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Energy Drain

Understanding where your energy comes from and
where it goes is key to living life well.

Do you know what drains you? It is a first step in managing your own energy.

The DiSC is a personal assessment tool we can use to understand the way we are wired. We are each a combination of D and I and S and C. Understanding these basic 4 types of behavior styles is the first, really great step in understanding your own personal wiring.

ENERGY DRAINS

For D’s and C’s, too much time with people contact is a drain. D’s are fast paced and can manage people and time well, as long as it is attached to getting something done.  Just to “hang out” or be entirely social can be a drain. C’s generally are drained by any type of prolonged people contact. Meetings, parties, shopping, chatting…..all deplete a C.

I’s and S’s are drained by having to focus too much on the task. Sitting and staring at a computer, in an office while everyone else is at lunch, working on a project alone can be a sap on energy for those that are people-oriented.

We can’t always avoid the energy drains,
so we have to know how to replenish our energy.

 

For I’s and S’s, energy comes from interaction with others. I’s like a party. They like groups and action and noise and fun. They get energy from being in a crowd and interacting. S’s like connecting, one-on-one and with some depth. They value serious conversation and true friendship.

For D’s and C’s, energy comes from a task. D’s like to start things and to solve problems. They like competitive games that move fast and then end. C’s like research and detailed plans. They like computer games that require concentration and knowledge and that can be played alone.

With some simple tracking and awareness, you can identify your draining times and activities. Once you’ve identified what is zapping your energy, you can limit your exposure to those sources and, more importantly, be intentional and schedule time for replenishing activities that give you life.

 

 

 

 

 

The Platinum Rule

It has been said that understanding DiSC is learning to practice the Platinum Rule.  If the Golden Rule is to “treat others as you would be treated,” the Platinum Rule is “treat others as THEY would like to be treated.”  Ahhh.  Slight (yet, big) difference.

Early in our marriage, I threw my husband (High C and High D–not so much energized by people) a surprise party with a lot of people attending.  He thought we were going to our friends’ for a 4 person dinner.  When we walked in and there were 20 or so people there, his first thought was, “How will we get rid of all these people so we can eat?”  We had to tell him that everyone was there to celebrate his birthday and he still had a hard time loosening up and believing the fact that some people actually might enjoy this sort of thing.

I have never done that again.

The-Platinum-Rule-fortune-cookie

We do tend to think that others will enjoy what we enjoy.  So, when we are thinking of doing something nice for someone else, our initial thoughts will be to do for them what we would enjoy.  If I would enjoy a party, won’t everyone else?  If I only enjoy one or two people at a time, doesn’t everyone?  If my way of dealing with stress is to clam up and put my nose to the grindstone, isn’t that what others want me to encourage them to do? If I am most effective when processing while I talk, won’t others be happy to listen to my musings?

Assuming that the high “S” project manager wants to be interviewed on camera because her high “I/D” boss would love it, does not make it accurate.  Assuming that a high “I” will love researching the best route because their high “C” partner wishes they had the time, may not tap into strengths.  Giving an I, who is in charge of the annual picnic, a strict budget to follow on their own may not have the best outcome.  Expecting a “D/C”, task-oriented birthday man to think 3 hours of conversation and games is a good way to spend an evening just might not result in the most appreciative attitude.

Learning my own DiSC pattern and how that affects my choices of behavior is crucial to my success.

Learning the preferred behavior and motivation of the people I live and work with is the key to successful relationships.

Without conscious attention to differences, it is easy to assume others are just like me.  But, sameness would be boring, if we are honest.  The variety in our relationships is what gives success and breadth and growth and enjoyment… IF we recognize and value the differences. When we recognize and value the differences we can treat others as they would like to be treated.

 

Learn more about the DiSC Personal Profile System and Understanding Your Wiring HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your Story

your story

 

What is the story you are telling?

I am at an age where I have told my story a number of times, in a number of places, to a  number of people.  My story has become more and more consistent as I have worked hard to define what is important to me and what I believe deeply. “Worked hard at” means faced fears, listened to criticism, changed behaviors, stood my ground, moved, cried, laughed, stayed, left.  I determined long ago that I would live my life with intention rather than letting my life live me.  And that has taken work.

I determined long ago that I would live my life with intention rather than letting my life live me.

The most important people in my story are my husband and my kids… though none are “kids” any longer.  And I don’t think of any of them as “kids” at all now, but as adults to be admired and valued and respected, each in their own right.  Their lives, intertwined with mine, are the fabric I wear now.  It surprises me, because “family cohesiveness” has never been a stated goal for me. The theme of my story is responsibility and choices–and personal discovery so that my choices are intentional and so that I am responsibly being the very best human being possible.  My modus operandi?  Grace and truth, always finding the balance.

What story are you telling?

We are all telling a story. To tell it with purpose and with as little regret as possible is a worthy goal.  That isn’t easy… but it is worth the effort… continually.

 

 

Perfection is Highly Overrated

Perfection

Perfection is Highly Overrated

Full disclosure… My natural inclination is not toward perfection.  I prefer to make things work, rather than fix them.  I had a VW bug that needed a new starter (1970’s) and rather than spend the money to get it fixed, I always parked on a hill (easy in Austin, TX) so I could push it and pop the clutch to get it started (that worked well until I moved to Lubbock, TX, where there are no hills).

I get my face and hair to the point that I am satisfied and then I don’t look in a mirror for the rest of the day.  I have written a weekly newspaper column and this blog and others, but could not bear the tedium of trying to write good poetry.  I have no problem creatively substituting chicken for shrimp or cauliflower for potatoes or flour for cornstarch rather than making another trip to the store. I don’t regularly check the air in my tires or the balance in my checkbook or get birthday cards mailed on time.

Perfection is Overrated

I do have an appreciation for doing things well and right and correctly, though.  In truth, I am a rules follower (if I have deemed the rules worthy of being followed).  Grammar, driving, attendance, polite behavior, reading a book from the front to the back, putting your dirty dishes in the dishwasher, doing that you say you will do…all of those examples and others like them should definitely be done following the rules.

There are times when doing things close to perfect is important.  Trying your hand at carpentry?  You should definitely measure twice, cut once.  Knitting an afghan?  It makes a difference if you check the dye lot on every skein of yarn.  Going on an overseas trip?  Checking the expiration date of your passport is prudent.  Heading for a baseball game at Wrigley Field?  Checking the weather can prevent being way too cold on a blustery day in August.

I am all for doing things well…
striving for perfection, however, is an entirely different thing.

The pursuit of perfection on an everyday basis wastes time, prevents communication, halts progress, frustrates goals, annoys others, gives false impressions, and generally keeps progress from happening.  Finding the reality of “perfect enough” saves a lot of misspent energy and time.

 

 

 

 

Take a Break and Relax

take a break and relax

I wanted to do something fun and slightly edgy to celebrate turning 65. I decided to take a break and relax. I weighed lots of options and tossed around a lot of ideas and finally settled on going to Cuba.

Always interested in the history of this little island and remembering the turmoil of the late 50’s with Fidel and Che’s revolution, recalling the Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs, I decided I wanted to visit Cuba before Starbucks is there.

relax-1It took some planning.  I had to arrange to cover a significant amount of real estate business, details at home needed planning, travel matching with Dave’s schedule took some discussion.  We finally got it all together and off I went to meet Dave in Merida, Mexico where he was hosting a small group of travelers.  We met up, spent a day with his group, then flew to Havana for three days. And flew home.

Merida was beautiful. Cuba was interesting. The food was phenomenal. The weather ideal.

The trip was short. The travel days were long. There was a lot of walking and waiting. It was exactly what I wanted.

 

I was completely satisfied.

And, surprisingly,  it was relaxing.

As I reflect on the relaxing part, I realize that there was an element to the trip that was not relaxing, at all.  It started with a 15 hour travel day, followed by cars, planes, taxis, late nights, and more long days.

The relaxing part was that I made the decision to completely unplug for the time we were in Cuba.  Using my phone would be possible, but expensive.  We read that internet is sketchy at best. So, I just turned everything off; I took a break.

No phone. No email. No texting. No facebook.
No communication….for 52 hours. Nothing.

That is not a very long time… but it was lovely.  And relaxing.

Relax

 

I have a job that requires communication. I have family I want to stay connected to. I’m curious and love to research and write and read and have information ready when I need it (or want it).  I’m involved in our community.  I love having a smart phone and a laptop and a tablet.

Those 52 hours make me think about how stressful and energy-sapping being plugged in constantly is.  I am going to be better at intentionally giving myself regular quiet time with no connections for better energy and real relaxation.

 

 

What is one thing you can do to create space in the rhythm of your life to unplug and recharge? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight and Sturdy and Strong

sturdy and strong

My husband and I happened to be in a house recently that was next door to one we lived in long ago.  It brought back a lot of memories and we smiled a lot while remembering our lives and our family at that place, that stage of our journey.

We remembered a lot of work there, too.

We are always remodeling, upgrading, adding to homes, it seems.  Once, I counted 17 different addresses we’ve had in our 43+ years of marriage and in each, we left our mark of added rooms, new roofs, refinished floors, etc., etc.

At this particular past address, Dave noticed the fence he had built 30 years ago. He designed it and erected it by hand with his carpenter/friend. Six feet tall, made of wood, handsome lattice at the top, it is still straight and sturdy and strong.

No warping.

No sagging.

No leaning.

I think back to my life there in that home and realize that home is where I started building my strong life, digging a deep foundation for where I am now…making my BEST ThirdThird.

We were living there when I learned about wiring and started studying and sharing the life-changing information that comes from understanding self and others in terms of DiSC behavior styles.

It was there that I decided I would no longer be insecure.

There I learned there were certain volunteer efforts that I should say no to because I wasn’t all that good at them and others could do them better.

In that home, I learned to be grateful and to appreciate the moment.

Now, I stand straight and sturdy and strong….just like the fence Dave built.

Weathered a bit.

Needing a fresh coat of paint occasionally.

Showing age if you look closely.

But, standing straight and sturdy and strong.

With gratefulness and purpose.

 

 

 
photo credit: Nanagyei Droplets – HFF via photopin (license)

A Gift for Yourself

A Gift For Yourself

Looking for a gift for yourself?  Invest in knowing yourself better so that you can be intentional with your life choices.

DiSC is one of the most life-changing pieces of information I have ever encountered.  Understanding my wiring allowed me to shake off the insecurities and self-doubt that plagued me for years.  Regularly, I  return to DiSC to help me understand others so I can make wise decisions about my own behavior.

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We are extending our offer for Understanding Your Wiring just for you!

 

If you need to be reminded of WHY this would benefit you….here are five good reasons to invest in yourself! Read full post here.

 

1.) You can know your unique wiring.
You are wired uniquely and understanding your wiring (with DiSC) is a major key to success in relationships, whether personal or professional.

 

2.) You can be comfortable in your own skin. 
Understanding yourself can make you comfortable in your own skin, which makes you less likely to compare yourself to others.

 

3.) You can acknowledge and celebrate your strengths.
Knowing your wiring allows you to recognize areas of strength that you can celebrate.

 

4.) You can find new energy for your dreams.
Your strengths celebrated can help you realize new and powerful potential for meeting the dreams and goals you have.

 

5.) You can find power and purpose.
Embracing your wiring is the key to learning to live your life on purpose.

 

And….for an introduction to the insights, there is a free quiz at YourBESTThirdThird.com….right on the home page!

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: Maria Eklind Waiting on a christmas gift via photopin (license)

Thankful Bandwagon

Some Bandwagons are good!

I usually resist doing things because “everyone else is doing it.”

I don’t have a diamond ring. I’ve never owned a minivan (we did have a very cool Nissan van that drove like a VW bus, though).  I do not prefer chain restaurants.  I have successfully avoided Black Friday shopping. And, I will not be making green bean casserole or jello salad for Thanksgiving dinner (though mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie will make it to the table).

For as long as I remember, going along and doing what others are doing has not been my greatest pull.  Finding a new way, a different path, a variation is fun for me.

Today, though, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and joining in on saying what I’m thankful for.

For Thanksgiving, 2016, here is my list of 10 Things I’m Thankful for…

  1. My faithful and supportive husband. We have made it to the good years, with the stress of child raising and family provision mostly behind us, we genuinely like each other and are grateful for our shared history.
  2. Our clever and capable kids. All five of them. I had an upper level manager at our daughter’s hospital tell me the other day, “I know that as a mother you are biased, but your daughter is really special.” I do know that our one and only daughter is pretty special. And on reflection, I realize that people say that to me about each of our grown, professional children.  What a source of thankfulness, that each of our five have gracious words spoken of them.
  3. The in-laws and girlfriends who are now part our family. Part of the respect and appreciation that our kids express to us now comes from their relationships as adults.  They have chosen well, each of the five.
  4. A peaceful existence in a land of wealth. Talking with a couple from the Democratic Republic of Congo this morning, they were telling us they pray daily for the safety and the successful lottery pick for their family members in the DRC. There is war there. There is disease there. There is hardship unimaginable to me in finding clean water, having money for basic food, and for affordable education.
  5. Hot coffee, plenty of firewood, silk long johns, and a new propane heater. Winter is coming and there is no fear of the cold at our home.
  6. Satisfying relationships. So many to be thankful for.  A solid team helping me with YourBESTThirdThird.com. Partners in real estate who are more friends than co-workers.  Over-lapping lives here and there, often and not so often, with pleasing history and many memories.  New (young!) office mates with amazing creative endeavors that inspire me.
  7. Abounding variety in food in a community rich in diversity. It is so fun to try new tastes and ingredients. Joel and I recently discovered Indian cuisine with him now a firm fan of naan and chicken saag.  Watching him sample every kind of sushi at an event last night was pure joy. Tonight, making parsnips and kale stew, the kale fresh from the garden. So many choices! So much fun.
  8. Grandkids! Thanksgiving programs with memorized lines, learning to talk (and use the potty!), adjusting to kindergarten, smiling and running right into a hug, and video chats and phone calls from afar. The milestones and new found knowledge is pure joy to watch.
  9. Good work, serving people, in more ways than one. On a number of levels, this brings great joy to me. A pastor commented recently that he prefers the term “serving” to “volunteering” because one implies an option and the other is a life style. I get that. I like that.
  10. Life on purpose with no regrets. “No regrets” in the sense that I sleep guilt-free at night and go out into the world with little fear or worry about who I might run into or see. There are relationships I would like to be closer. There are experiences I wish I had known better to avoid. But, I have learned to “live at peace with all……as far as it is possible,” to ask for forgiveness and to forgive.

Being thankful should be a way of life, not just a once-a-year Turkey Day outpouring. But this week, Thanksgiving 2016, is a good time to be overtly grateful along with almost everyone else!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

 

Which Old Woman Will I Be

which-old-woman-will- I-be

Which Old Woman Will I Be? Good question that each of us should address.

I just gave a talk on “Which Old Woman Will I Be?” as a part of “That’s What She Said“–a local women exchanging stories event. It is a key/core story of mine.  I’m not sure why, but I have always thought about what I’ll be like when I’m old.

I’ve always been fascinated by people and why they are the way they are.  I’ve observed family and family friends age over the years and nothing has really surprised me at how they “ended up.”  Seems to me that we just become more of what we’ve always been.

I had two kinds of grandmothers.

Grandmother didn’t have a television, but always had oatmeal raisin cookies and coke (in small glass bottles).  She was widowed and her widowed sister lived with her. She was not particularly warm, but she was not unkind and was soft-spoken. Her sister, Auntie, bought the latest comic books for us to find when we came. My favorite was Chip and Dale. There wasn’t a lot to do there, but it was peaceful.

Grandma had a television, but could not be interrupted during her shows (I remember As the World Turns and Guiding Light).  She was sharp-tongued, distant, and not kind, as I recall. Definitely not warm or peaceful.

It made me wonder what they had been like when they were younger and why they had become who they were.

They had both had difficult lives with young families. Both had been widowed during the Depression. Neither had great wealth, but were comfortable.  Both had fiercely loyal children. One ended up self-absorbed (from a young granddaughter’s perspective) while the other was more approachable.

 

Who we will be when we are old and in our ThirdThird is going to be a less-filtered version of who we are in our younger years, our SecondThird, in particular.  The older we are, the less we are concerned about others’ opinions of us and we have less energy to pretend.

 

which old woman

Grace & Frankie (Netflix) – The series follows Grace, a retired cosmetics mogul, and Frankie, a hippie art teacher.

 

I find that a lot of us have two kinds of grandmothers, if we have been so blessed to have two whom we have known.  One we feel (felt) closer to.  The other more distant in our affections.

I think about how I want my grandkids to remember me.  I want to be the Grandma who is (was?) understanding, supportive, encouraging, kind. The one who shows up and doesn’t pretend, who says truth but is graciously tolerant.

And, maybe, the one who let them watch a little more television than I was supposed to.

I’m beginning to get a glimpse of what kind of old woman I will be and I am going to keep working on making sure I’m one of the nice ones!

 

 

 

 

 

Look Good, Feel Good

look good

I remember my  sister telling me that a woman selling cosmetics told her that, “At your age, honey, don’t leave home without lipstick and shoulder pads.”

At the time, it was good advice to follow.  I thought of that the other day when I was cutting shoulder pads out of an otherwise suitable dress.

Now, in my ThirdThird, and thankfully past the shoulder pad phase, I think there is a different list of what I shouldn’t leave home without.

Here is my short list of musts:

Lip gloss…mainly for comfort.  Dry and chapped lips are not pleasant or attractive.

Sleeves…in the summer, tanks are so comfortable, but as I notice other ThirdThird types having loose skin under the arm, it makes me think mine is noticeable, too.  So, sleeves are becoming more of an issue for me in some settings. I don’t want someone to be distracted by my flappy arms when I am waving them around making an important point in a conversation or presentation!

Mascara…This has always been my answer to the what-if-I-can-only-have-one-cosmetic-item question.

Hydrated skin…lotion, lotion, lotion applied and water, water, water ingested.

Smile…this is the best and easiest. Simple to put on and attractive at any time.

 

What is on your list of musts that make you look good and feel good?

look good feel good

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