Starter or Sustainer?

girls-starting-lineAre you the person who loves the start-up process? Whether it’s a new business, reconfiguring your office space, writing the next great novel, or getting the junk drawer organized, some of us get our greatest boost when we make something new happen. Nothing is better than playing with the newness and the possibilities that you envision for the future are exciting.

You love innovation; new ideas, collaborations, activity and creating something from nothing. You can envision what needs to happen, pulling in resources, making connections and multi-tasking throughout. Everything is bright and shiny as you engage others in seeing your vision and joining you. There is energy, excitement and nervous anticipation. No matter, once it is up and running, regardless of the time it takes, be it months or years, you have checked out. You are done and have little interest in maintaining or sustaining it.

Now what??? Look for the people who have no interest in the nascent stage of development. They want to come in once something is established, avoiding the often drama infused start-up process. They are skilled at maintaining and growing something already existing.

You love to train, oversee, organize and develop actions that can take this business to the next level. You are skilled at implementation, overseeing and documenting what needs to happen. You are the anchor and the person who anticipates repeating patterns in the life cycle of an organization. You refine, tweak and strengthen operations.

We all have preferences and while we are not always able to choose 100% of what we do, it’s important to know what we are good at and what we favor. Some of us want to be at the head of the line, in the spotlight, performing at the out-of-the-box/creative level, yet we also will incorporate some sustainer methodology in our work. Likewise, the steward of the business will also be utilizing the skill-set of the creative/visionary in order to be successful. Yes, when we understand our preferences, we can better make meaningful, sustainable and personally satisfying contributions to the success of an endeavor AND the stress level is greatly reduced as well.

• Think of a time when you had your most positive professional experience
• Starter or sustainer?
• Was it by choice or by chance?

Journaling…To Write or Not to Write

imagesCA38GE3VWhat happens when we assign a name to an activity that was once not formalized as more than just writing? There is a seriousness, a decisiveness attached to it that is different now. You can find journals for travel, calling out to you with the illusive guarantee of a record to be kept alongside photos, ticket stubs and other mementos of trips taken. Baby books are timelines of another journey, so precious it is impossible not to note milestones on their pages. Fill in the blanks and your diary will come alive, your thoughts preserved for future reflection…or not.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the myriad of options. After all, an abundance of stores and sites are dedicated to selling beautifully bound journals, pens and more. I should know better by now. I have shelves and drawers filled with them, gifts from friends or purchased by me, begun half-heartedly or abandoned to a newer addition. Each volume beckons with a promise of being the one that will be the keeper of my words, the container of my thoughts, the chosen one…or not.

At its best, journaling has a meditative quality. It is a peaceful activity, a grounding experience, an internal process that stops time for the moment. It is a good habit and once engaged, provides a platform for expression that is very personal. Likewise, there is no end to the self judgments that abound when not doing it in the proscribed form.

What are some other ways to get going when you are not inspired?
• Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write, sans punctuation, only stream of consciousness
• Select a single thought, object or memory and write-dig deep and just write
• Go backwards. Start with the end of your day and complete with the beginning.

If the “written” word is not the best way for you to express yourself:
• Speak or sing your thoughts into a recording device
• Draw, collage or use color in ways to convey your inner feelings
• Use music/instruments as a medium

Access your creativity in ways that support you best and perhaps intersperse one method with another. After all, it is about YOU finding YOUR voice and the best way for YOU to express yourself is changeable!

©2015 Maureen Weisner

Control is an Illusion


“You cannot control the wind, but you can adjust your sails!”

I’m not a sailor. I’m not familiar with nautical lingo and barely missed being knocked overboard by the boom coming through. (Who knew that, “lower the boom” was not just an expression?) I can, however, appreciate the awareness and flexibility of those skilled at the helm as they focus on the mechanics of operation while I tighten the straps of my life vest. There is beauty in this ballet at sea as the wind is indeed the “engine” moving the boat along in concert with the sailor who engages it. On board everyone is involved in some manner by taking direction, shifting position or moving out of the way. Sometimes it is a speedy ride and other times it can be a struggle to get anywhere. Sometimes there is no wind at all and you are left floating in the middle of the river.

• What do you do when you are forced to slow down?
• Frantically seek a fix?
• What do you do when faced with an unexpected change?
• Dig in deeper or step back to refocus?

We are all experienced “sailors” in some fashion, perhaps not on water exactly, but in life’s situations. We cannot always control what happens. What we do have control over is how we respond. Experience teaches us that some things are salvageable and sometimes from the very worst chaos, from the least likely place, opportunity is revealed.

• What might you be missing?
• Which way is the wind really blowing?
• Who can you bring on board to create a solution?
• What if you did nothing?

©2013 Maureen Weisner