I Went to Florida and All You Get Is This Lousy Blog Post. (Just Kidding. You Get the Top 5 Things I Learned In the Sun!)
Every January, my business mastermind group goes on what we call our Leadership and Innovation Summit: All 30+ of us masterminders get together to get away from our places of business so we can get a little perspective and learn from each other. And the fact that this year’s summit was in sunny, warm Florida certainly helped!
I got to spend two 8-hour days in a conference room where each one of us gave a 15-minute presentation on a topic of our choice. These summits can sometimes feel like we're drinking out of a fire hose with so much information so I’ve been spending time this week looking back at my biggest takeaways that I can implement myself. I thought I’d share a few!
1. Idea turns into attitude turns into action. I’d never heard the term “attribution error” before. Explained by my fellow group member Anthony Dix, this is when “you explain others’ actions as a result of their character and explain your own actions as a result of your circumstance.” For example, if someone cuts you off on the road, your immediate thought might be that this guy is a total jerk which explains why he cut you off. On the other hand, let’s say you were the one driving fast because you were rushing to pick up your sick kid from school. You had to whiz past other drivers because of circumstance: You were picking your child up because he or she was sick! You're not a jerk! So what if we took a step back next time we're rushing to explain away someone's behavior because we think it's connected to their character rather than circumstance? What if we paused and considered that the person may have something happening in their life that is causing them to act the way they're acting? Could that change the way we interact with them?
2. It’s really time to start meditating, y’all. A few people talked about meditation in their presentations, to the point where, on the second day, my brain was screaming, “OK, I GET IT! I’LL START MEDITATING! STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!” What really clicked for me was my pal Chris Shah’s story of how he got one of his busy mom clients to start meditating for 2 minutes per day before getting out of the car, after dropping her kid off at school. That was such an AHA moment for me: I actually sit in the car for 2 minutes before I get out to go to work! I just sit there and finish my coffee, I might as well be meditating! (Am I the only one who sits in the car for a few minutes after parking?…) So I downloaded an app called Stop, Breathe and Think on Sunday in preparation for the week ahead. It snowed Monday and Tuesday which meant I needed extra time to de-snow my car and shovel the walkway outside of TruFit but instead of saying, “Screw it,” and not meditating at all, I meditated for one whole minute on both days! And then made up for it with a 4-minutes meditation Wednesday. And you know what? I’m already feeling the benefits and am so proud that, instead of thinking I needed to start with 10 whole minutes/day, I figured out how to get an average of 2! It feels downright luxurious!
3. Discipline is key to avoid burnout. Another friend I get to learn a ton from, Tiffany Larson, talked about signs to look out for when approaching burnout, signs that you’re already burned out and what you can do to help yourself (or how to find help) to get out of it. I tell my clients that the harder they train, the harder they have to recover (like getting enough quality sleep, eating well, taking hot Epsom salt baths, getting massages, etc). Well, the same goes for the rest of our lives. The harder we go — with work, with taking care of family, with all of the external stuff that needs our attention — the more we have to be disciplined enough to practice self care consistently and to set boundaries. We have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first so that we can be present and functional (and hopefully happy!) in the many different compartments of our lives that require our attention.
4. Rename the things that stress us out to make them approachable. Certain words can trigger us to feel stress/anxiety/dread/malaise. Words like dentist or "budget" or "meeting". Or, you know, "exercise". But what if we referred to these by calling them different things? What if we called exercise "recess" (hat tip again to Chris Shah)? Or “movement”? Or “dance party”? Or even — GASP — “fun”? Would that break down the barrier to entry and help us get our booties moving?
5. Use what you're good at to help the people around you. I talk about my coaching program, the people who run it and the people who are in it a lot. I mean, they're not only my peer advisory group, they're also friends. More importantly, they're friends with similar values who push me to be a better person. On one of our nights, a few dedicated people in our group planned an outing for us to coach a group of 15 or so Special Olympics athletes in a nearby town. We took the athletes through a circuit class that included ladder drills, rope slams, bent over rows, bear crawls and more for about an hour. We had the absolute best time. And so I'm pledging that this year TruFit Personal Training will raise at least $4000 for local Evanston charities along with at least 24 volunteer hours. (Locals, stay tuned for more information about our first charity event -- Women's Self Defense Workshop -- happening Saturday, March 3!)
I'm sure I'll wake up in a few months and remember another nugget from last weekend. It was a truly awesome time. And I thank you for letting me share my thoughts