Inspiration

Four Ways to Find Your Happy with the FISH! Philosophy

I heard them before I saw them; the gales of happy laughter made me pause. Eavesdropping was irresistible; I sat nearby and listened to their enthusiastic plans.

“Yay!” I thought, “I’m surrounded by happy people!”

I dove into the din of delight.

“Okay ladies, it’s obvious you love what you do…so what do you do?”

I learned it was a group of Origami Owl Designers on their way to National Convention, which – as the kids say these days – gave me all the happy! Because I was on my way to the same place. We introduced ourselves and complimented each other and exchanged stories and contact information, making commitments to collaborate. We took a group photo with a selfie stick. All in few happy minutes.

Origami Owl Besties

Want to know how to “find your happy”?
Ask these Origami Owl besties!

They got me thinking about bringing happiness to work, so I took another look at the “Who Are You Being?” module from FISH! for Leaders, which outlines four ways to find your happy:

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Play, Trust, and Creativity: Three Surefire Steps to Success

The FISH! Philosophy sparks innovative conversations in businesses and communities around the world. One of my favorites, from FISH! Culture, examines the powerful combination of play, trust, and creativity for establishing a winning mindset and a reliable methodology for facing down the fear of failure.

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Keep Calm and Redball On – Stress Management

Who here has an inner control freak?
I’m confident I’m not the only one waving both hands in the air. I care.

And because I care, I occasionally operate under the illusion that I am omnipotent, letting my skill set spiral out of control until I take on so much that I find myself  blinded by stress. My heart rate rockets up and my brain locks down, like I’m being chased by bears but can’t find my way up a tree.  Full on freak out.

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You too?

Overwhelmed, my inner control freak turns power-hungry and overbearing, attempting a hostile takeover as Chief Executive Worrier. I’m rational enough to know these freak out hi-jinks are runaway emotions; but the reality is they feel real.

I believe that if we can think ourselves into a freak out, we can work out our way out of it.
Here’s how to establish a scalable meditation designed to restore calm and keep you keepin’ on:  Read more →

Seriously Slow – How Attitude Impacts Success

A week ago, I took my four of my attitudes – excited, hyper-focused, bad-word-mad, and crestfallen – for a little jog. A 5K fun run. The 5K that I’d gotten into a froth over the day before, when I picked up my race bib.

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I’m new to the fun run world, and there is still a lot I’m learning. Corrals, for instance; the grouping of runners in sections according to their self-declared pace. When I signed up months ago for this particular fun run, having no idea how fast I could go (or if I could even finish) I left the corral question blank.

Then I ran a few fun runs. And didn’t die. And I found I liked it. And found my groove. And went from mostly walking to waving the bragging flag of a 10-minute mile.

I was giddy and the expo was going full blast when I arrived; a wonderland of goodie bags, giant inflatable marshmallows, bouncy music, and stacks of race bibs. I stepped up to claim my place in the race. Read more →

Give “not good enough” The Bird

Today blessed me with three uninterrupted hours.  I had planned to use all of them digging into the inspiring book The War of Art – Break Thorough the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles; but by page 39, Steven Pressfield had convinced me that I really am a writer, so I tossed his tome aside to work on The Ninja Network.  At the closing buzzer I had amassed a good bit of text for the book, a crush on Mister Pressfield, and a bunch of texts on my phone.  Apparently it had been ringing like crazy.  I hadn’t noticed.  I’d been creating.

Scrolling through the conversations awaiting me, I noticed the query:

“It’s a beautiful day! If you could paint anything (no worries about being “good enough”) what would you paint today?” ~Linda Clayton, Artist

Linda

“Bird.” I replied, and went on with my business.  As others flocked to add their answer, my notifications nagged and I thought, “Why not?” Read more →

Wellness – The Work Out / Work Win

I learned effective conflict resolution fast, confronted by a hot mess of hoppin’ mad, red faced, freaked out sales rep, one of the most consistent and biggest winners on my team. He burst into my office blinded by the temporary insanity of a big problem, holding out angry, empty, shaking hands … no solution. In that instant I could see he wasn’t going to be good at using his inside voice, so we took it outside for a walk around the block. It turned out to be a pretty big block. About two miles.

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Walking is man’s best medicine. ~ Hippocrates
Photo credit: Ardon LXXXIII

While we walked, we worked it out. He hollered a little bit, blew of some steam, regained control of his adrenaline, talked until he was able to listen, and made a space in his busy brain for reason. Together we carved out a path and created a solution. It only took a little walk around the block.

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Inspire is a Verb – Fashion Meets Poetry with Lisa Harris

My first meeting with Lisa Harris was less of a formal introduction and more of a collision, our opening salvo a mutual how-do-you-do a duet of “You look fantastic!”

We were backstage, behind a screen in a makeshift dressing room, in the midst of the Spring Fever frenzy that accompanies the KOKOON season launch. We spotted each other wearing the same hotly sought dress.

In a similar situation, a lot of women would get uppity about another gal zeroing in on her prized “back off its mine” find. Lisa saw it as an opportunity celebrate our multifarious differences, how we could each be beautifully unique, and we decided we should both rock the frock. Lisa looks at life that way. She’s genuine, and genuinely excited to see women clothed in their individual light. She’s a poet with a purpose.

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Click the pic for irresistible Lisa Harris’
inspirational Instagram feed.

A year later we reunited over decadent with-everything mochas and I interviewed her about her upcoming book where fashion meets poetry, Unveiled Beauty.

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Lessons from Opera – Passion and the High Output Life

Two nights ago, I got to hang with the cool kids. Bloggers, artists, and social media influencers. Tempo (Young Professionals Group) movers and shakers gathered to preview The Minnesota Opera’s superb new offering, The Elixir of Love. Hushed and awestruck, we were ushered backstage to witness the weeks of behind-the-scenes high output work plied by 197 people devoted to telling a story that’s captivated audiences since the 1840’s.

It’s a good story. A story of a hero with a passion so encompassing that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. Wiling to tell the truth, to try new things, to play full on, to play the fool, to take a risk, to reveal the fullness of his heart. In the audience, we clicked and tweeted and laughed and opined and collectively decided: we loved it.

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A moment of passion perfectly captured by Lee Blauersouth
of Studio Interrobang.

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Remember to Blink – Four Ways to Win The Week

I can type as fast as you can talk. It’s my superhero skill, particularly useful during chats with clients. Because people will say brilliant things. And I want to get every bit.

Some weeks go by in a blink. Consecutive work-till-midnight days juggling back-to-back-to-back calls and projects and meetings. Bleary-eyed early mornings checking in to make sure we got every bit. Still, we forget. We forget to make time for ourselves.

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In the midst of last week’s dizzying rush, I found an unexpected oasis of calm during a conference call to shape a FISH! Philosophy event. The client spoke with a joyful lilt about what she wanted to create in the room and I was carried away by our shared objective: To mix business needs with personal connections.

“It’s like my eye doctor said,” she said. “Because sometimes I stare at the computer too long, and my eyes get dry. Remember to blink.”

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Oh Shut Up – a note to naysayers

“I hate this.”
Last week a, friend and fine thinker posted an article with the above terse comment. He’s the kind of man who doesn’t hate much. He revels in beauty, thinks expansively, and explores life vividly. Of course, I clicked. I had to see what had raised his hackles.

It was basically a list. A “mean girl” list. A litany of things women beyond a certain age (that age being 30) shouldn’t wear. No hoop earrings, no blue eye shadow, no leopard print. Blah blah blah. I blew a raspberry at it. “Pfft! Don’t you tell me what I can’t do!” 

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A lifetime leopard-print devotee,
this was the giddy day I got my first DVF wrap dress.
At age 48. Thank you very much.

“Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good.”
~ Diane von Furstenberg

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