the surrounding countryside.

 

This lounge has three windows facing the inside of the village and has an original Louis XV fireplace.

 

 

 

 

Third floor.
– Bedroom 6. With sink and bidet. Tiled floor. Window facing inside of village and door leading terrace.
– Bedroom 7. Carpeted. En suite bathroom.
– Bathroom 4. With sink, bath and toilet.

– Roof top terrace. Tiled floor

For more information, call Lesley Davidson at 904 509-2424 or email me at LJDavidson2003@gmail.com.

Should have been THREE years!

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I’m sure many of you are aware of and have signed a non-compete clause in the past. But have you ever signed a non-disparaging clause? I have. And it’s quite interesting.

Looking back, it should’ve been a crystal ball into the future.  I didn’t last with the company more than eight dreadfully long and stressful months, but I should’ve known that would happen by the mere fact that I had to sign that kind of clause. It should have been a clue to look deeper into their corporate culture.

I do think I learned and grew in the position for the eight months I was there. And I also learned, moving forward, that a company that has a non-disparagement type clause might have something to hide.

Now that my anniversary year is over, I laugh and think they should’ve made it three years!!

Namaste!

#toxicofficespace!

 

Up With People In Your Sales Plan!

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We deal in people. Sure you might think that a sales person is the only person who really deals with people and builds relationships. After all everybody who’s in sales believes that it’s really not about the product, it’s about the relationship. And it’s true to some extent. Although if you’re selling a really great product, the product sells itself. Adding relationship building to your sales just makes it better.

But how about those people who aren’t necessarily selling anything? Do you think they believe that it’s all about people? I hope they do. Everybody knows what office politics is and that it exists everywhere. And it will always exist everywhere because at the root of it –it’s all about people. We are tribal. We are connected. We are about people. When you realize that and change your behavior, everything about your job will improve.

Channeling

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Caution. Warning. Curves ahead and foul language. Sitting here frustrated by the lack of contact, communication with someone, or progress on projects. Getting sideways in my head somehow. Getting my head thinking. Getting frustrated.

Usually when I’m frustrated, my mind sets on escapism. My mind gets back to that “one too many shots of tequila” attitude and the resulting “sure I can” that comes from it. The eventual “fuck it!” And with that “fuck it,” motivation swings into overdrive. I get bold. I get energized. I get moving.

Anger is a powerful motivator. But do you know how to channel it to yield the best results? Try now…step back from the ledge. Take a deep breath….and start knocking out that bold To Do list!