How to Maximize your Happiness with Intention?

AustinTango180Last weekend was quite the Tango experience. We hosted amazing teachers from Buenos Aires to teach a workshop. We taught our classes Friday night, then Milonga, then workshop Saturday afternoon, then Milonga, then workshop Sunday afternoon, then farewell diner.

My business partner and I were fried by Monday morning!

That being said, we had set a very clear intention for that demanding event: we wanted to bring the teaching of those two experts to our students and friends. So each time we ran out of steam a bit, we had in mind why we were doing what we were doing. We had set a solid intention.

What I invite you to do, with pretty much everything you’re doing, is to set an intention. From time spent with friends to career and hobbies. What are you trying to accomplish?

This is really important because we want to be happy. Happiness can be easily destroyed by resentment or lack of accountability.

intentBy setting our intention before hand, we are better able to manage our emotions, our time and our area of tolerance. We are better equipped to enjoy ourselves and easily set boundaries. We can protect ourselves from toxic elements or over stretching ourselves.

The idea of pre-set intention may seem overwhelming itself, however, like anything else, whatever we do gets easier the more we do it. It’s not like we’re planning every second of our life, we just get better at making faster decisions about what is truly in alignment with our authentic self. This is where joy and happiness reside and this is what I want for you πŸ™‚

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself

Paola

 

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What’s tolerable to you?

I’m not going to hold back on that one and give it to you straight: You get what you tolerate.

If we tolerate our friends being late and wasting our time, they’ll keep doing it.

If we tolerate our coworkers taking us for granted, they’ll keep doing it.

If we keep being passed on for a promotion and say nothing, it will keep happening.

If we let our partner treat us unkindly, it will keep happening.

All of it can keep happening, or worst, escalate in intensity.

What I invite you to contemplate today is your area of tolerance. What are you comfortable and what are you not?

For example, my definition of ‘late’ is 15 minutes after agreed meeting time. I prefer a message mentioning the delay by meeting time. Anything over 15 minutes after agreed time is officially late. Anything before 15 minutes is a delay that can be easily due to traffic, missed turn, wardrobe malfunction, long line at the coffee shop, etc.

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That’s my area of tolerance when it comes to time and meetings. I put that system in place years ago, that’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s the level of productivity I want in my life, therefore, I collaborate with individuals that match my needs which is a source of great joy.

That’s the point after all, we want to feel happy and purposeful, it will happen with individuals we invite in our area of tolerance.

Another example dear to my heart is when someone projects their anger unto others in person, through text, email or phone call. I consider all emotions to be valid and we can experience all of them freely. I draw the line at projecting negative feelings without consideration for others. Taking it out on others is not ok in my book. Some things need not be shared, we can be pissed on our own time and process it at our leisure, that’s what adults do. Children have tantrums, adults manage and process. Which will you be?

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I therefore draw a very obvious line in communication and any misdirected negative emotion is addressed in a firm and kind way. I don’t want that in my life, period.

Not tolerating certain things in your life doesn’t mean we don’t accept others. It means we choose what we allow in our life, and what we don’t. We can accept that people get angry and not allow them in our experience. We can accept that individuals are at a different stage of growth but we don’t have to be close friends or collaborators.

Being intolerant of others’ differences is being scared of them. I’m not scared of angry individuals or people that run late more than I can take. I just don’t like it and I have a choice to keep it out of my life. We don’t have to like and understand everything and everybody, we do have the choice to accept our differences and surround ourselves with individuals that are a source of joy and comfort.

So, what will you tolerate today?

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself!

Paola

 

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What’s on your bucket list?

A bucket list is not something to wait on when we’re older. A bucket list is something we nurture through out our life to allow ourselves to dream big and expand in our life.

One of my top goals as a coach is to empower women to break free of self limiting beliefs. It’s so counter productive to think small, why not think big?

As Maya Angelou said: “Don’t you know you’re a child of God?”

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I believe we can have anything our heart desires if we believe we can. Believe you can’t and you won’t, it’s that simple.

So today I invite you make a list of dreams, of things you want to do, become or have. You can start with a list of 10, or go straight to 100, you read that right, 100.

The point of the bucket list is to keep us in touch with our true desires and true self. It will also train your brain to spot what you’re looking for. The more you think about something, the more likely you are to recognize it when you see it. Think chocolate cake and all of a sudden you see chocolate everywhere!

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I invite you to write down your list with pen and paper, the idea connects to your brain more powerfully that way.

I then invite you to transfer that list to a virtual format so you can keep it updated. Replace every item you accomplish with a new one. The point is not to get to all the items all the time rather than training your brain to always be searching and being alert.

I also encourage you to read that list as often as possible, daily if you’d like. The more you do it, the more those items will come into your life. It seems magic but, really, it’s science. You’re training your brain to recognize what you’re looking for and for ways to get there. That’s it.

Not sure? Just try it and let me know what happens. I know it works because I do it all the time. I’d love to hear from you though, do share your experience with me πŸ™‚

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Paola

 

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Perfect Timing

Perfect timing is something I came up with, and regularly affirm, with a certain dose of confidence and humor. I believe perfection is an illusion, I also believe we can get as close to it as possible.

Perfect timing is a system I put together to get as much done as possible while being as happy and content as possible. It’s part time management and part emotional productivity.

I notice that we often set ourselves up for failure building our to do list or planning our day. We may feel the pressure to accomplish certain things, or a certain amount of it, regardless of dynamics, priorities or energy available.

 

Perfect timing requires prioritizing, a lot! What are the top items of the day that will get you closer to your goal? Just pick a few, not 20. The dishes can wait until tomorrow, following up with a prospect doesn’t.

 

I encourage you to get rid of distractions. Do we really need to watch a Netflix for 4 hours each day? Do we HAVE to be on Facebook hours on end, or every 15 minutes? Focus is a big part of success and reaching our goals. Entertaining ourselves is valid, letting that stir us from our goal is not.

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I also encourage you to prioritize your human interactions. Who are your top personal and professional positive influences? Make a list and space out the time spent with the ones that don’t fit the category. We can have a vast network of wonderful individuals, there is no need to be in touch with all of them all the time, especially those that demand more energy from us than we get in return.

 

I invite you to make a precise schedule and stick to it. At what time we show up, late or on time, is a make or break in relationships. When was the last time you heard someone compliment an individual for being late? My point exactly! We want to create connection not, the opposite. I passionately encourage you to be on time to everything. For that to happen, we need to give ourselves time to get ready, get there, communicate to all parties involved what our schedule is. I closed meetings on several occasions because they were going on longer than I had planned. It was communicated and I followed up later, which let me be on time to my next appointment. We are allowed to be unapologetic about our priorities as long as it is communicated in a kind and confident manner.

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I hope this helps. I have been able to be extremely productive with this system, getting the important things done and not letting the small stuff get in the way. What’s helpful to you in your productivity? I’d love to know! Comment below πŸ™‚

 

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

 

Paola

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Give what you want to get

One misconception is that we will give something after, and only after, someone gives it to us first. That could put us in some situations where we could wait for ever.

I believe in being the influence we want to experience, I believe in modeling the behavior we wish to witness in others. Which means, we must start, we must do it first, we must give to begin with.

What I’m referring to is especially in the everyday attitude and interactions. If we want appreciation from others, we have the choice to show appreciation first. If we want kindness, we can give kindness first, etc… We can create a safe space for others to find what everybody is looking for anyway: connection.

I’m not saying it’s easy. Some days will be harder than others. I do feel we have the responsibility to be the creators of what we want to see in the world. A bad day may require more energy on our part to accomplish what we want, those victorious days are what sets apart the individuals that get what they want, and the ones who don’t.

I invite you to be confident in your determination. Hold on firmly to your good mood and good intention. Stay away from negative individuals or give them compassion if you can. We all have bad days. Somebody’s bad day is not your fault, it’s their story, let them write it.

I invite you to set the intention and tone for your day and your interactions Take a deep breath and affirm your mood and goal. Be a giver, be attentionate, show up for others. There is a compound effect of kindness and generosity that always comes back 10 folds.

The more we practice, the easier it gets, until it becomes second nature.

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

 

 

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Goals versus Intentions

We hear a lot about goals: what are your goals in life? What’s your Big Hairy goal? What goal are you trying to reach?
These questions are valid as it’s productive to have a target to aim to and to keep us focused. How we get to that goal is just as relevant. Here’s comes intention. Intention is the energy, the reason for the goal.
For example, I went to a delightful party last Saturday night. My goal was to have fun, my intent was to connect. Connection is fun for me!
Intentions, just as goals, vary from one person to the next. Two individuals can have the same goal in life, for example building a successful business, and have different intentions for it. One person wants a successful business to be financially free, another may want a successful business to have a positive impact on the world. There is no right or wrong intention as long as it’s in alignment with the final goal.
If I say that I want to build a successful business to have a positive impact in the world but my intention is to pay myself as much as possible, and pay everybody else as little as possible, the intent is not in alignment with the goal. People may not take it seriously and it may hurt the business.
Intentions can be applied to everything, from doing the laundry to going to the grocery store. By checking in regularly with yourself and asking “What’s my intention? Does it serve the goal?” you’ll get in the habit of self evaluating if you’re still on track. This has been one of the most important tool I introduced to my lifestyle and has helped tremendously with my productivity, my decision making process and overall happiness.
What’s your goal today? And what’s your intention? Share it with me, I’d love to know!
Reach for the greatest version of yourself!
Paola
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Invest in Yourself

I believe that the results we get in life depend on who we are. Not where we were born, not how much money we have, not our IQ. The results will vary depending on our skills and our attitude. Some things can’t be changed. We’re given a certain hand of cards at the beginning of our lives, how we play that hand will determine the outcome.

How we get the best outcome possible is about developing the skills we need to get there.

For example, one day, we learnt to read. If we were to keep reading at the same level than our first year in school, we would only have access to that grade’s library. We wouldn’t be able to process other materials because we didn’t learn the skills. That’s very limiting!

If we want to have access to more, we must become more, we must learn more. There is no right or wrong way to do this. I just wish for everyone to be aware that we set the barre, and the limit, on our success. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is not productive. So how can we do things differently, what do we need to learn, to get the results we’re looking for?

It’s an investment. It takes a long time, it’s hard, tedious and we want to give up, often. However, if we know that this is the way to get everything our heart wishes, if we stay focused on our intentions, we will succeed!

We sometimes think that success is conditional upon intelligence, money and birth privileges. Those things can help, for sure, they are not the decisive factors though, our skills are. Our attitude and our focusΒ  determine the outcome. I’m specifically referring to soft skills: communication, empathy, emotional intelligence.

We could come up with the best product to sell, if we’re not able to connect with our clients, they will not trust us, and they will buy something else, from someone else. People don’t buy products, they buy an experience, and the experience is conditional upon the players.

It’s an investment because the process is slow, it’s a gamble at times, but it usually pays off. I’m personally more likely to invest in myself with confidence than the stock market. I know my ROI. I am so solid in my investment that I can now share valuable information and give support to others. The best thing I ever invested in is myself. I invite you to look into investing in yourself πŸ™‚

Reach for the greatest version of yourself.

Paola
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