Manufacture Your Day by STEPPING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Why do we human beings try so hard to fit in rather than stand out? 

Since I was a little child I always wanted to be “normal”, even though I knew deep inside that I was not. I didn’t like to follow rules. I had a hard time listening to my parents and to my teachers. I always tried to push the boundaries. I wasn’t the best in school because I got bored so easily. I wanted to have fun at work, which didn’t really seem possible. I didn’t like fixed hours and I wasn’t really excited about social standards. I am sure that there was a lot more but you get the idea. 

Today I know that I am o.k. the way I am. I am different and that’s cool. I like to push boundaries because that’s what entrepreneurs do. 

I would like to encourage YOU to

  • set a goal that scares and excites you at the same time.
  • push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you (travel alone, have dinner alone, spend a holiday alone, sign up to deliver a stand-up comedian performance, go and sing karaoke, climb a mountain, swim through a lake, go parachuting or bungee jumping, and the list goes on).
  • discover your “new normal”. What makes you different and unique? What makes you stand out?

If you have the courage to try new things, to meet new people and to travel to new places, you will lose the urge of being normal. 

I want you to know that YOU ARE amazing and if you allow yourself to stand in your power by pushing your boundaries, your amazingness will be limitless. Yes!

Manufacture Your Day by BEING SELF-DISCIPLINED

I think I am a pretty self-disciplined person (or that is at least what people tell me) but it is certainly not always easy. For example, with running the most difficult task is to put on the shoes – once the shoes are on and you are out of the door, you can consider it done. 

Here is what the dictionary says:

“Someone who is selfdisciplined has the ability to control themselves and to make themselves work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell them what to do.”

In my mind it is all about getting into the habit of doing certain things consistently. 

Even when I am on vacation…

  • I make sure to run, swim or cycle every day.
  • I continue to serve YOU by writing these daily messages
  • I read
  • I listen to podcasts or audiobooks
  • I stay in touch with people

When I worked in the corporate world I often felt very frustrated when I was told what to do and how to do it. I kept thinking, “Does nobody notice that I have a brain?” Over the years I have learned that many employees feel the same way. It is the “spoon-feeding practice” that can drive people crazy.

If you are one of these people, here is what you can do: 

  • Learn to be assertive and have a conversation with your boss about how you are most productive when you do your work – a good conversation can do wonders.
  • Ask your boss what his expectations in you are – if you are not clear what his/her expectations are, it can cause frustration on both ends.
  • Practise daily disciplines – find something that inspires you (read quotes/books/my messages or watch short videos), say “hello, please and thank you”, be grateful for the things you have, get a short workout in, meditate (calm or headspace are great phone applications), eat healthy and nutritious food, sleep at least 7 hours, be on time;

If you focus on the little things, they will affect the big things.

Self-discipline is key.

Manufacture Your Day by BEING GRATEFUL

Happy Birthday to me….. 

A milestone birthday is the perfect opportunity to reflect. It’s true. I am grateful for all of it.

I constantly remind myself how much the most difficult times in my life have helped me to get to new heights, and that’s what I try to share with you. 

This year I will try a new experiment. From August 18 – August 25 my family and I will totally unplug from the internet. I am curious to see what happens. Nothing I assume. It’s time to practise what I preach. 

I am very grateful that I am happy and healthy. Can I ask for more?

I have noticed that I place more and more value on living a happy and joyful life. Isn’t this what it is all about?

When I am older I do not want to have any regrets and that’s why I have decided to….

  • worry less and travel more
  • stop caring so much about what others think
  • continue to care for my mental and physical health
  • tell the people close to me that I love them more often
  • express my feelings and help others to express theirs
  • live life with passion on a daily basis

Should some of these maybe be on your “no regrets list” as well? 

Here is to another year of leaving a sparkle in my messages and wherever I go! 

Manufacture Your Day by REMEMBERING PEOPLE’S NAME

If you would like to have a more productive and efficient work environment, make sure that your team members understand the importance of approaching someone with their name. 

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “hey” or “hey you” without mentioning a name, when someone needs something from another person. 

Here are my thoughts on this topic: 

  • Memorize people’s names – it doesn’t matter how many people you have on the team; your effort will pay off; 
  • Start using your team members’ name – it will make everybody feel like “somebody”;
  • When you write emails, it is important to address people by their name – if you don’t have the time to write “Hello Karin”, I recommend a time management class;
  • Workers are human beings, not bodies, not numbers – they are the ones who make sure to get a quality product out of the door. Would it be worth it to remember their names?
  • The name is the beginning of getting to know the person behind the name; 

Mirror, mirror on the wall……This is the most powerful message for all. 

In other words: 

If you demonstrate that you truly care by getting to know people, the employees will follow your lead. Guaranteed! 

 

Manufacture Your Day by REFUSING TO TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY

There are many people who are very dissatisfied frustrated with their own life and being rude to others seems to make them feel a tiny bit better. 

Unfortunately we find this kind of people at all levels of the organization. 

Here is what you can do when someone rubs you the wrong way: 

  • Pause and think – it gives you the chance to respond (responsibility = ability to respond, not to react)
  • Evaluate the exact situation – how much will this matter in a year from now? 
  • Ask open ended questions to make sure you understand what’s going on – this will help you to determine your course of action
  • Ask yourself why you feel offended? – Was it the tone? Was it the language? Was it the message? Did the person push one of your personal hot buttons? 
  • If you found the answer, ask yourself, “Have I ever made a similar mistake?” – Chances are you have and this will help to put things into perspective. 

It has been said that when you learn to let go you create space for something better. 

Isn’t this what you want? 

Manufacture Your Day by BUILDING SOMEONE UP

Have you ever considered that stress has the ability to turn you into a very different person? 

Stress can make us impatient, frustrated and even angry – and that’s how we start to communicate with the people around us. It happens to me. It happens to you. It happens to all of us. 

We may tell people that they are too slow, not trustworthy, unreliable, not smart enough, lazy, messy or too distracted. 

It is important to know that your words can and will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Language does matter but when we are stressed we don’t really think what kind of words leave our mouth. Awareness will help.

Did you know that the self-worth of a person and the net-worth of a business are in direct correlation. Keep this in mind. How can you make progress with people who wallow in self-doubt?

Today I would like to encourage you to listen like you have never listened before. Come from a place with the intention to understand instead of to judge. Oh, the difference this will make. 

You can either lift people or you can tear them down. It’s a choice. 

What choice will you make today? What is your “build-up strategy”?

Manufacture Your Day by REFUSING TO TALK BEHIND PEOPLE’S BACK

We all make mistakes. It’s human and it’s part of life. 

If more people would speak to each other instead of about each other, a lot of difficult situations could be avoided. 

Gossip is bad business practice and it will hurt you and the people around you.

I find that it just so easy to join others to complain about management, co-workers, direct reports, suppliers and even customers.

Why not stop driving the BMW (blaming, moaning and whining)? 

Here is what you can do: 

  • Learn to ask for what you want – if you cannot express yourself, people will make assumptions and won’t meet your expectations (about rules, procedures, expectations, and so much more).
  • If something really bothers you, approach the person and have a respectful but straight forward conversation with him/her. Most of the people will learn to appreciate your courage and your honesty. 
  • If someone else approaches you to complain about another person, simply say, “I don’t like to talk behind people’s back. What do you think has to happen so that we can improve the situation?” 
  • If a co-worker is very negative and complains a lot, you can say, “I have noticed that you are very negative lately. What’s going on? (listen) How does complaining help you to make things better? What actions do you think you have to take? 
  • If someone approaches you to complain about management, say, “I hear you. It can be very frustrating at times but complaining behind their back will hurt us more than it will hurt them. Let’s evaluate our choices (accept it, leave the company, change the way we look at them, learn to influence them and their actions). 
  • If your team members don’t meet your expectations, there could be three reasons. 1) They don’t understand what your expectations are. 2) They rarely receive constructive feedback. 3) They receive feedback but they are not being held accountable. 

Sometimes people are not aware and a good conversation can do wonders. Let’s not make assumptions and start getting into the habit of helping each other to get better. 

The majority of people is interested to improve but they are not used to work in an environment where excellence is expected. 

If we learn to do our part, people will be eager to learn and improve. 

Manufacture Your Day by SAYING “THANK YOU”

I am on vacation but that’s not the only reason that I feel happy, satisfied and fulfilled at this very moment. The main reason is that 5 of my readers reached out to me this week to thank me for my daily messages. 

It means a lot to me that these people took the time out of their busy life to thank me for my work (you know who you are). Sometimes I question if the time and effort I put into these messages is worthwhile for my readers but deep down I know that they add tremendous value.

People go through all kinds of things…. – job loss, stress, depression, fear, discouragement, job dissatisfaction, bosses who are tolerated as bullies, lack of appreciation, and so much more. They feel that my messages give them the kind of support they need. Unfortunately their daily challenges often remain unnoticed by family, friends and co-workers (= the cost of not caring). 

A long time ago someone told me that “thank you” has no business value. Of course this is always a matter of perception but for me it is unthinkable that I don’t thank others – maybe that’s why I get so much appreciation on a regular basis. If you give, you get. 

I want you to know that money will never be able to give me this much fulfillment as the connection that I am able to establish with people who I don’t even know in person. 

People chase happiness by chasing money, titles and prestige. If I have ………, I will be happy. It is a never ending story with no happy ending. 

How about being grateful for what you have and tell others what you appreciate about them?

My “Manufacture Your Day Messages” will help you to get further faster if you take them to heart. 

Thanks for reading my daily thoughts. 🙂

Manufacture Your Day by BEING PATIENT

I happen to think that storms can be a good thing. Sometimes we need a wake up call and a good storm can definitely clear the air. 

If we go through stormy times, we are forced to think different. Well, at least this is how it was for me. 

I often ask myself if I would be where I am today if I would have stayed in my well sheltered life in Austria. Good job, nice home, surrounded by family and a great network of friends. 

Despite all my challenges, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

I am in Austria right now and after having lived 15 years in Canada, I could step back into my “old life” without any problems. I still love the European lifestyle but I appreciate all the things that I have learned more than 4,000 miles away. Unfortunately very few of my friends experienced as much personal growth as I have but of course, that’s not their fault. 

If you have big dreams and ambitions but you feel that the storms in your life never seem to end, here is what I have learned:

  • Don’t blame things on outside circumstances, look within instead. What can you learn? What can you do different? What’s the good in the bad? What’s the lesson? 
  • Patience pays off, as long as you take consistent action along the way. Never give up and keep the faith. How would you evaluate your attitude and your effort?
  • If we wouldn’t go through stormy times, we wouldn’t appreciate the good ones. I have learned to be grateful for little things in life while I didn’t have the money to pay for materialistic things. How would a little bit more gratefulness for all the things you have change your outlook on life?

It has been said that tough times never last but tough people do. 

Learn to appreciate the storms in your life, and I can promise that they will benefit you more than they will hurt you.

Amazing, right?  

Manufacture Your Day by MAKING A PLAN TO RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES

I am in Europe at the moment to recharge my batteries. I do this for myself, my family and also for my clients. What are you doing to recharge yours? 

Many times when I work with a coaching client, he/she would like to explore the topic of effective stress management. I have made it my mission to make people aware how important it is to take some time off.  In Europe they actually recommend to take 3 weeks off because people will only start to fully relax in week 2, and in week 3 people usually start thinking about work again.

This is almost unheard off in North America. Usually people don’t have as much vacation time but even if they do, very few make it happen. They are trapped in their daily routine and most never plan ahead. It will only happen if it is in your calendar. 

Of course you can choose e a “staycation” but I do recommend that you travel to explore new things, different kinds of food, and of course new cultures. 

It is important to travel because it……

  • increases your curiosity – as soon as you tap into your curiosity, you will also become a better learner. 
  • increases your faith in humanity – if you see all the good that’s happening while you are on a trip, it will increase your level of trust.
  • increases your creativity – exploring new ways of doing things will gently force you to shift your perspective.
  • increases your happiness – anticipation of a trip is more meaningful than the purchase of new clothes or a new gadget.

Don’t think that you cannot afford to travel or that your job won’t allow you to be away for longer than a few days. Set a goal, make a plan and make it happen. 

Here is to you and to the creation of new experiences.