Posts in Food For Thought
End of Year Rituals that Create New Year Energy Bursts

As the year comes to an end many of us embrace our own practices and rituals, reflection and create time to rest.  Typically then quickly followed by planning and goal setting the first few weeks of the year once the Holiday buzz starts to fade.  I find these two weeks to be a particularly great time to reflect and plan, express gratitude and renew my resolve towards aspirations I am working towards.  Over the past three years I have created a new practice for myself I would like to share, It is a combination of tools I have picked up over the years, and my top two influencers in this ritual are Kathlyn Hendricks and David Allen.  

What I notice each year is that as the calendar comes to a close to turn over a new chapter, I feel an uprising energy to anticipate what is to come and also reflect on what has happened.  Today I want to talk about tools to support your completion of a year, and allow for the most energy possible to come with you into the new year.  I will share with you in two weeks what my rituals are around goal setting and intentions.  

My first activity is to brainstorm and think of any possible items that have gone undone and make a list.  I find that "energy leaks", absent mindedness or lack of focus are all a result of keeping too much in my mind and not enough on paper or in a reliable place I can come back to, to get things done.  So step one, take an active inventory of all the items out there you might not have completed or are still in limbo. 

After I have a good list of items that are still un done or slipped my mind, a practice I learned from David Allen, "Closing the loop" of communication.  The term is somewhat self explanatory, and, It is important to get at the root at this concept which is proactively coming back to anything to "tie a bow on it" so everyone involved is on the same page.  Closing the loop looks like when you say you are going to do something, and then you do it, go back to the person you told you would do the thing, and tell them what happened, close the loop.  When loops are not closed, energy can get leaked out as it creates wonder or mistrust in the person on the other end. Closing the loop  keeps a flow between the people you make agreements with and creates space for creativity and collaboration as well. 

Once you have your list, you review it, communicate with each of the items or take action if only you are involved, that act is called "completing".  You know that rush of energy that comes with crossing items off your to do list, well, this is what I am talking about, creating action around completing with all (as many as possible) agreements or things left undone that you have accumulated over the year.  What this does for me is acts as wind at my back, giving me more energy and a more ready mind to go into the next year.  You might say, I have actives that cary over into next year, of course, so do I, and the trick is to be conscious of that and have a plan for how those items play out.  I have a tendency to have one large to do list or project list that is on going, and sometimes one of those items gets a little bit of work done on it each day for three months, and then it becomes complete.  If you have items like that, I find having a deadline I am moving towards and time slotted to reach mini completions along the way.  If it is an 80 slide presentation, divide it into sections of 20 slides and give yourself 2 hours a week to complete it over the course of 5-6 weeks.  Those types of completion activities have really done wonders for my energy levels and I have Kathlyn Hendricks to thank for teaching me this skill.

As you spend time reflecting and realizing over the next two weeks, remember to actively evaluate your completions for the year.  If nothing else do this from a place of wanting as much energy as possible to bring to your goal setting sessions in 2017.  

In my next post, I will share with you my own version of how I set my goals and intentions for each year.  

Thank you for reading along and please let me know if I can help you with these items, I have found that collaboration is of the highest importance to support ongoing creativity and I would enjoy collaborating with you!


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

Contemplating Air Travel & Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about the miracle of flight travel, do you ever let yourself really think about what flying is, the up in the air invention that allows us to pass through time zones in the sky!  I can leave my house at 6am, be in London Less than 10 hours later, that is remarkable when you consider it used to take a month to cross the ocean and some couldn't even make the journey!  It is easy to allow yourself to expand your mind to think about the miracle of air travel, but how often do you let yourself think about other "big ideas" that contribute to your daily life? 

Most human beings have the natural disposition to seek comfort, consistency and routine, it creates the feeling of accomplishment, and is a method in which to play inside the construct you invented that is your life.  So what is it about the human condition that creates the desire for comfort more than the desire for growth? One conclusion can be that comfort can be seen as an avoidance to stress, you seek comfort, keep things the same, rely on routine to maintain what you know and do.  A fairly frequent buzz phrase when evaluating your over all well being is "are you stressed?" That tells me that a large portion of our world is using the word "stressed" as a placeholder for the side affects of rapid expansion or change without a plan.

An alternative way of evaluating your stress levels is you can take an inventory of what kind of activities you are involved in and where do you really spend your time.  Busy does not equal productive, and it is really easy to confuse productive and meaningful work with things that fill your calendar and to do list.    I know for me, I have chosen to detach from the word "stressed", the word does not have any meaning I can relate to as I like to think I am choosing to do and participate in where I spend my time.  I love what Jim collins talks about in Good to Great, the Stockdale Pradox, being willing to confront what you are spending time on and once you have looked the brutal facts in the eye, from there you can evaluate your steps forward. 

When you can “maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be,” you are embracing what Jim Collins calls the Stockdale Paradox

Another super meaningful dialog on the topic is found here in the below video.  Gary Vaynerchuck is the CEO of a successful media consulting agency and at around 15 minutes into this talk he goes over what I think is a huge driver in the inability to "confront the brutal facts".  As he talks about, no one wants to look at "the thing" that can be measured, to really point to success or not, because if they did then they would be accountable to "that thing".  That would disrupt the "game".  What Gary says here is everything.  Maybe we are "stressed" because we can not take a hard look at WHY we are doing what we are doing and just got stuck in the wheel of work not having a purpose. 

"The game is structured in a way where you are playing within it because you have mortgages , You are not making decisions based on what you believe, instead you are making decisions based on what is palpable and acceptable within the ecosystem that is created, here is punch line tho, if you are doing something to grow within an organization or not rock the boat and have stability it doesn't mean what you are doing is right, it just means its right for you within the context of the game you chose." -Gary Vaynerchuck

When you notice you are tired, not into what you are doing or looking for an escape, ask yourself why are you doing what you're doing?  Did you say "yes" to a series of requests that placed you were you are today? Resulting in now it is just "what you do".  Whatever you spend your time doing, My hope for you is that you have heart in it, heart does not promise daily glamour, in contrast it requires extreme levels of discipline.  Here is the truth for me, when you have heart, stress isn't stress, your day is filled with what you want to do vs. have to do.  

Are you part of a system unconsciously making someone else's dreams come true?  Regardless of your position, the opportunity to take stock of your reality is always present and a fantastic way to live.  


Interested in Continuing this Conversation? Contact me Here: 

Name *
Name

LINDSEY RAINWATER, ALSO KNOWN AS LINDSEY RAINH2O, IS A SOUGHT-AFTER BUSINESS CONSULTANT, LEADERSHIP COACH, WRITER AND PRESENTER TO THE FITNESS AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAINWATER, FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @LINDSEYRAINH2O

Help People Solve Problems
Name *
Name

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

The Most Important Fact Every Organization Must Realize
"Why modern organizations must move beyond a simple alignment of IT with business practices, to a complete, corporate-wide embrace of digital technology and all that it entails." -Digital Outliers Podcast

If you're a manager or leader, how many times have you been met with the phrase "That's not my job", I cringe at the thought of being on the receiving end of that statement.  Regardless of how short sighted it might be, people can demonstrate the tendency to compartmentalize their role or job into the title they are given. If you're in sales, you're not in marketing, if you're in operations, you're not in sales.  My opinion is that this is a dying idea, one that is starting to become an expression of past. 

The employee of the future might have a specialty of sorts but over all demonstrates  a well rounded acumen that addresses many different roles and is a closer cousin of that of an entrepreneur.

The driver behind this shift  in thinking is technology, and not just "tech", I am talking about the way that the internet of everything is increasingly the way of the future.  In the old world IT has historically been the driver on any initiative concerning tech and how the company will deploy their strategies relative to technology.  In today's evolving world it is important that if you want to be the best sales person, you have to also be a fantastic marketer.  Not to mention a tremendous relationship builder that is also dynamic at demonstrating how technology impacts their role.  A successful sales person today can not rely solely on their in person charm, their own personal Omni Chanel must demonstrate a through line so that what they present digitally is also the in person experience. 

On this topic there are many thought leaders inside the fitness industry, my good friend Bryan O'Rourke and Rasmus Ingerslev are two outrageously awesome thought leaders to watch on these topics.  Likewise,  two thought leaders I admire outside the Fitness Industry are Brian Solis and Didier Bonnet,  these two do a stellar job articulating this concept in a concise and easy to understand way. 

In one of Mr. Brian Solis's  most recent podcasts, Digital Outliers he spoke with Didier Bonnet (@didiebon),  Senior Vice-President and Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting and the co author of one of my favorite books, Leading digital.   I have listened to the podcast about a dozen times at this point because the message was so well articulated that It has to be shared here.   I am so impressed with Didier and Brian's dialog and ability to articulate such a complex topic so succinctly. Click here or on the link below to listen. 

Digital Transformation is really a business transformation driven by the current digital wave. If you can not get your workforce to adapt to this change, then your program will fail... the people side of the digital transformation is still as valued as any transformation, that’s where the big block is... the technology side is not the most difficult thing to change, the people change within the organizational change is the far more difficult to pull off. “
— Didier Bonnet

At the end of the day, the responsibly as individuals is to round out our skills to reflect today's world.  This is a wonderful opportunity for growth for many.

What do you think?  Check out the podcast and let me know, how are you and your organization adjusting to the dissolving IT roles and adapting to the new world?

Name *
Name

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

How Your Ego is Impacting Your Business and How to Confront it.

I am reading the book right now, Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and for the past week I have been sorting through what parts to share with you here and what topics to really hone in one.  For now, I want to share with you this excerpt as it relates to business and how ego impacts leaders ability to really help people.  

It has been my experience that comfort can be a tremendous driver in the way of ego and a direct impact to leadership being of value to the people they serve.  When I watch comfort play out it looks like choosing to do what is familiar instead of creating a new way, acting in ways that are familiar instead of taking risks and learning something new.  Comfort can provide just enough delusion that everything is "good" and then when something happens, because it will, we act surprised as if life just happens "to us", when really everything requires our consent whether we are conscious of it or not. 

Name *
Name

Ego driven by comfort is the notion that we have learned enough and are in a position because  we have "earned it" a result usually of some misunderstood idea of arrival. There is no arrival point, and in leaderships  roles, titles can be dolled out but really it is purely a reflection of time in position or affiliation vs true capabilities.  Ego tells us we are "safe" in a role because we have done the job a long time, or made an impact that acts as a "stamp" on the resume.  The reality is that none of us are promised a result based on efforts, ego tells us we are owed something and if we don't feel a certain level of "good" then we have not arrived yet. 

Check out the book and thoughts below from Ryan, what do you think? Is comfort at the root of our troubles in relation to Ego? 

Send me a note, I would love to hear from you. 

What does “Ego is the Enemy” mean? Is ego actually an enemy of success or growth? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Ryan Holiday, Bestselling author of Ego is the Enemy and media critic, on Quora.

I should clear up that I am not talking about the Ego. I am talking about ego.

Freud described the ego with a famous analogy—our ego was the rider on a horse, with our unconscious drives representing the animal while the ego tried to direct them. Modern psychologists, on the other hand, use the word “egotist” to refer to someone dangerously focused on themselves and with disregard for anyone else. All these definitions are true enough but of little value outside a clinical setting.

I’m referring to the colloquial definition of ego: an unhealthy belief in your own importance. It is, as Bill Walsh put it, “where confidence becomes arrogance.” One of the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous defined ego as “a conscious separation from.” From what? Everything.

The ways this separation manifests itself negatively are immense: We can’t work with other people if we’ve put up walls. We can’t improve the world if we don’t understand it or ourselves. We can’t take or receive feedback if we are incapable of or uninterested in hearing from outside sources.We can’t recognize opportunities—or create them— if instead of seeing what is in front of us, we live inside our own fantasy. Without an accurate accounting of our own abilities compared to others, what we have is not confidence but delusion. How are we supposed to reach, motivate, or lead other people if we can’t relate to their needs—because we’ve lost touch with our own?

So when I say that “ego is the enemy,” what I am not saying is: Don’t have confidence in yourself. I am saying the a lack of self-awareness and unrealistic understanding of our own abilities will make a lot of things very difficult. Like mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity. Of repeating and retaining your success. It repulses advantages and opportunities. It’s a magnet for enemies and errors.

When people say, “But a little bit of ego is a good thing,” they’ve considered the matter only superficially. What they mean is that success requires a certain confidence, a faith in oneself—and in that they are correct. But it’s critical that we make the distinction between confidence and ego.

The mixed martial arts pioneer and UFC champion Frank Shamrock has observed that of the two, only confidence can bear weight. “Confidence is important,” he said, “But ego is something false. Humility is the way to build confidence, and ego is hugely dangerous in this sport, because if you’re running on ego you aren’t running on good clean emotions or cause and effect. You bypass it to support a false idea. It’s all garbage, the ego is garbage.”

Confidence is based on what is real—it is earned. Ego is based on delusion and wishful thinking—it is artifice. Confidence doesn’t alienate us from others. On the contrary, it allows us to relate to others better—because it has removed insecurity and fear from the equation.

The second you believe in your greatness, the artist Marina Abramovic explains, that’s the death of your creative career. If ego is the voice that tells us we’re better than we really are, we can say ego inhibits true success by preventing a direct and honest connection to the world around us.

In that sense—and the way I’m defining it (as well as how other smarter people than I have)—no, I don’t think there is any positive element in ego. Therefore, it’s an enemy.

This question originally appeared on Quora. - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google+. More questions:


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O