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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Do your expectations spoil your experiences?

One of my main focus is to help individuals increase their level of happiness in life, while avoiding sources of disappointment, frustration or sadness.

I found that it is very important to have high standards. I encourage to set the bar as high as desired. I want people to reach for their dreams, not settle for less.

Having high standards and expecting everybody to reach them is not realistic though, that’s setting ourselves up for disappointment. I believe it is very productive to keep our standards high all the while having low expectations. By expecting less of life and others, we are more likely to be delightfully surprised by an outcome, satisfied, grateful and appreciative.

I also urge individuals not to lower our expectations so low that we put ourselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe position.

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A few months ago, I was relating to a friend of mine my frustration while booking a hotel stay out of town. I also shared that that particular chain was lower in the industry ladder and that there were only so much I could expect from that company. After all, it would be like expecting organic vegetables at a fast food chain restaurant. My friend agreed with me, to a certain extent. He said, and I’ll always remember this, he said: “Even at a fast food restaurant, they give you a cup when your order a drink.”

Touche!

That was the perfect example of me setting my expectations so low, because I wanted to experience joy and gratitude, that my basic needs for respect and comfort were not met.

This is a gray area that will be different for everybody. As I mentioned, I want people to feel fulfilled and happy. I also want them to stand in their power and speak their truth.

I invite you to proactively evaluate what your area of tolerance is for certain situations. It may be an interaction or a product you’ve been using for years. Does it still meet your needs? Does it still meet low, acceptable expectations, or does it need to be reevaluated.

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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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