Wrap Up Your Presence
December is a favorite time of year for me. I’m enjoying completing my gift giving and getting ready to celebrate this wonderful holiday time. I love planning a meaningful gift list for family, friends and colleagues plus designating year end charitable contributions to some of my favorite groups. Giving thoughtful gifts and generous contributions has become a tradition that gives me great satisfaction.
I also see the holiday season as a perfect time of year to give yourself Gifts—the kind that can change your life and literally change your world.
Why? Because I firmly believe that taking care of YOU helps you better take care of others.
You may find the notion of giving yourself something special during the holidays as a counter-intuitive thought. Here’s a practical way to think about it. It is beautifully illustrated each time you fly. The flight attendant reminds you to make sure YOU take the oxygen mask first—before you try to help others.
Presents vs. Presence
Forget about any notion to run out to Macy’s with credit card in hand right now! I’m not advocating that you buy yourself lots of presents! I’m talking about three simple presents that will give you a new presence. To get you started, I’ve already got a draft “shopping” list written for you.
Check off at least one gift to give yourself – if not all three:
1. The gift of a positive vision – take the long term view and come up with a concrete picture of things as they could be in 2010 – and focus on developing your strategy for accomplishing that vision.
2. The gift of acquiring new skills – take a systematic assessment of the skills you need to achieve that 2010 vision – and focus on developing those skills so you’re best positioned to achieve your vision.
3. The gift of staying centered – take an inventory of the streaming thoughts in your head – and make it a practice to proactively choose thoughts that will keep you focused on the positive vision you want to achieve.
When you give yourself these vital gifts, what could be different for you in the coming year?
Become Positive Inspiration
I’ve seen positively electric meetings when the manager really believes in what they want to achieve and it “catches” around the table (or phone call!). We’ve all seen the opposite. Choose inspiration.
Offer Contagious Promise
Leaders who are willing to learn—particularly if they take a risk and invest in something they have historically had challenges with—are exhibiting the promise of possibility with humility. Go for it—good for you—and maybe even better for those around you.
Create an Open Presence
Take the time to PRACTICE being centered. Whether through meditation, relaxation techniques, contemplative studies, yoga, or prayer—whatever it takes—practice makes progress. Commit to practicing on a regular basis this coming year.
And when your leadership models these three simple gifts you create a special kind of positive momentum.
So know your leadership is magnetic. Whatever you bring to others is reflected back to you. Authentic leadership can transmit power and excitement. Make use of it intentionally—people who you work and play with–will experience the gifts you give yourself, too.
I’d even venture a guess that these gifts to yourself would come back to you and to those you know in ways that delight and surprise you—maybe even in miraculous ways.
So this is my holiday wish for you. Now is the time to ask what brings you joy, what excites you and then go for it. Use December to allow yourself to become fully ignited in your passion and then commit to practicing your passion daily. The world is awaiting your incredible gifts.
Have a festive holiday and a new year filled with YES,
Maria van Hekken, PCC
President, Yes2Yes Leadership-for-Success Coaching