What’s Your M.O. – a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?

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Mary Lore Labor of LoveReflecting on some recent interactions got me to thinking—We have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

To succeed, we labor. We strive, do whatever it takes, put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears—no pain no gain!

And our heads are filled with all the things we need to, have to, should, and must do.  We even do things to force ourselves to get motivated!

We believe that doing, forcing – laboring – brings results.  I wondered – what if we approached our work and life as a labor of love?  Here are stories of those who took the labor of love challenge.

  • A stay-at-home mom dreaded bathing her two year old. Forcing her child to take the bath, scolding her child for making a mess, and mopping up after made bath time a labor. When she made the bath a labor of love, she took the opportunity to enjoy being with her toddler. They splashed, giggled, and squealed with delight. Bath time became an anticipated event and cleanup became a joyful reminder of quality time with her daughter.
  • A runner realized she’d lost the enjoyment of running. She had to motivate herself to run and force herself to run great distances. She criticized her performance, continually pushing herself to do better. When she chose to run as a labor of love, she went back to her original routine—enjoying the sights and smells of nature as she ran through parks, enjoying the landscaping, and seeing kids play and adults chat as she ran through neighborhoods. Running became fun again, effortless. She looked forward to it and started running marathons.
  • The sales and production team at a firm that publishes several monthly magazines found it hard to meet their sales targets and production deadlines and they struggled financially. Their mantra: You get burned out in this business. You finish a magazine and move on to the next. Your work is never done.  They celebrated hard work and motivated themselves to work harder. When they changed their approach, instead of producing thousands of magazines, they made a difference in the lives of those who read the articles, attended the events listed in the calendar, and utilized the products and services that were advertised. Instead of selling ads, they helped their advertisers grow their businesses and fulfill their dreams. Instead of increasing sales by a certain percent, they were of highest service and in return received dollars, which they used to pay the team for their talents and contributions, who in turn spent their earnings on who and what they loved. They no longer NEEDED to make a sale or a deadline. They were inspired to make a difference and contribute the livelihood, education, well-being, and joy of others. Exhaustion turned into energy and creativity.  Struggle turned into flow and survival turned into thriving.

Deadlines, needing to or having to do something, and making a number are, in and of themselves, not inspiring. They are about doing. Not about being.

We get inspired by helping others so I could get inspired by working together to meet a deadline or to achieve a number – maybe once, twice, or three times.  Meeting deadlines month after month and year after year becomes a burden and uninspiring if the objective is just to meet a deadline or make a number.

I become inspired and achieve significant results when my goals are meaningful, when I truly know that I am being of service, contributing, making a difference, helping – when I do what I love and love what I do.

What’s your M.O.?  Love of labor or labor of love?

I invite you to take the Labor of Love Challenge:

  • Notice when you are operating from a love of labor—when you are in a state of force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.
  • Change it to a labor of love – Wonder what difference you are making, how you could help, how you could make it fun.

See what happens.

 

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Be Inspired. Inspire Others. What’s Your Dream?

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What's Your "I Have a Dream" SpeechYesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I remember when I first heard it. Even though I was a young girl, it had quite an impact on me.

I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful. I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence and serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and other to effect profound change.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want.

What I feel and what I experience depends on what I am focused on in each moment. The direction I take and the decisions I make also depend on what I am focused on in each moment. When I am focused on what I want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, I become inspired and I inspire others.

When I am focused on what I don’t want, what I did wrong, what could be better, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, what holds me back, what I don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, I am not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate others to achieve results.

Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing. That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others.

When I am trying to motivate myself or others, I am actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. Or what we needed to make happen or be better.

He said, “I have a dream” and shared his highest vision — authentically, sincerely.

Inspiration is power.

Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When I am inspired, there is no stopping me, and remarkable things start to happen. When I am inspired, I am in touch with my highest awareness and creativity. I get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what I have envisioned.

And others want to help.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder, and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors.

When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, so they weren’t inspiring, and I wasn’t inspired.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investor, the community.

They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired–mightily.

When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their role and contribution to creating that vision.

Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

What’s Your Dream?

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life and your work.

See what happens.

For more on living with intention, Check Out Mary’s  Guest Blog on Modern Practice on Living and Leading with Intention,  Read or Listen to Mary’s Forward Thinking Reminder: Focus on What You Want, or watch this inspiring video on creating Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Is Groundhog Day Stuck in Your View-Master®?

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Is Groundhog Day stuck in my View-Master? What’s she talking about?

Well, Groundhog Day is certainly a big day for the groundhog – the day he chooses to return to his hole or stay above ground, his decision based solely on whether or not he sees his shadow.

Groundhog Day is also the name of one of my favorite movies. The character Bill Murray plays, Phil, is forced to live Groundhog Day again and again until he makes choices that are in alignment with who he truly is and what he truly wants to create in his life.

The View-Master was one of my favorite childhood toys. With the press of a button I could view a series of pictures by inserting a slide wheel into the binocular-style viewer. In my books and workshops, I use the View-Master as a visual aid to show that the way I perceive reality is like viewing the world through my View-Master and that what I put in my View-Master creates my focus and what I focus on creates my reality.

Are you experiencing your life and work through the groundhog’s View-Master?  Do you believe you have limited choices dictated by forces outside of your control?  Do you want to crawl into a hole? Are you focused on just staying above ground? Surviving? Getting through this?  Are your choices rooted in fear?

Or are you aware of the sea of choices you could make? Are you focused on thriving? Making a difference, enjoying your life and work, and being richly rewarded?

Are you experiencing your life and work through Phil’s View-Master? Are you living each day as you did yesterday? Living in the past? Creating what you tolerate?  Trying to figure out what you should do and second guessing your choices?  Being the busiest person in the poorhouse?

Or are you thinking differently, powerfully, creatively, expansively? Experiencing the joy and aliveness of creating the next version of your highest vision of yourself?

Are your slides working for you or working against you? How do you know?

And what about the rest of your organization? What’s in their View-Master?

What if you could take out the old slides and stop re-acting your past? What if you could take out the slides that are rooted in fear?

What if you could put new slides in your View-Master? Slides that could help you stop wasting time, energy, and money and start creating the highest vision of yourself – as individuals and organizations — happy, healthy, engaged, productive, creative, inspired, impactful, AND prosperous.

You have that power. We all do. There’s no rule that says any slide is permanent.  We have the ability to create anything we can imagine.

I invite you to read or listen to the Managing Thought book, attend a workshop, or watch the workshop DVD. It’s time. If you have already, I invite you to do it again. And again.

If you would like to bring Managing Thought to your organization through workshops, coaching, or the online Managing Thought University, email me at Mary@ManagingThought.com.

If you would like to receive personal coaching or participate in the online Mindfulness MondayTM personal development course and teleseminars, click on the link..

There’s a reason that the book has received so many best book awards: Two Nautilus Medals, one for Conscious Business & Leadership and one for Enlightenment and Inspiration; The Axiom Business Book Medal for Communication Skills; The Eric Hoffer Award for Philosophical Thought Leadership and two USA News Best Book Awards for Business Motivation and Self-Help. There’s a reason that previous winners of the most recent awards include The Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra.

It is time to think differently, think powerfully.  It’s time to wonder what’s possible and create it.

When we practice self-awareness and Managing Thought®, remarkable things start to happen. Our goals pop out. They’re not forced, motivated, or rooted in fear. They are crystal clear and focused on what matters.

We find ourselves completely in touch with our creativity and highest awareness. We know what to do next and how to do it.

Our actions are inspired. And it’s when we are inspired that we experience profound change. Not 10% kind of change. Profound change. Meaningful change.  Significant results. In work and life.

And there is no stopping us.

What’s in your View-Master?

 

PS. It’s a perfect time to refresh your View-Master for your life well-lived. I invite you to watch this video:  Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.  Watch with family, friends, colleagues to start the process of conscious, purposeful living. I watch it often as a ritual to inspire me to keep my resolutions and remain on purpose with what truly matters to me. If you like, you can turn off the sound, play your own music, and use the pause button to take time with each frame.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What is Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?

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What's Your I Have a Dream Mary J. LoreI remember when I first heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Even though I was a young girl, it had quite an impact on me. I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful.  I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want. 

What we feel and what we experience depend on what we are focused on in each moment.  The direction we take and the decisions we make also depend on what we are focused on in each moment.  When we are focused on what we want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, we become inspired.

When we are focused on what we don’t want, what we did wrong, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, or what holds us back, what we don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, we are not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate to achieve results. Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing.  That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others. We are actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Inspiration, on the other hand, is power. Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When we are inspired, there is no stopping us, and remarkable things start to happen. When we are inspired, we are in touch with our highest awareness and creativity. We get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what we have envisioned.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors. When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, and so they weren’t inspiring.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investors. They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired—mightily. When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their part in that vision. Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life and your work. See what happens.

 

For more on living with intention, read Mary’s Vistage Executive Street Blog Living and Leading with Intention and watch this beautiful and inspiring video on Creating a Life Well-Lived.

If you’d like to help Mary teach millions of people how to change their thoughts and their lives, go to www.managingthought.com/PBSPledgeSpecial.

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Are Your Decisions Based in Love or Fear?

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This is Valentine’s Day, a day we pause and think about love.

Usually we think about people we love. Yet love affects more than our personal relationships. Because when it comes down to it, everything we choose to think, say, or do is rooted in either love or fear. Everything. So let’s take a moment to think about our thoughts and the decisions and actions that follow.

Our decisions in business to (and how to) lead, follow, motivate, participate, compete, market, sell, hire, fire, save, spend, attack, defend, invest, report, communicate, train, merge, divest, evaluate, reflect, analyze, unite or divide …  Read More

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved. To see all of Mary Lore’s blog features on the VistageBuzz Business Leadership Blog, Click Here.

What’s Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?

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What's Your "I Have a Dream" SpeechI remember hearing Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Even though I was a young girl when I first heard his speech, I remember the impact it had on me. My eyes stayed open. I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful .  I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence.

To read the full article on the Vistage Buzz Blog click here.

© 2010 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.