Do You Like Where You Are Heading?

Time to read: 55 seconds (So you can get out in your garden. It's spring!)

Frank's holiday cards

Frank's holiday cards

A hundred years ago, I worked with an amazing man. Frank worked hard during the school year then adventured all summer in his car and on his bike. Each Christmas, he mailed a card with a photo from his travels and the exact same quote. The quote was:

"If we don't change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are heading." ~ Chinese proverb

This quote has been rattling around in my head as I've talked to friends and clients this week.

Consider this: You're on a path in your career. Although that path is not controllable or predictable (e.g. layoffs, health issues, babies, and winning the lottery to name a few possible interruptions), you can visualize the path ahead of you. Look at the people who are 10 or 20 years older than you. Look at the leaders who are a few steps above you on the food chain.

Do you like what you see? Do you like the way they live? Do you share their personal and professional priorities and values?

Now, take a look at your own thoughts and choices. Do you feel in integrity with yourself? Are your work and life in balance in the way you want them to be? Are you taking care of your body, mind and spirit? Do you tell yourself, "When I retire, I'll ____(fill in the blank with your dream for the future)?

I offer you a slightly modified version of the quote I received every December for many years. "If you don't change your direction, you are likely to end up where you are heading."

How do you like where you are heading?

If you love it, great! Keeping going.

If you don't, now is the time to change your direction.

As always, I love to hear from you. If these thoughts struck a chord, email me and tell me all about it!

With all kinds of rebel love,

Christina

P.S. If one of your friends or colleagues needs a nudge to consider a change of direction, share this newsletter with them. They can join our merry band of rebels here.

 
 

What Would You Do If You Stopped Postponing Your Life?

Time to read: 40 little seconds (keeping in short so you can enjoy this summer day - for our Northern Hemisphere rebels!)
This is a vent louver. I had to look it up.

This is a vent louver. I had to look it up.

Happy August Corporate Rebels!

A c!ient recently sent me an ah-ha about constantly trying to improve herself. Her insight made me think of you.

Here's the email she sent me (shared with her permission.):

"I had this revelation this morning that I've been spending so much time and energy trying to fix all these things about myself. It dawned on me that I'm actually using self-improvement as an excuse to postpone really living. The analogy that comes to mind is that I have a car with a bunch of little things wrong - hail dents, torn carpet, stained seats, broken vent louver - and I'm fixating about fixing them, rather than just packing up the car and taking a road trip.

I finally realized that I don't really need fixing any more than I need to fix a broken plastic vent louver. I can just pack up and go for a ride instead.

I want to stop using these excuses that are preventing me from taking the necessary risks to get out and enjoy life."

And there it is.

As a human, you will always have scratches and dents. They are part of what makes you wonderful. So, when you stop hiding behind your scratches and dents, what do YOU want to do?

Two words: Road trip!

Happy lazy August!

Christina

P.S. Invite some of your colleagues to road trip with you by joining the Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter. They can sign up here.

 

Have You Paid Too Much?

Time to read: Less than 90 seconds.

You don't have to earn this. It's already yours.

You don't have to earn this. It's already yours.

I belong to a writing salon. Once a month, a small group of unlikely friends gathers around someone's dining room table to write and read our journals, stories, essays, and memoirs. We've been meeting for five years and have seen each other through retirements, deaths, grandchildren, job changes, and the rediscovery of our creativity. This month, one of my esteemed colleagues wrote a beautiful piece with a great reminder of the price you think you have to pay for pleasure.

I was deeply moved by his piece, and he generously agreed that I could share it with you. It's a perfect message for Corporate Rebels in summer.

From Bill Peterson:

In the busyness years of my life, I remember reading an article in which the author recommended some “good summer reads.” I’m thinking it was about twenty years ago. My history is no longer five or ten or fifteen years ago. I now have to reach back twenty, thirty, forty years or even more to reach those heyday years.

For years, I have longed to sit in the leisure of summer, open a book and enjoy a good summer read. And now, this summer I have arrived! I have laid aside the demands I put upon myself through a combination of purposeful intention and opportunity. On Sunday afternoons and mild weekday evenings I am finding myself stretched out on the old couch in the front porch with my feet up and the lamp lighting only enough to illuminate the pages, and I am enjoying a “good...summer...read.” Serendipitously I'm reading a book entitled, “The Art of the Wasted Day”, by Patricia Hampl. A wasted day? I don’t think so. You'd have to read the book to understand that part. But, for me it's more like, “The Fulfilled Day”, “The Blessed Day” or “The Day Long Awaited” because I feel like I have been waiting for these days all of my life.

I’ve paid for these days. I’ve paid with hard work and toil, sweat and burnt skin. I’ve paid, but the truth is I’ve paid too much. And I’m wondering if I really didn’t need to pay for these days at all. They were always there for me, but I told them to wait...for too long...way too long!

So now, here I am, in summer 2018, and I am fulfilling a life dream. I am reading with no intention to rush. I am savoring each word, each sentence, each thought. At last I am enjoying “a good summer read.”

If you loved Bill's writing, please email me and let me know. I'll share it with him.

Happy rebel-y summer, everyone!

Christina

P.S. Do you have a colleague who needs permission to sloooowwww down and put their feet up? Send them this newsletter and invite them to sign up for the Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter right here.

 

Why You Must Take Your Vacation

Time to read: Less than one minute. You've got fun stuff to do!

On vacation, you get to to stuff like this!

On vacation, you get to to stuff like this!

Hello Corporate Rebels!

Children are out of school, it is finally sunny and warm-ish here in the North, and it's time to think about... TIME OFF!

The sad reality in the United States is that 54% of Americans leave unused vacation days on the table each year, many of them forfeited forever. That amounts to 662 million unused vacation days according to a 2017 study by the Travel Association's Project Time Off. If all those days were yours, that would be like being on vacation for the next 18,000 years. Imagine that.

Are you worried about the mountains of work that will be waiting for you or how you might appear uncommitted if you take time off? Do you get mixed messages from your company about taking vacation?

Reports show that fear is the primary driver for keeping your butt in your chair rather than under an umbrella with a margarita in your hand. Clearly, from the data, you are not alone.

Time off isn't just a nice benefit. It's actually part of your employment contract (meaning, you have a right to your time off). Even more, it's vital to your success as an employee. Here are three reasons to take your vacation time:

  1. Vacations keep you healthy. Your time off reduces your stress which in turn, reduces your risk for all kinds of bad things - like depression and heart disease.
  2. Vacations make you more productive. After time away, you return to the office refreshed, focused and full of new energy and ideas. Ironically, time away from work makes you more productive. Liberal vacation policies lead to loyal and more fulfilled workers.
  3. Vacation makes you a better employee. The Travel Association study showed that employees who failed to take vacation were lower performers. They are less likely to have been promoted in the past year or to have received a bonus in the past 3 years.

Vacation also makes you happier, more fun, improves your relationships and helps you have better sex.

Do you need more reasons to take your vacation time this summer?

Here's to you, a map, and an open road.

With rebel love,

Christina

P.S. Do you know someone who is afraid to take their vacation time? You can help by forwarding them this email. Then they can join our merry little band of corporate rebels right here.

 

Something I rarely do!

Estimated read time: 50.44 seconds

I'll be chillin' with these two!

I'll be chillin' with these two!

I've been a busy bee this summer. It's been fun. I've loved the interaction with all of you and the cool new things I've gotten to do. Our family has had fun travels and are enjoying our new house.

And, I tend toward workaholic, to believing that my self worth is tied up with production and constant forward movement. I have to be disciplined about slowing down, staying present, letting go, and chilling out. Can you relate?

I'm going to do something that feels even more risky to me than putting videos of myself in public. I'm going to take a week off!

Next week, my kids and I are going blueberry picking. I'll chow dairy products at the Minnesota State Fair, sleep in (oh yes!), buy folders and pens for the start of school, and watch stupid movies. (Mall Cop, anyone?)

Research shows that you are more creative and more productive when you let yourself rest. Yet, how often do you allow yourself to take a break? To recharge. To gain a new perspective?

If you feel like you drive yourself hard, that you've got too much to do and not enough time to do it, or that you would like some balance or rest, let's talk. Click hereto be taken to my calendar where you can schedule a time to chat (after next week, of course). As a recovering workaholic, I can help.

And if the whole chilling' is one of your gifts, please hit reply to this email and share your tips with me. It's my growth edge!

Here's to sleeping in!

See you in a week!

Christina

P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.

Peace! Now! And how to find it.

Estimated read time: 30 seconds. You just got a bonus minute to use for a simple pleasure!

Speaking of weird little processes. Crabapples!

Speaking of weird little processes. Crabapples!

You life is full. Many days, maybe most days, you run from meeting to meeting, checking your email and texts as you walk. Or your mind is full of your to-do list or what you will say to that person when you see them. Not to mention taking phone calls in your car (tisk, tisk). Stress. Busy-ness. Yikes!

When I worked for a big company our campus was huge. I was back and forth through the halls multiple times a day.

And then spring would arrive, and I would detour myself through a particular parking lot. There was the most glorious crabapple tree at the end of that parking lot. I would stop, stick my nose right into those blossoms and sniff. The marvelous smell of crabapple flowers was enough to propel me forward into even the most stressful meeting.

What's something you can easily do in a few seconds that will bring you a moment of peace and deep pleasure? Here are some ideas to get your little grey cells firing:

  • leave the building to grab a cup of coffee
  • stare out your window at the blue sky
  • call a friend for a quick hello
  • go for a little jaunt outside

With just a few seconds, you can find more peace.

I hope this helps!

Christina

P.S. If you know someone who would like to receive this newsletter, they can sign-up for The Corporate Rebel Video Podcast and Newsletter HERE.