5 Things To Consider Before Posting On Linkedin

Six years ago, when I logged onto Linkedin, I had one clear mission and one larger question, which was: how can I inspire 1,000,000 people on this platform.

What happened next was definitely not expected but openly embraced.

I posted a quote.

Nothing quite groundbreaking but something from my heart vs. my head.

A few hours later, I came back to my post to find over a hundred likes and a dozen or so comments. Was it a fluke, or did I actually strike a chord with someone on the other end?

The only way to know for sure would be a rinse and repeat the following day. Wouldn’t you know it, the same thing happened again. As they say, twice is a coincidence but three times is a pattern so I wrote something the following day and posted it online.

Much to my surprise, the same people were liking, commenting and sending me personal notes of inspiration and thanks. I knew in that moment I had found my vehicle.

Time to drive.

As of today, I have hit roughly 937,300 likes (roughly speaking) based solely on my posts which are often accompanied by quotes I created.

For more help with making LinkedIn successful:


To say I am delighted would be a massive understatement. I am also, humbled, honored, inspired, excited and the list goes on.

Here are my 5 questions for anyone considering whether or not to post something on Linkedin.

  1. What are you trying to achieve as an outcome?
  2. Is Linkedin the correct platform for your message?
  3. What do you have at stake by posting?
  4. Is what you wish to post aligned with your brand and who you are?
  5. Can you stand by what you post?

My personal journey has been filled with numerous highs, as well as some lows. The highs come in the form of personal messages from people expressing how I have helped their day, life or moment of perspective while supporting them helping them create a more fulfilled life.

The lows have come in the form of haters, people looking to discredit my work, individuals claiming I plagiarized or am acting against the will of religion.

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It only feels right that I leave you with some quotes to inspire you to take action:
  • You will never know what you are capable of doing unless you begin.
  • A toe in the water is not the same as swimming.
  • Every expert started as a beginner.

The floor is yours: What message would you like to leave for the world?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

Time Lost Cannot Be Regained. Here's Why You Should Care.

Time Lost Cannot Be Regained. Here’s Why You Should Care.

The other day, my youngest whose almost three, strolled up next to me as I was working and said, “Dada, look at what I made!” with a cute and excited voice. I immediately replied, “one second, I am just sending out an email (as if he knew, or cared what that was).”

No sooner did I reply, when my son started to say again, “look…look Dada…you aren’t looking”.

“One second I said, I promise” as I struggled to get this email out.

“Dada…Dada…Dada…give me your eyes,” he said as I then suddenly stopped everything and gave him my undivided attention. His face lit up with joy as he showed me what he had drawn, after which he was content and went off to play.

The irony here is that my three-year-old doesn’t know time (yet) but he actually waited one second before asking me again, and again and…well you get the idea.

  • The question is: “Why did it take so long” for me to be present?
  • The answer is: I got my priorities backward. I did what most people do, assume we have more time to make someone else wait or that the moment will wait for us.

The reality is that it won’t.

Time is the most precious commodity and we waste so much of it each and every day, missing out on the moments we may never get back.

Stop thinking you have all the time in the world, you don’t. You can’t recycle wasted time.

You may be surprised how much can happen in just one second, I know I was:

  • A bee will flap its wings over 270 times.
  • Over 2,000 pounds of edible food is thrown away in the U.S.A.
  • Six babies are born every second around the world.
  • 41,000+ status updates are posted to Facebook.
  • Americans consume 1,500 bottles of water.
  • Lightning will strike the ground 100 times.
  • Bill Gates will earn $250+ every single second.
  • 8,341,666,667 Hearts will beat worldwide
  • 2,437,859 Emails will be sent
  • Earth will travel 18.5 miles.

As many of us recently moved our clocks forward, I couldn’t help hearing the panicked cries about losing an hour of sleep, but if you really think about it, you haven’t lost anything. You still get the same 24hrs in the day or 86,400 seconds, and that’s exactly 86,400 chances to connect with those you care about personally and professionally.

For some tools to help with time freedom:

The next time your employee, spouse, partner, child, mentee, family member or friend asks you for a second of your time, think about the moment you may miss creating with that special someone by telling them to “wait a second”.

The floor is yours: You have 86,400 chances to make your time worth living. What will you do with yours?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

Why Being Too Happy Is Bad For Your Career

Being happy may have worked out well for Bobby McFerrin, but that doesn’t mean you should walk around with a “fake it until you make it” mentality.

In life, there are definitely things that we overindulge on that we probably shouldn’t, such as alcohol consumption, working out, social media, Netflix and of course eating raw cookie dough – but what about happiness?

Is it possible to overindulge on being happy?

The short answer is yes.

According to one recent article, too much cheerfulness can actually make you selfish, gullible and potentially less successful. I don’t know about you, but my smile just shrunk a bit. The article clearly compares happiness to food which really makes sense:

Although necessary and beneficial, too much food can cause problems; likewise, happiness can lead to bad outcomes. “Research indicates that very high levels of positive feelings predict risk-taking behaviors, excess alcohol and drug consumption, binge eating, and may lead us to neglect threats.”

We can all thank Shakespeare for coining this now popular phrase “too much of a good thing” from his 15th century play “As You Like It”, but regardless of the century – we find ourselves at the crossroads of a world that’s designed around abundance…including cookie dough.

For help pushing yourself through stagnation:

We live in a 24/7/365 supersized world that forces us to overindulge on everything from technology to food. It’s hard to escape, but not impossible. Studies have shown that too many choices drive us to feel worse and that people who “maximize”—trying to make the best possible choice from a wide range of options—experience greater depression, perfectionism and self-doubt.

What about at work, could too much “happy” in the workplace be a bad thing?

I recently finished the incredible book The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment where it states that happiness can indeed hurt your performance. It’s true that a positive culture and work environment boost happiness (ie: Google, Facebook, and Linkedin to name a few), however, there is a downside to all the perks. Studies have shown:

Happy people care less about details, which makes them less persuasive and prone to errors.
Happy people are more likely to recall false facts because they are focused on the bigger picture which lacks important details.

Joyful people might be greater managers, where they are accountable for executing a company strategy, whereas a less happy person could make a great head of quality management, where details are the most critical component.

If you think you’ll just “fake it until you make it” in the workplace, then you would be wrong.

According to the founder of the Emotion Machine, the “emotional labor”, it takes to pretend to be in a good mood can actually be very taxing on your physical and mental well-being, and thereby backfire on our overall happiness. The research reiterates what we previously discussed:

Another meta-analysis of over 3 decades of research found that faking positive feelings at work was associated with lower employee satisfaction and increased job burnout.

A third study published in Anxiety, Stress, and Coping found that volunteers at a call center who were told to “hide negative emotions” had greater increases in blood pressure and heart rate than those told to show their true feelings.

A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has found that hiding the “real you” at work can hurt motivation and productivity.
It’s not all doom and gloom.

There are a few ways both employees and employers can help balance the happy quotient.

Companies should aspire to create environments that support cultures where employee’s feel they can express themselves freely while being responsible and productive. This opportunity allows for that emotional release (both good and bad) to be aired out and addressed in real time. In the end, if you (the employee) isn’t happy at your current company or in your current role, then consider looking for something else.

Final thoughts: Grant yourself permission to feel less than positive from time to time. Embrace the negative emotions you have as they are critical to balancing the positive ones. Being ridiculously happy all the time is both unrealistic and rarely sustainable. You aren’t going to be Matthieu Ricard, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

The Floor Is Yours: Are you too happy or just too ehh? Take this quiz

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

The Real Reasons Your 2019 Commitments Won’t Last

In a world that appears to be heavily divided at times, it’s comforting to know that regardless of your race, religion, or political views, we’re most likely all going to fail together on our 2019 commitments before Valentine’s Day even hits. Not exactly the storybook ending you hoped for, but the harsh reality nonetheless. Read more

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25 WAYS TO GET MORE DONE IN THE WORKPLACE

One of the most popular and frequently overused phrases around time management is ‘Work smarter not harder’.

The reality is that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. The truth is, it’s your relationship to those 24 hours that will dictate the level and list of your daily accomplishments especially in the workplace. The good news is that to get more done at work also means you have more time for others aspects of your life so you can live a balanced and happy life.

Here are 25 Productivity Hacks to start working towards that balance.

  1. Touch inbox items only once.

    – This one is difficult for most people, but it really makes a difference. For new email or other communications, look over it and decide what to do with it right away: archive, respond, flag for follow-up, etc. Regardless of how you process communications, just make sure you deal with them once rather than wasting time by looking at them without taking decisive action.

  2. Hire someone.

    – Sometimes it makes more sense to hire someone to do something (if applicable), especially if your time is worth more money than you’re paying that person.  Anything where doing it yourself isn’t cost-effective, consider an assistant or intern for additional support.

  3. Write things down.

    – Nobody’s memory is perfect.  If you don’t take notes and setup to-do lists for yourself you will end up wasting several minutes of time every day trying to remember things that would have taken you seconds to write down. These minutes add up fast.

  4. Stop mindlessly browsing online.

    – Web browsing is one of the immense black holes in time spending.  Before you realize it, you may have spent hours browsing while generating very little value. Limit your online adventures to your lunchtime when and/if applicable.

  5. Ask more questions.

    – The trial and error process can be a huge waste of time.  Often people view asking questions and relying on others as a weakness, but they are sadly mistaken.  Asking legitimate questions will bring you closer to the people around you and likely save you a huge chunk of time.  A Win-win.

  6. Handle 2-minute tasks immediately.

    – “The 2 Minute Rule” is a common and great concept (cited in the book “Getting Things Done”).  If you roughly estimate that a task is going to take you less than two minutes to accomplish, do it right now.  It’s a waste of time and energy to keep small tasks like this on your to-do list and renting space in the back of your mind.

  7. Productively use waiting time.

    – Waiting time does not have to be wasted time.  When you are waiting for a meeting to start either on the phone or in person, think about what simple tasks could you complete while you wait?  How about sorting through and replying to emails or reviewing/ editing your to-do lists, etc.

  8. Organize your space.

    – How much time do you think the average person wastefully spends searching for items they’ve misplaced? The answer is a lot. Keeping both your living and working spaces organized will undoubtedly allow you get more done.

  9. Plan ahead and start early.

    – 10 minutes of dedicated time planning each evening will save you from 30 minutes of ad-hoc preparation each morning.  Likewise, starting your morning on purpose 30 minutes early will likely inject at least 60 additional productive minutes into your day.  Think about it and practice it.

  10. Eliminate all distractions for a set time.

    – Distractions are everywhere.  They arrive via email, cell phone, coworker inquiry, etc. Cutting out all distractions for a set time is one of the most effective ways to get things done in less time.  Find a quiet place to retreat to when you know your workload and deadlines are time sensitive.

  11. Pay attention and get it right the first time.

    – The better listener you are, the more you will learn.  The more you learn now, the fewer questions you will have later, and the less time you will spend searching for answers.

  12. Use technology to automate tasks.

    – From creating email filters to automatically backing-up your hard drive.  The more you automate, the more you can get done without with the same level of effort.  Just remember to ensure that what you automate has some form of checklist involved to avoid only having a human go back and have to redo the original task.

  13. Pick-up the phone.

    – We’ve become so accustomed to communicating digitally, sending emails, IM’s and texts, etc. that we forget we can get some tasks accomplished in a fraction of the time with one or two quick phone calls.

  14. Create and refer to a TO-DON’T list.

    – A to-don’t is a list of things not to do.  It might sound funny, but it’s useful for keeping track of unproductive habits, like playing online games, checking Facebook, etc.

  15. Focus on high impact tasks.

    – Figure out what will have the greatest impact today, and make sure you address the most important stuff first.  Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.

  16. Do what you don’t want to do first.

    – If you handle the toughest tasks first when your mind is fresh, you’ll get done quicker and make the rest of the day more enjoyable.

  17. Group similar tasks back-to-back.

    – Switching gears between different types of tasks can be tough.  It takes most people several minutes to get into a productive mental groove geared for a specific type of task.  Therefore, it makes sense to group similar tasks in an effort to minimize the number of rough patches, and thus wasted time, between task orders.

  18. Make better usage of commute times.

    – Listen to audiobooks, make calls, do some proactive time planning, etc.  There are many programs out there to capture tons of ideas and thoughts while commuting and traveling to the office and walking around the office.

  19. Exercise daily.

    – I know it sounds counter-intuitive.  You have to spend time exercising.  But exercise boosts cognitive function, creativity, problem-solving and productivity.  In fact, a NASA study showed employees who exercised daily worked at 100% efficiency after seven hours, while those who didn’t saw a 50% drop, meaning it took them twice as long to accomplish the same thing.

  20. Just say NO!


    While saying yes can take us down some wonderful roads, there’s also a ton of value in saying “no.”  We’re only given a certain amount of hours in our lives; do you really want to give yours away so easily?  If you don’t have to time to commit to a new project, complete a favor, or sit in on another meeting, it’s a good idea to just say “no.” Start with “no, not now but…” and then make a counteroffer.

    The goal is to create some space and boundaries for you while not alienating others.

  21. Use time multipliers.– Effective delegation of lower priority tasks is a time multiplier.  Eliminating time wasting activities is a time multiplier.  Screening phone calls is a time multiplier.  By practicing creative procrastination on anything that doesn’t propel you toward your goals can multiply the amount of time you have to achieve those goals.
  22. Focus your attention on one thing at a time.– Sounds obvious but we all suffer from the shiny object syndrome. Cutting out multitasking leaves you to focus more intently on one task and finish it to completion, rather than having many tasks started and nothing finished.
  23. Create productivity triggers for yourself.– You need to create triggers to help you out.  A simple example would be packing your gym bag the night before to keep you from having an excuse not to go to the gym.  Or put the books you need to take back to the office in front of the door, so you can’t leave the house without seeing them and remembering they need to be returned.
  24. Avoid meetings.– Not all meetings are a waste of time, but some can be.  If you frequently spend time in meetings, but would rather be doing your actual work instead of listening to other people talk about things they could have sent you in an email, see if your attendance is mandatory for those meetings.  Just make sure you use that time wisely if you get a pass.
  25. Practice the 80/20 rule.– Generally speaking, the 80/20 Rule states that 80% of our results come from 20% our actual work, and conversely, that we spend most of our energy doing things that aren’t important.  Figure out what that 20% is comprised of and focus as much of your energy as you can on it.
  26. If you liked this and want to increase your productivity I recommend reading:


Final Thought:

Don’t confuse being busy with being productive.

– Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort.  Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals?  I am aware that there are hundreds of tips and hacks to becoming more productive in the workplace but the above twenty-five hit upon all the topics needed to win back your day and hopefully win over your boss.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

7 THINGS TO GIVE OTHERS WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING ON EMPTY

WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING ON EMPTY

We’re all running on empty from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a little left to give. Just as a car can keep going when it hits E (for empty), so can you.

The challenge lies in what we believe we can provide and of course what we “assume” others expect from us.

Often times we freeze at the thought of giving someone something because it’s attached to a dollar amount or price tag. Since we all have money hang-ups the size of Godzilla, it’s easy to see why we aren’t always quick to think of other solutions. Sometimes the answers aren’t as complex as we believe. Some don’t require a penny. In fact, a little insight matched with intent maybe all you need.

The insight is around the other person’s needs, while the intent is about you acting on it. It’s easy to have grand ideas – especially ones about giving to others but the follow-through can be muddied by one’s own personal interest and ego. Putting the other person’s needs at the forefront, especially when you feel you have nothing to give, is a sign of selflessness.

When you’re being selfless, you’re thinking of other people before yourself. If you give time, money, or things to other people without expecting something in return, that’s selfless.

For a bit of perspective on truly “running on empty” I recommend reading Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America  by Marshall Ulrich.

Here are seven ways you can brighten someone’s day without spending a dime.

Give Appreciation. Expressing gratitude to someone for the things that they do for you can make them feel appreciated. This single act can restore someone’s belief system that they are welcomed and needed. It can also potentially building strong relationships and a greater sense of trust.

Give A Smile.

A genuine smile has a sincere way of both conveying and promoting kindness, happiness, and trustworthiness. These qualities may be what the other person needs in order to open up to you. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness. For starters, smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress.

Give Laughter.

Making someone laugh causes people to disarm their emotions and relax. Laughing instantly reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. Meanwhile, it increases the production of serotonin and endorphins which reduce the effects of stress.

Give Your Presence.

Most people listen to reply instead of understanding leaving a chasm of confusion and mistrust. Being fully present with another person is invaluable. It provides something money could never buy…respect. When people feel respected, they are more likely to be open and transparent.

Give Encouragement.

When you provide support, confidence or hope – you may just be giving someone that little extra push they need to get by or accomplish some objective. Consider it’s a spark that can motivate someone to take just one small step which in return may be the biggest step of their life.

Give Your Time. Often times we need the help of others but are too afraid to ask for it. Resist watching someone struggle or wait to be asked. Simply offer up your time in service of someone else’s needs. They say time is money. Well if that’s true, giving someone yours would be worth its weight in gold.

Give Them Space.

Not passing judgment on another person is almost (if not) impossible simply due to how our brains are hardwired. Science aside, not vocalizing what could only be construed as an insult and instead opting for silence, sympathy or even empathy as an alternative. Watching someone struggle or in pain is never easy but often times it’s needed so the person can begin both the healing and learning process.

Final thoughts: Happiness begets happiness. Numerous studies have shown that people who are happier tend to be healthier, less stressed and more physical. It doesn’t take much to pay it forward. Making someone else happy simply boils down to authentically choosing to put someone else’s needs as a priority regardless of expecting anything in return or how you may look in the process.

The floor is yours: Have you ever given, without expecting anything in return – what happened?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

 

Keep your mouth shut

WHEN YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT

Keep your mouth shut if it could start a fight.

Does someone snare you into an unwinnable verbal duel? It affords the person some type of gratification of acting out argumentative tendencies. Get into the ring… It’s virtually guaranteed that a TKO will go down

I.E stooping to their level is already an embarrassment.

Mark Twain said, “Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level. Then beat you with experience.” Someone already tempted you into replying?

Cut your losses. Call it quits.

They’re begging you on to keep participating in foolishness. These strategies are best ignored. Especially if they’re merely being argumentative to feel superior.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Earnest Hemingway

Work on your own awareness of workplace conflicts with some recommended reading from Amazon.

Keep your mouth shut if it would make you seem defensive or closed-minded.

Someone is offering you constructive criticism. It’s essential to put your ego aside. Carefully evaluate the legitimacy of the feedback. It’s better to remain quiet. Listen attentively. Only then give a response (if at all).

If you agree with their unfavorable appraisal or not, it’s in your best interest to open-mindedly consider it. You might be reluctant to hear it. What they say might be potentially beneficial.

Resist the immediate impulse to defend yourself. You will miss out on a valuable opportunity to learn something important about yourself.

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus

Keep your mouth shut if it would only further intensify someone’s anger.

It’s useless to respond to someone who is too fired up to listen. Any response will be premature. A response is likely to be experienced as an interruption. You don’t want to seem as though you’re not really listening. If there’s to be any hope of ultimately resolving the situation, it’s essential to devote your attention to hear the person out. Allow them to fully air their grievances. Only then, they might be open to hearing your viewpoint.

A closed mouth catches no flies. – Miguel de Cervantes

Keep your mouth shut if it would only intensify your own anger.

Following your impulse to attack a person who just upset you is only likely to exacerbate things. Emotions are best kept at moderate levels. When they start to become really pronounced, your better judgment can be severely compromised. You can react in ways you’ll later regret. Better to hold your tongue. Do whatever you can to remove yourself from that situation. Remember, “never make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.”

One’s eyes are what one is, one’s mouth is what one becomes. – John Galsworthy

Keep your mouth shut if it would likely offend someone.

You want to avoid offending someone without having any realistic possibility either of resolving the situation or improving the relationship. If you genuinely care about the other individual, then there is no good reason to put them on the defense. You especially don’t want to cause this with a coworker or loved one. If you believe that this would fall under “feedback” then I would have you ask yourself, “what am I looking to communicate about this person performance? How can I construct this feedback based on their tasks/skills, not emotions or personality?”

The reality is that everyone is different.

Some people are kind, loyal, and supportive. They can also quick to take offense. Some are highly reactive to criticism. Other people’s rigidity makes it virtually impossible for them to appreciate a differing viewpoint. If an individual says or does something that bothers you, it’s generally best to overlook it. Find a way to resolve your immediate frustrations with them rather than confronting them directly.

“It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

 

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Holding Yourself Back From Success

Success is not always easy, fair or a walk in the park as someone once noted.

The reality is that success is filled with numerous challenges as well as opportunities for growth and possibility. So how can you level the playing field and create more ease, fairness and turn that walk in the park one you will look forward to?

Let’s start with the obvious common denominator which is you.

We don’t want to always look inward as to what’s not working but with all the unknowns that surprise us every day – take solace in knowing you can do something about it.

Instead of blaming external circumstances – lets look at how we sabotage our own success and happiness. Here are 5 of the most common ways we derail our own lives.

“Comparison is the thief of joy”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Comparison

I wrote about this in a previous article. Comparing ourselves to others is a slippery slope – especially when we usually know less than the full story of facts. Comparison always includes judging. If the result turns out unfavorable for us, it’s easy to think of ourselves as a failure. Society has us constantly measuring ourselves to what we see on tv or online – a vision of the unreal. Aspiring to follow a trend or measure our self and worth against something fake is a lose-lose.

Instead try this: Take stock on who you are and what strengths you have that has brought you this far. Create a list of all your accomplishment and don’t stop until you feel you have exhausted all avenues. If you get stuck, ask five friends or colleagues – the key is to collect new and empowering evidence of who you and how great you are.

For more reading on how to stop derailing your own life I recommend:


 

“Self-confidence is not taught or learned; it is earned by surpassing your own self-limitations”
– John Raynolds

Self-doubt

Self-doubt can be one of the most powerful drivers in life – unfortunately many times it’s force is to strong to control and we are overtaken with our insecurities and beliefs about how we aren’t able to measure up in times of need. Embracing potential failure is part of the road to success (look at my article “Leadership Lessons: 20 Famous People Who Failed At First) but giving up is unacceptable. It’s okay to pause and reflect as a stepping stone to move forward. Just make sure your pause doesn’t become permanent.

Instead try this: Don’t think about why you can’t, but how, and what you need in order to succeed. What’s one action you could take right now? – no matter how small. Direct your energy towards learning to accept yourself, and appreciate what you have accomplished already. List your achievements and name everything, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

 

“Holding on to the past means you can never be open to having a future” – Laurann Dohner

Holding on to the past

I love the expression, “when the past calls, let it go to voicemail as it has nothing new to say” – this is so true. The past is the past and although there are times we love to remember the good ol’ days – there are many days that may not have been so good and our brains aren’t the best at filtering out our highlights from our lowlights. No matter what we do, we can’t change it. Everyone has emotional baggage to carry, but the crucial factor is what we do with it: Are we willing to learn and move on, or are we going to dwell on it and consider being unhappy our fate? The choice is truly yours.

Instead try this: Don’t regard the past as a burden or a happy time gone forever, instead look to it as a motivation to make things better and a stepping stone towards something bigger and better. And, above all, forgive yourself for past mistakes. Forgiveness is necessary for self-healing.
 

 

“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
– Unknown

Fear of the unknown

Life is full of surprises and that’s what makes life…um…life. People are always seeking for the meaning of life while others are busy living it. Change is a constant and only possible if you’re not afraid of what might be coming your way. You always have a choice if you “choose” to see and take it. Life is trial and error.

Instead try this: Embrace the unknown and find solace in that no one knows everything or what’s coming their way. Your brain will try to protect you while your heart can ignite you. Ignite your passion and emotions around what’s possible in the state of unknown.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
– Thomas Edison

Fear of failure

If you believe you can’t do something, you will always prove yourself right. Winning at a losing pace is not sustainable for success or happiness. Failure is always a possibility when taking on a new venture. With each try, you can learn how to improve as well as a new skill. Eventually, if you keep at it – you are going to succeed. If you’re willing to embrace failure as a valuable experience to learn from, you will come out a winner every time.

Instead try this: Be gentle with yourself and recognize you may be taking on something you have never done before. Set yourself up for success but doing your homework on the task at hand and make sure you have a support system in place sufficient to achieve your goals.

 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence” – Vine Lombardi

Perfectionism

A mentor of mine once told me to strive for excellence and skip perfection as that is one target that will always be moving. I never understood what she meant until later in life. Perfection has a way of seducing you into lining your ducks up in a row before taking action when in fact – once you do that (if you can at all) the time has come and gone to take the necessary action. There will always be room for edits, revisions, rewrites, and iterations – it will never be perfect. At some point, though, you have to stop and trust that it’s good enough.

Instead try this: Before going down the rabbit hole of version 2.0+, get the input of some trusted advisors. Soliciting feedback can be scary but it can also be the necessary step needed to move yourself and your task closer to completion and dare I say “perfection.”

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

 

BRUCE-LEE’S-7-BELIEFS-FOR-A-MORE-PRODUCTIVE-LIFE

BRUCE LEE’S 7 BELIEFS FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE LIFE

There is no denying the power, prowess, and presence that Bruce Lee bestowed upon the millions of fans during his time.

He was a Hollywood superstar and martial artist extraordinaire. He was also a notable philosopher. His tragic death brought his life’s work to light for the world to read, understand and apply.

For your own Bruce Lee catch up I recommend:


Here are 7 core beliefs that he believed in and you can follow:

1. What are you really thinking about today?

“As you think, so shall you become.”

Perhaps the most basic statement of how we work. Think about what you are thinking today. What do those thoughts say about you? About your life? And how well do they really match your plans for your life and your image of yourself?

It’s easy to forget about this simple statement in everyday life. It’s easy to be quite incongruent with what you think on an ordinary day compared to how you view yourself and your goals. A simple extra reminder such as a post-it with this quote can be helpful to keep you and your thoughts on the right track.

 

2. Bruce Lee simplified.

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

If you want to improve your life then it’s tempting to want to add more. One problem with this may be that you don’t really have the time or energy to do more though. And so your efforts to improve become short-lived.

Adding more just creates stress and anxiety. Removing clutter and activities frees up time and energy for you to do more of what you really want to do.

As the clutter in your outer world decreases the clutter in your inner world also decreases.

This has the added benefit of making it easier to actually enjoy whatever you are doing even more while you are doing it.

Adding more thoughts and thinking things over for the 111:th time may create a sense of security. It’s also a good way to procrastinate. The more you think, the harder it gets to act. Perhaps because you want to keep that comforting sense of security.

Thinking has its place. It can help you plan a somewhat realistic route to your goal and help you avoid future pitfalls. Overthinking is however just a habit that will help you waste a lot of time.

 

3. Bruce Lee learned about himself in interactions.

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

The person that is the hardest to get to know is yourself. Studying yourself while you are alone may result in some insights. It’s likely to produce a lot of made up doubts in your mind. A good way to learn more about yourself is to study yourself interacting with others. How people react and act in these interactions can teach you a lot. What you think and how you react can perhaps teach you even more.

What you see, feel and hear in other people may be a reflection of you. The things you learn by thinking this way may not always be pleasant, but they can be enlightening. They help you to see yourself. These powerful insights can be very valuable for your personal growth. So, in interactions with others, try asking yourself: what is reflected?

 

4. Bruce Lee did not divide.

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

This is a very useful and powerful thought. It is also one that obviously is hard to live by. Why? I believe it’s because the ego loves to divide. It wants to feel better than someone else.

How can you overcome this way of thinking and feeling?

It boils down to not identifying so much with your thoughts or feelings. That doesn’t mean that you stop thinking or feeling. It just means that you realize that the thoughts and emotions are just things flowing through you.

You are not them. You are the consciousness observing them.

When you remember this it enables you to control the thoughts and feelings instead of the other way around. It also enables you to not take your thoughts too seriously. When you are not being so identified these things you become more inclined to include things, thoughts and people instead of excluding them. This creates a lot of inner freedom and stillness. Instead of fear, a need to divide your world and a search for conflicts.

 

5. Bruce Lee avoided a dependency on validation from others.

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

The ego wants to add because it thinks it’s not enough. One way of doing that is by craving validation from others. We want to feel smart, pretty, successful and so on. The validation makes you feel good for a while. Soon you need a new fix. The problem with being dependent on validation from other people is that you let other people control how you feel. This creates a roller coaster of emotion in your life.

To find more emotional stability you need to get your validation from a consistent source, yourself. You can replace the expectations and validation of others by setting your own expectations. Validate yourself.

Validate yourself by thinking about how awesome you are.

Don’t sell yourself short. Appreciate how far you have come and the positive things you have done. Appreciate your own value in the world. Set goals and achieve those goals. This builds confidence in yourself and in your abilities. These things will help you to build a habit of inner validation.

Now, showing off. Why do we do that?

To get validation from others. However, this need for validation often shines through and that is why a thing like bragging seldom works. Instead of seeing the cool and successful person you are trying to project people just see the insecure and needy person looking for validation. And your bragging falls flat.

 

6. Bruce Lee was proactive.

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

It’s easy to get locked into a reactive mindset. Follow along with whatever is happening. Do what the people around you do. React to whatever is going on. Get lost in your circumstances. This way of thinking doesn’t feel too good. You tend to feel powerless and like you are just drifting along.

A more useful and pleasurable way of living is to be proactive.

As Bruce says: to create opportunities despite the circumstances around you.

This feels better and provides better results. It’s also more difficult. It’s easier to just drift along in the reactive stream of life. If you want to be proactive then you may have to take the lead quite often. That can be scary.

Still, living proactively is so much more rewarding and exciting.

 

7. Bruce Lee was himself.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

Being yourself is a hard thing to do. You may do it sometimes. Other times you may forget or fall back into old thought patterns. You may imitate someone else. That comes through too. It may work.

I believe that being real will always look better. The genuine you is shining through. Without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness, it’s you to 100%. It’s you with not only your words but you with your voice tonality and body language. Which, some say is over 90% of communication. It’s you coming through on all channels of communication.

I’m not saying: “you should just be yourself because it’s the right thing to do etc.” I’m saying that I think being your authentic self:

– where you do little dividing
– need little validation from others
– ego is not running the show
– not trying to get something from someone

will give you better results and more satisfaction in your day to day life because you are in alignment with yourself. People really respect genuine and authentic people.

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).

8 WAYS TO STOP OVER-THINKING EVERYTHING

8 WAYS TO STOP OVERTHINKING

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.”
– Dalai Lama

News flash…if you have a tendency to overthink things, you’re simply being human.

Thinking things through can be a great thing of course. But overthinking can result in stagnation, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and even illness. Ultimately becoming someone who self-sabotages the good things that happen in life.

Can overthinking harm your brain in any way? According to Neuroscientist Paul King:

  • Certain types of thought can be unhealthy: obsessive thoughts, delusional thoughts, repetitive thoughts, and negative thoughts. These types of thoughts can create unstable wiring patterns in the brain, although the concern is primarily the functional outcome for the person engaged in that type of mental activity, not any physiological harm to the brain.

Our brains are hard-wired to constantly seek solutions to problems. When we face a crisis, or if we have an important decision to make, many of us fall into the trap of overthinking. You get stuck on a thought wheel that goes over and over again with no break and no insight whatsoever. It’s the kind of thinking that does nothing but perpetuate its own existence.

It’s important to recognize that we can use our own intellect and mental function to identify when we are “spinning our mental wheels” in vain and get out of this thought pattern.

Here are 8 ways to stop overthinking everything according to psychologist Dr. Kelly Neff:

1. Accept that You Have a Problem with Over-Thinking 

The first step to understanding if you have a real problem is probably the most difficult. We can only fix what we know is not working and then of course, acknowledge that you have a problem. If you feel like over-thinking stops you from living a happy life, making decisions, getting things done, or forming meaningful relationships, then you may have a problem. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity and depression when a bad thing happens, you certainly have a problem. If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask your friends and loved ones to be honest with you. Because they are usually the ones who will see it even if you cannot.

2. Forgive Yourself: Our Brains are Hardwired This Way

Once you can admit that you’re an over-thinker, forgive yourself. Because the brain actually makes over-thinking a natural tendency. According to Psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the leading expert in this field, “the organization of our brains sets us up for over-thinking.” This is because our brain weaves our thoughts and memories together instead of compartmentalizing them. So when something triggers a stressor or you get into a bad mood, it can unlock a ‘cascade’ of racing negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger for the bad mood. While the brain might automatically make these associations, once you’re aware, you can begin to solve the problem.

3. Breathe More

If our brains are wired in this ‘interconnected spider web’ where one bad event can trigger a tidal wave of negative thought associations, how can we break this pattern? The first and easiest thing you can do is BREATHE. Breathing will relax you, calm you, connect you to the present moment, and simply ground you. It sounds so simple but often when our mind starts to race to bad places, we become manic and frantic when what we need to do is relax the body and mind.

Try lying down and taking a two-second long deep inhalation in through the nose, followed by a four-second long exhalation out through the mouth. This breathing pattern increases the CO2 in the bloodstream, which can relax the body and calm the adrenal system’s response to the obsessive thoughts. Do this for 10 minutes or until the excessive thinking slows down.

4. Talk Less

So many of us over-thinkers can’t help but want to ‘talk it out’ when we feel stressed and worried. While talking about the worries can sometimes help, it usually will make things worse, especially if the person you are talking to is also an over-thinker, and you spend the entire time over-analyzing and dissecting every detail of every negative problem in your lives. You might end up working yourself up into a frenzy of negativity and feeling even more upset after the conversation. If you really feel the need to express your issues, you can always write them down, to clear them out of your mind and realize that your concerns might sound silly when you read them back to yourself.

5. Get Physical and Get Busy

It can be incredibly beneficial to do something physical, whether it is going for a brisk walk, playing with a pet or children, doing yoga, playing sports, swimming, or running.  In addition to physical exercises, engrossing activities that stimulate the brain can also be effective for redirecting obsessive thought patterns. Playing cards, learning a language, or playing all different types of games can be great diversions or interrupters of these thoughts. Activities that are both mentally and physically engrossing are the best, because they require enough absorption to pull you out of obsessive thinking patterns and into a state of flow.

6. Practice Mindfulness

One of the big things that over-thinkers struggle with is the ability to live in the present moment. So consumed by the failures of the past and the worries over the future, the present moment does not get the attention and love it deserves. Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” One of the best things you can possibly do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgment. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, you acknowledge them, and then let them go, energetically releasing them and clearing your space.

7. Surrender to the Universe

When we worry, we essentially hope to control the flow of life. This is because we’re attached to the outcome of a situation. We want things to happen a certain way, and we’re terrified that something could go wrong or that bad things could happen.

In reality, we have little to no control over the unfolding of events in life, at least not from the conscious standpoint. So, we can worry and obsess, or we can let go of our attachment to the outcomes. Surrender does not mean giving up. It just means you’re willing to go with the flow of the current instead of trying to swim against it. Surrender is a form of release and a form of peace. It means you’re willing to trust that everything works out as it’s supposed to: Trust that everything happens in its right time and place and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

8. Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

We must be mindful of our thoughts because our thoughts have more power than we realize. If you obsessively fear losing your job, you actually INCREASE that possibility. The same thing goes for worrying about contracting a life-threatening disease or medical condition. The more energy you send in that direction, the more likely you are to unknowingly give permission to your body to manifest this condition. Like attracts like. So the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about!

For more help on getting out of your own head:


Final Thoughts:

There are plenty of reasons to stop overthinking. And as I was researching this topic, I became increasingly clear on a few things:

  • Like any other topic, there are a ton of opinions and points of view on this subject. There is scientific evidence for some. But life experience is the basis for others.
  • This list embodies all the key points necessary for someone to determine whether they actually have an issue with overthinking. But it should also help you take action and retrain your mind. Both realizations can allow you to release the grip of overthinking.
  • Be patient and kind with yourself and remember your thoughts don’t own you and you aren’t your thoughts.
  • In full disclosure, I caught myself overthinking whether I should post this article.

So what do you do when you catch yourself overthinking?

Have an extra 2 minutes to discover more about yourself? Take the quiz to find out if you’re happy or comfortable.

With Leadership,
Joshua
www.JoshHMiller.com

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).