<a href="http://www.twitter.com/managingthought?rel=author"><strong>Mary J. Lore </strong></a> is an internationally recognized thought leader, multiple award-winning author, and mentor to those who influence many. Hailed by business leaders, educators, medical professionals, and executive and life coaches around the world, her multiple award-winning book and audio book <a href="http://www.managingthought.com/whatwedo/managingthoughtbookandaudio/dustjacket"><strong><em>Managing Thought</em></strong></a> not only change the way you think about success—they change the way you think, period. With a groundbreaking approach to harnessing mental power, Mary helps individuals and organizations turn counter-productive thinking into inspired action and significant results. In her career, she has served as a CPA, a crisis management and business turnaround expert, and an entrepreneur. Visit Mary at <a title="http://www.managingthought.com/" href="http://www.managingthought.com/">www.managingthought.com</a> and <a title="http://www.maryjlore.com/" href="http://www.maryjlore.com/">www.maryjlore.com</a> and follow Managing Thought on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/managingthought?rel=author">Twitter</a> or like it on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/managingthought">Facebook</a>.

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What’s Your “I Have a Dream” Speech?

I have a dream...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and other to effect profound change and be our highest vision of ourselves as individuals and as organizations.  

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want.  

What I feel and what I experience depends on what I am  focused on in each moment.  The direction I take and the decisions I make also depend on what I am focused on in each moment.  When I am focused on what I want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, I become inspired and I inspire others.

When I am focused on what I don’t want, what I did wrong, what could be better, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, what holds me back, what I don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, I am not inspired. It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate others to achieve results.  Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing.  That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others. When I am trying to motivate myself or others, I am actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. Or what we needed to make happen or better. He said, “I have a dream” and shared his highest vision — authentically, sincerely.

Inspiration is power.  

Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When I am inspired, there is no stopping me, and remarkable things start to happen. When I am inspired, I am in touch with my highest awareness and creativity. I get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what I have envisioned. And others want to help.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder, and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors.  When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, so they weren’t inspiring, and I wasn’t inspired.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it. Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investor, the community.  They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired–mightily.

When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their role and contribution to creating that vision.  Remarkable things start to happen. They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

What’s Your Dream? 

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life, your work, and every role you play. See what happens.

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Is Your Practice a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?

labor-of-love

The recent Labor Day holiday got me to thinking—We have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

To succeed, we labor. We strive, do whatever it takes, put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears—no pain no gain!

And our heads are filled with all the things we need to, have to, should, and must do.  We even do things to force ourselves to get motivated!

We believe that doing, forcing – laboring – brings results.  I wondered – what if we approached our work and life as a labor of love?  Here are stories of those who took the labor of love challenge.

  • A stay-at-home mom dreaded bathing her two year old. Forcing her child to take the bath, scolding her child for making a mess, and mopping up after made bath time a labor. When she made the bath a labor of love, she took the opportunity to enjoy being with her toddler. They splashed, giggled, and squealed with delight. Bath time became an anticipated event and cleanup became a joyful reminder of quality time with her daughter.
  • A runner realized she’d lost the enjoyment of running. She had to motivate herself to run and force herself to run great distances. She criticized her performance, continually pushing herself to do better. When she chose to run as a labor of love, she went back to her original routine—enjoying the sights and smells of nature as she ran through parks, enjoying the landscaping, and seeing kids play and adults chat as she ran through neighborhoods. Running became fun again, effortless. She looked forward to it and started running marathons.
  • The sales and production team at a firm that publishes several monthly magazines found it hard to meet their sales targets and production deadlines and they struggled financially. Their mantra: You get burned out in this business. You finish a magazine and move on to the next. Your work is never done.  They celebrated hard work and motivated themselves to work harder. When they changed their approach, instead of producing thousands of magazines, they made a difference in the lives of those who read the articles, attended the events listed in the calendar, and utilized the products and services that were advertised. Instead of selling ads, they helped their advertisers grow their businesses and fulfill their dreams. Instead of increasing sales by a certain percent, they were of highest service and in return received dollars, which they used to pay the team for their talents and contributions, who in turn spent their earnings on who and what they loved. They no longer NEEDED to make a sale or a deadline. They were inspired to make a difference and contribute the livelihood, education, well-being, and joy of others. Exhaustion turned into energy and creativity.  Struggle turned into flow and survival turned into thriving.

Deadlines, needing to or having to do something, and making a number are, in and of themselves, not inspiring. They are about doing. Not about being.

We get inspired by helping others so I could get inspired by working together to meet a deadline or to achieve a number – maybe once, twice, or three times.  Meeting deadlines month after month and year after year becomes a burden and uninspiring if the objective is just to meet a deadline or make a number.

I become inspired and achieve significant results when my goals are meaningful, when I truly know that I am being of service, contributing, making a difference, helping – when I do what I love and love what I do.

What’s your M.O.?

LOVE OF LABOR LABOR OF LOVE
Telling your patients that they should floss Asking what favorite tunes they could floss by
Doing a procedure for a patient Asking Mr. Jones whose day he gets to brighten with his smile?
Having to make a post-procedure call Helping Mrs. Smith to feel pampered, cared for, and appreciated?
Telling the patient what needs to be looked at Helping Mr. White identify a larger health issue, vitalize his life and enjoy more years with his grandchildren
 Putting braces on a teen Celebrating the hopes and dreams being fulfilled
Have to train a new staff member Wondering how I could help Susan feel welcome, confident, helpful, and inspired
Needing to measure numbers of patients, procedures, and dollars Acknowledging the difference we are making in the lives of our patients, our staff, and everyone who is impacted by every dollar we earn and every dollar we spend

I invite you to take the Labor of Love Challenge.

Notice when you are operating from a love of labor—when you are in a state of force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.

Change it to a labor of love – Wonder what difference you are making, how you could help, how you could make it fun.

See what happens.


© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

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Why Worry? Using Worry to Your Advantage

worry
What do you worry about?

When I ask this in my workshops, the answers are universal:

  • I worry about decisions I made or am about to make.
  • I worry about what others think or don’t think about me.
  • I worry if I’m doing the right thing or the wrong thing.
  • I worry about failing.
  • I worry about succeeding.
  • I worry about the top line.
  • I worry about the bottom line.
  • I worry about money.
  • I worry about my health.
  • I worry about my kids.
  • I worry about whether I’m good enough.
  • I worry about what could go wrong.
  • I worry about things I don’t have control over.

What’s wrong with worry? Again, the answers are universal:

  • I can’t concentrate.
  • It doesn’t do any good.
  • It makes me stressed.
  • It affects my health.
  • I lose sleep.
  • I get sick to my stomach.
  • I waste a lot of time and energy.

When worry thoughts occupy our minds, we let worry determine our future. Besides adversely affecting our health and relationships, worry keeps us focused on what we don’t want, what we don’t like, and what we fear—which is not inspiring.

When we worry, our brains are actually in a state of “fight, flight or freeze,” and we are incapable of determining what we truly want or being receptive to creative ideas on what to do next.

Does worry serve a purpose?

Some say, Yes! Worry motivates me to make a change. For example: If I didn’t worry about sales, I wouldn’t do anything about sales and wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.

I want to be clear here—a worry thought in and of itself does not motivate any one to make a change. Nor does it cause us to create what we are worrying about.

A thought is just a thought. What matters are the thoughts I choose to hold because I am—I create—what I think about most of the time.

If I choose to hold a thought of worry about sales, then I create a life and reality of worry about sales.

If instead, I observe the initial worry thought, pause, wonder about who I am and what I truly wish to create, choose to create it, and then create it, then I create sales.

If I choose to hold thoughts of worry about the health of my father, then I create a reality of me worrying about my father. If I pause, and wonder who I am and what I truly wish to create, then I could discover that the essence of my worry thought is loving my father. When I choose to create loving my father, then I receive all kinds of ideas on how I can create loving my father and I create loving my father.

So yes – the initial worry thought serves a purpose. It serves as a grand awareness of who I am, what matters to me, and what I truly wish to create.

And in that moment I have a choice. I can re-act my worry thought or I can create. It is up to me. It is always up to me.

How to Transform Worry

What I think is a matter of choice. So when I worry, I always have the choice to pause, and choose thoughts that deactivate “fight, flight and freeze” worry thoughts and move me in a direction that serves my purpose.

Pause. Breathe. Wonder. Choose. Create.

The next time you catch yourself worrying, try this:

  1. Pause.  Take a deep breath, exhaling as much as you can.
  2. Name your worry thoughts to separate the true you and what you truly want from your worry thoughts. For example, “There go my worry thoughts,” or “Here come my scared-out-of-my-mind thoughts!”
  3. Wonder. Ask yourself questions that bring about wonder and possibility:
    • How can I make a difference in this moment?
    • What can I create in this moment?
    • What can I think, say or do right now for the greater good?” (The greater good can be the example you are setting, the culture you want to create, the development of your staff, the relationship you want to strengthen or the short- and long-term well being of your client or your practice. When you ask the question, an answer of vision and purpose comes to you.)
    • How can I demonstrate love in this moment?
    • What could I create?
      1. If I could change the situation, what could it look like?
      2. How can I be prepared?
      3. If something has gone wrong, what can I create from it? How can I stay on course? How can I change the course?
      4. How can I be of highest and best service to my clients, suppliers, staff, colleagues, investors, me?

Even in the most difficult times, we can turn worry into wonder and reclaim our peace of mind. We ignite our creativity and ideas on how to handle or transcend difficulty shine through. We discover what inspires us and seize the opportunity to create the next version of our highest vision of ourselves.

How could you turn worry into wonder?

For more on this, you can watch a 5 minute video on how to resist negative thoughts or read or listen to the Forward Thinking™ Reminder: Thinking Powerfully.

mary_lore_book

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Living and Leading with Intention

living-leading-intention

When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value.

Do you have a written vision statement or intention for:

  • Your practice?
  • Your role in your practice?
  • Your relationship with your staff?
  • Your relationships with your clients, suppliers, investors, colleagues?
  • Your life? Your career? Yourself?
  • Your relationship with your family? Your role in your family?
  • Your marriage, education, livelihood, well-being, success?
  • Your vacation, the home or car you hope to buy, a conversation, an activity, a sales call, an acquisition, or a meeting?

We can set vision statements and choose our intentions and purpose for any aspect of our being. You can intend:

  • Fulfilling my dreams.
  • Helping my staff fulfill their dreams.
  • How I market, how I sell.
  • How I train, how I evaluate performance.
  • How I lead
  • The example I wish to set
  • The culture I wish to create
  • Being of highest and best service to my clients, staff, investors, suppliers, children, parents, and humanity.
  • Being richly rewarded
  •  Making a difference
  • Being a loving partner to my spouse.
  • Being a guide and mentor to my children or my direct reports.
  • Being open, receptive, and kind in a conversation
  • Using interactions as a source of learning about myself and others.

And then, before you say or do anything, ask yourself, “What can I say or do in this moment to BE my highest vision of myself?” Before you make a phone call or respond to a comment, before you join a meeting or have a conversation, or before you open the door when you come home from work, exhale and inhale deeply. Remind yourself of your intention, your vision and wonder “What can I say or do that moves me another step toward creating my highest vision of me?”

With practice, taking the breath becomes natural for you. With practice, reminding yourself of your intention and asking yourself how you can think and behave in a manner consistent with your intention also becomes natural for you. With practice, you are able to think these powerful thoughts just as quickly and naturally as your old thoughts.

When we choose our intentions and are mindful, we achieve clarity of purpose. We are clear on what matters most to us, on what we value. We stop “re-acting” to colleagues, clients, family members, staff, and situations and start creating what we wish to create. Our thoughts, strategies, goals, plans, actions, and reactions are focused on what is truly significant. We become inspired. We achieve significant results. We transform our relationships, our families, and our organizations.

How could you live with intention? How could you lead with intention?

For more on information on conscious, meaningful living and leading with purpose:

mary_lore_book

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