How to be Joyfully Productive

It gets pointed out to be, by friends and strangers alike, how busy I look. I know it’s meant as a compliment. For me though, the word busy is a source of tension. Being busy doesn’t mean that one is successful or happy, they just look like they’re doing a lot of stuff. In our culture, doing a lot, to the point of exhaustion, has become socially valued. I rebel against that notion. Having been on both sides of that aisle, I can confidently say that being busy and doing a lot is not the way to happiness and a fulfilling life. In Chinese, the word “busy” translates as “kill the heart”. I’m not looking for that outcome, nor do I want that for my clients.
I’m more partial to doing things effectively and joyfully. A method that has worked really well for me is to find my peak time. The peak time is that period of the day that you’re more likely to do a certain activity when the process is easy and fluid and the result is superior.
For example, I can get a lot done virtually in the morning. I get up at 5:30am and after a light breakfast and some movement, I can get my most important work done before lunch. Doing that same kind of activity in the afternoon would be grueling for me! I have a friend that does his virtual work in the evening, that’s his peak time. It will be different for everybody. The trick is to explore and find what works for you.
Because the activity flows easily, we’ll get more joy out of it too! Your heart never lies! Check in with yourself in your discovery process to see what works and what doesn’t. It may happen on occasion that some activity need be scheduled at a less than ideal time. I find it productive to prepare for those assignment with self care. I seldom do virtual work or give consultations past 5pm. I’ll do it if it’s an emergency and I will reflect and center myself specifically for it as it is outside my peak time and natural flow. We still need to have some flexibility and get the work done, no need to brutalize ourselves in the process though. Self care always comes first.
I also like to look at the flow of activities and if I partner some activities together, how productive will that be. I can rehearse a speech and do the dishes at the same time, that works for me. I find myself less productive if I jump from returning emails and making phone calls. I prefer to do one, then the other. Again, everybody is different, discover what works best for you.
That system has allowed me to get a lot of stuff done in a short period of time, that’s great time management, and find joy in the process, that’s emotional productivity. I invite you to search for your ideal system. It may take some time and tweaking, however, it’s been a game changer for me. I hope it helps you too.
Reach for the greatest version of yourself!
Paola
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For the lucky ones…

First of all, I don’t believe in luck! I’ve been known to say, and often, “there is no such thing as luck!”. I said it once to a high level executive, in front of the store managers during a corporate visit, which stopped everybody on their tracks. It’s good to give individuals something to reflect on, right? And reflection took place, as my favorite manager at the time came to me later that day, and said: “It works both ways!” to which I wholeheartedly agree. I had taken credit for my success that day, and I was ready to take credit for my failures just the same.

I’m really stimulated by people that own their stuff! We live in a blaming culture. we blame the government, the weather, traffic, our coworkers….you get the idea. That being said, we’re very quick at taking credit when we feel we contributed to a successful outcome. In my opinion, as my then manager stated it, it works both ways. you’ll get what you put in.

Is the government acting in a way that doesn’t resonate with you? Did you vote? did you tell your friends to vote?

Is the weather bothering you? You can work with it or against it, the weather is out of your control, how you relate to it is all about you.

Too much traffic? Have you considered a different route or reorganizing your schedule?

Are your colleagues driving you up the wall? There is only so much you can do about how they want to act, however, we always have room to empathize and relate to others.

If any of those comments triggers you to an answer along the lines of: “she doesn’t understand, she doesn’t get it, I have so much to do and there is no other way to do it,..”

I hear you, I’ve been there, there is a way! You can take my word for it or ignore it. That being said, I do wish for more individuals to appreciate that they are the creators of their reality, that they are so powerful and capable. The more we focus on being the victim, the less we have energy to be the creator. I invite you to be a creator as I believe you already are one. Just do it!

So there is no such thing as luck in my opinion. Although I did use that word this morning with a friend and she caught it. She agrees with my perspective of creation. So I paused and I reflected. I felt lucky at that moment in the conversation relating to the fantastic things happening in my life right now. I felt lucky in a grateful way, in a blessed way. I felt lucky to be part of a system, world, planet, community, however we want to call it. Because when you’re part of something bigger than yourself, you want to create more than you may think you’re capable of. And you may find yourself, blessed, happy, voire lucky.

I invite you to create today, and feel grateful for your powers!

Reach for the greatest version of yourself! Don’t miss a post, Subscribe to my blog HERE.

Paola

 

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Are you getting in your own way?

I often receive feedback from individuals that are surprised to find out how much of an insomniac, pill popping, wine bingeing, stressed out, unhappy mess I used to be. I’ve come a long way, which is why I’m dedicating my time to inspire others to know they can get themselves out of any mess.

I wish for more individuals to feel confident to improve their life, wherever they’re at.

For me, it was a big change that required a lot of work, and I keep working on myself growing, that’s the fun part. I think the scary part for some is to look at the whole staircase when all you really need is to look at the first step. I didn’t improve in all areas of my life at once, I focused on one item at a time. And I got out of my own way πŸ™‚

A few things will keep you from improving and growing, looking at the whole staircase instead of the first step to take is one of them.

Another is the company you keep. You’ve heard it before and you’ll keep hearing it: you are the average of the 5 individuals you spend the most time with. The reason why we keep hearing it is because it has proven to be true, over and over, in personal and professional life. Who do you talk to the most, who do you listen to, who do you spend time with? I’m bringing this up first because that will be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do: walking away from somebody because you find out their influence has a negative impact on your life. Stay around such individuals and you are in self sabotage, pure and simple. Be strong and strategic, you can do it, your future self will thank you.

One more way to get in your own way is to say “yes”. As much as I personally love to hear the word (it’s a positive one right!?) that word can get you in more trouble and counterproductive situations than any other. I urge you to learn to say NO as much and as often as possible. You can always change your mind and say yes later. Being agreeable, wanting to make yourself available and present are great intentions. Your friends and colleagues will appreciate it of course. I invite you to make sure you say “yes” because you’re serving your purpose and not flattering your ego. Do you want to feel appreciated, wanted, relevant? Those are honorable needs. How you get there is more important as it will define your character and your results. Make sure the way you meet your needs is also in alignment with your purpose.

So which area of your life do you wish to improve today? Make a list of your top influencers or write down what you say “yes” to. Either of those techniques can help you make radical positive changes in your life, You can do it!

Reach out to the greatest version of yourself.

Paola.

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Are you still using a rotary phone?

I mentioned in last week’s post that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. I stand by that.What if it’s outdated though?

I, unfortunately, often meet individuals that stopped growing, intellectually and emotionally, in their teenage years, and are now grown adults. The unfortunate part is not for the lack of enthusiasm and stimulation I feel in their presence, it’s for the fact that they’re missing out on a big part of their life.

Growing professionally and socially, having satisfying employment and a thriving family and social life, is important. It’s a great source of happiness that can’t be denied. I do believe there is so much more to be had. it may not be as obvious in our north American culture so a lot of individuals don’t get the memo. The white picket fence perfection doesn’t fit everybody.

One of my favorite questions a friend greets me with from time to time is “what have you learnt today?” I sometimes have to pause and think, other times I’ll have a very passionate answer.

It is undeniable that we change, everyday, little by little. Our changing self needs to be nourished in all areas of our life. Do you remember a growth spurt in your childhood when you found your shoes all of a sudden too small and you needed new ones? Your brain and your heart keep growing your whole life, buy them new shoes! Analogy put aside, feed your heart and mind new materials, more challenging thoughts, intricate relationships, interesting experiences. When was the last time you tried something new? Do you keep an awareness of your “first time”?

We live in the age of information, for better or for worse. We have access to all kinds of knowledge very easily and quickly. I invite you to take an inventory of your experiences and thoughts. Nurturing the inner child is valid, being stuck in time, like a rotary phone is, in my opinion, counterproductive.

Not sure what your next experience could be? Schedule a consultation with me today, I’m here to help.

Paola

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Embrace mediocrity. Wait! What!?

There is one ongoing thought present with me, pretty much at all time: “How can I do better?” I’m driven, to a fault, to reach excellence. I’m hungry for growth and knowledge, always have been. In my businesses, consulting and dancing, as well as in my private life, I’m always looking at the next level or how I can improve on the present version. It’s a talent and a strong desire, which equips me to help individuals to reach the next level of their life, or a more productive version of it.

I’m also a problem solver, a fixer, aka a-pain-in-the-neck, when that talent is not solicited. All that knowledge accumulated to make things better can work against me when the present version is actually perfect. We don’t want to improve on perfection, there is no need for it. No need either to fix what’s not broken.

So what to improve? And when?

It boils down to a very interesting emotional dance, pun intended, with oneself. That’s when it’s vital to shut down the outside, and inside noise, to really listen to our inner self. What are the emotions at play? Can you name them? The heart never lies. If a situation is welcoming, your heart will tell you. Let’s keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving. A seemingly perfect experience may send your heart for a disturbing spin. On the other hand, a less than extraordinary experience may have your heart at peace. Why is that?

Your heart is the absolute indicator of what needs to be fixed, improved, changed. Or not! Appearances can be confusing and deceptive but your heart never lies. How many times have you had a conversation with a friend stating that they had the perfect job, relationship, vacation planned, but there was no glimmer in their eyes… We’ve all had that conversation, on each side of that table. There is what perfection looks like, and what perfection feels like. I encourage you to focus on the feeling. We live in a culture that is so focused on appearances and what success and happiness is supposed to look like. At the same time, each one of us is absolutely unique. The cultural standards do not possibly fit everybody’s heart’s desires, it simply doesn’t work!

So I invite you to embrace mediocrity in any area of your life because it takes courage to face a situation that is less than ideal. Once you know the area that can use improvement you will start moving in a productive direction. Most importantly, in a direction that is authentic and leads to true happiness.

As always, I’m here to help!

Paola

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Did I order fries with my BMW?

At the risk of disappointing from the start, this post will not be about ordering fast food at a luxury drive through or winning a German car at a burger joint. It’s about self applied limiting belief, and my new car has a play in it.

I was in a car accident at the beginning of July this year. Like everything I do, the timing was perfect! I had just picked up my Gaby (I give names to my cars) from my longtime mechanic that morning. I was on my way to the dance studio where I teach with my partner, when the pizza guy happened to ram into my front wheel as I was turning into the shopping center. What’s perfect about that scenario? I was going 2 miles an hour, so I didn’t get hurt, and my partner arrived on the scene a few minutes later, so I was taken care off and had a ride back home.

My Gaby, a 2001 325I black BMW was totaled.

I needed a new car, stat! And I was on a budget. And I only drive BMW! I drive that brand due to the fact that I have certain standards, I like to feel safe in a car and I have the best mechanics in town. There are some things I encourage you to not trade down, what ever it is, for me, it’s my cars.

I started shopping around and quickly found very few vehicles that fit my present desire: 2005-2007, 3 series, silver, 2 doors, manual, decent mileage, $8000. Are you chuckling, laughing or rolling your eyes yet? Understandably so. Impossible to find right? Guess what? I found her! My 325CI, Sterling (named after the adjective) with grey leather interior, under 80000 miles and $600 under budget. She’s a beauty!

So what’s with the fries? I look at life like a restaurant, it’s the french in me. I get to the place hungry enough to be inspired, I look at the entire menu, I ask questions and order exactly what will match my mood at the moment. In food, as in cars, I rarely trade down. The fries are the suggested add on to a seemingly perfect request in a restaurant. You already ordered your food, but wait! , there is more, like sides and desserts.

I encourage you to not wait for someone to suggest it, be ahead and add to your already seemingly perfect request for anything your heart desires: job, relationships, vacations. Ask for it, dream it and you will get it!

Are you afraid to ask for what you really, truly want? Or do you put limitations on what you think you can get out of life?

The question is not: what do I think is available, available to me or reasonable? The only relevant question is: what do you want? What’s your heart most profound desire? Not sure? You’ll know it when you see it? That doesn’t work in my experience. Dream it first and you’ll recognize it when it comes to you.

This is not a post about my shopping skills or bragging about my latest purchase. This is yet another example of a method that I have successfully applied for years in order to build the life I dream of. It’s very simple, although it requires focus and dedication, and it’s available to all. Just ask! Contact me to book a consultation and get on the path to match what your heart desires, not what your self limiting beliefs are telling you.

So did I order fries with my BMW? Well I’m so glad you asked. I got a sunroof too, thank you!

Paola

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