For so many of us, the rules can seem set. We fit into the boxes we’re given. We “play by the rules” and often, look to others to make them for us.
We want to be sure we’re doing it right. Whatever it is.
Yet eventually, if we’re not taking ownership of whether and how we want to function inside those rules, life starts to feel a lot less fulfilling. We start to wonder if we’ve climbed the wrong ladder or chosen the wrong door. We start to feel that the treadmill is moving so fast we don’t have time to stop and question what we’re running for (or to, or from).
You do have time. And so many of you, more of you, are asking the questions right now.
- leaders who are having vulnerable, challenging conversations about the culture of the businesses they’re running and what it truly means to lead by example
- solo entrepreneurs and small business owners who are juggling working in their business with living the lifestyle they wanted when they started it
- ambitious, talented professionals who’ve decided that the way they’re working isn’t working– and they are ready to figure out what’s next
- women and men who are re-engineering their personal life and their mindset to achieve life goals that were starting to feel overwhelming or impossible
In each case, it’s all about what’s negotiable to you and what is not. And how that changes.
Call them rules, non-negotiable, criteria, what have you. Stepping into your personal leadership means doing the work to better understand and commit to your ground rules. Defining what is non-negotiable– in your personal life, in your work life, in your self care– creates so, so, so much clarity and opportunity.
It’s a crucial and reoccurring task if you want to dream, design and live a life that is fulfilling and sustaining (and fun!).
Where are you clear on what you want, how you want to live and what your priorities are? Where are the lines still fuzzy?
When you forget your rules — and we all forget them sometimes! — you’re just not going to function at your best. You’re not even close to creating what you want then.
Instead, you’re stressed. You’re getting lost in the drama of everyday life (or worse, your own thoughts).
You’re making excuses instead of making plans. (And we have all been there!)
What rules are you writing for yourself right now about how you live and how you work? How responsible are you to yourself in assessing, making and following them? When do you fall off the mark (and you will), what helps you to pick yourself back up?
Where are you letting others dictate what’s important?
I promise you, clarity on this can kick off a whole cascade of change. If you let it.
I have a battery of rules and non-negotiable that I’ve written for myself, over time. I review and revise as needed so that they stay relevant to me– and this summer, with all the changes I’ve experienced at home and work, that’s happened more than once. This is what keeps me honest to myself and happier in the world.
Here are a few of mine. What would your list look like?
Pay attention to the experience you’re creating. I have a choice in the energy and attitude I bring to the table, and I aspire to use it well.
Start with celebration, and celebrate often. Positive mindsets and acknowledgement of what’s working changes my thought process, always.
Honor your own rules, but hold no one else to them. They’re my rules, not theirs.
Meditate and play regularly. Even if it’s 10 minutes, it matters, and the time investment pays off.
Do not work more than 4 days per week. This has, for 10+ years, worked best. (True story: This was a rule imposed by a former employer that I chose to make my own.)
Eat nourishing food and prioritize sleep. Fuel and rest are both critical and I am highly sensitive to both. Maybe you are, too?
Focus on what you want most, and let go of the details. A proven and simple recipe for reducing drama (“no drama” is another of my favorite rules), stress and improving the odds of creating more of what I want.
Keep your eyes on your own mat. My yoga teacher was right about this. It was true then, and it’s true now that focusing on what others are doing is nothing more than a distraction. Just be me.
Inspire yourself. Don’t wait around waiting for someone else to do it. Besides, inspired action is more fun and gets better results.
Invest in yourself. Learning, fun, wellness, choice, downtime. Simply because it’s all life-giving.
Fears are just fears. Let it go. Time spent fighting and analyzing fears is time not spent on more fun and inspiring things. Everybody’s got some. Move on.
Evaluate by metrics that mean something. For me, that’s meeting my own benchmarks, freedom, growth, learning, service, balance and doing more of what I love everyday.
Tell me about your rules, and whether it’s time to start re-examining — or re-writing — them.