How Nature Teaches Us About Resilience

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Colorado has seen its fair share of destructive hail storms this summer. My vegetable garden was decimated during a particularly nasty one in which we had several minutes of white hell fire. In some parts of our state, it broke windows, smashed big dings in cars and even killed two animals at a local zoo. Nature can be destructive, but she can also be resilient.

Back to my veggie garden: My poor cucumber plant was stripped of its leaves and flowers. I cut it back to a stub, leaving a few undamaged leaves. Saying a prayer to the cucumber plant gods, I gave it up to Nature. A month has passed. Not only has the plant grown double its pre-storm size, I’m harvesting cucumbers.

What’s the take away (besides delicious veggies of course)? We can model Nature’s resilience in our own lives. Cut away the parts or people who no longer promote growth in your life. Find a new place or situation that encourages positive growth. Then watch yourself bloom!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

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Are You Celebrating The Important Things?

Happy National Tequila Day!

© Igor Normann – Stock.Adobe.Com

I celebrate this awesome holiday every year. In 2017, I spent the evening sipping Tequila Blanco on my back patio in the shade. This year, I went for marqaritas at a Latin/South American Cantina. Why do I get so excited about this holiday? First: I enjoy a good tequila with a slice of lime. Second: Any excuse to eat Mexican/Cuban/South American cuisine is a good excuse. Third: Celebrating the little things is critical to our happiness.

Why not act a little silly? Make a special meal just because its Tuesday. Go out with your friends on a Sunday just because you can. Live your life with the intent to find joy.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Habits are Habitual

My cat crushed his yearly vet check up last week. The vet lifted him off the scales, kitty grabbed it and threw it off the counter like a boss. Grrrr! The vet was all smiles and told me kitty has now reached his perfect weight. After struggling since 2008 to get rid of that pesky extra pound, we finally made it! My geriatric dog, Buddy, has also reached is ideal weight. What changed over this year? I feed them the same amount. We’ve kept to our walking routine though Buddy has slowed down and his distance has shortened (he’s well over 90 in human years). So what changed?

KittyMonster

ME! My eating habits and the way I think about food has changed. What I didn’t realize until this vet visit was just how much my habits – good and bad – impact my pets.

This new revelation got me thinking about my role as a leader. Attitude is also habit. We’ve all seen how infectious a negative person’s attitude can be to a team. It spreads faster than the flu. Whispered gossip and petty bickering between team members will derail a project faster than any risk. If allowed to run wild, the team’s chance of successfully reaching project goals severely decreases.

The leader’s attitude can make or break a project.

Runners

I’ll be honest. Leader is one of the toughest roles I have to play in life. Nothing irritates me more than a negative team member who uses passive-aggressive behavior to spread drama and negativity. I’ve seen this taken to the extreme. One person was so entrenched in her spiteful behavior, she was willing to actively work on destroying a program rather than allow others to be successful. This person was finally removed. The simple change turned the team around and they were successful.

One powerful secret weapon I use as a leader is my habitual positive attitude. Being positive allows your mind to remain open to new ideas and opinions. Most folks would rather follow a leader who exudes positive thoughts and encouragement. They shy away from the old grump who insists on continuing down the same comfortable, but unproductive path.

Remember: Being positive isn’t always easy. Everybody has their bad days. If you work at staying positive and being an encourager to your team, it will eventually become a useful habit. Promoting a positive environment results in increased productivity and more job satisfaction for you and your team.