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Concentration

Disruptive Habits

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Disruptive Habits

In the Victory Letter last week I shared some thoughts around creating good habits to help us from our distractions. This week how about we talk about distractions that have become a bad habit?

First, let’s clarify what quantifies as a distraction. The dictionary states that it is, “A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else and creates extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.”

Last week I disconnected my home phone number, a landline that I have had since we moved into our home 24 years ago. What I had come to realize was that it had in fact for the most part become a distraction. Something I had been putting up with for a number of years.

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Fruits of Labor

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Fruits of Labor

Last week our Victory Circles embarked on a 30 day-challenge to create an audio recording, or photo or video every day.  The goal is to get focused on creating content that will drive their marketing efforts.

Not an easy challenge to be sure, however, the end results will be extremely beneficial for each person who actually does it.  The key and the reason to do any kind of a challenge is to get yourself into the habit of doing something of value in your life: whether it is to get healthier or to build your business skills.

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Laughing Flowers

 
earth laughs in flowers

he Autumn Equinox arrives here in Boulder this Wednesday morning at 2:22am, and as the summer begins to fade around us I feel compelled this Monday morning to pay homage to the beauty of flowers.

As a gardener, these special little creatures are the most sacred part of the peace I find in my garden.

One of my morning meditation rituals over the summer has been the removal of flower buds that have passed their prime and are left dying on their stem. Also known as deadheading, it’s important for the remaining flowers to thrive by removing those that have given their all.

During a recent morning ritual as the sun was rising I thought of how this practice also allows for removing the distractions of the dying flower bud from the thriving ones. And yes, as it goes with this mind of mine, it is a great metaphor for looking at what happens when unhealthy distractions that are not removed can stop healthy growth of just about anything - from flowers to your business. 

As we have explored the Master Mind Principle of Concentration this month I have stopped and looked at my own path and how I can let go of distractions that aren’t serving me. Just as quickly as a flower can fade we can allow distractions to stop us by becoming part of our every day normal actions.   

The questions I ask you to ponder for yourself as we head into this new season of change – What are your distractions costing you? What is the deadheading you should be doing to remove the distractions that are no longer serving you in your business and ultimately of course in your life. 

I recently tried an experiment with one of my biggest distractions in life as part of a performance challenge I am in over the next 90 days. One of my biggest distractions is my email inbox and I am now looking at it much differently… starting with the way I let it enter my day. 

The idea is to not look at your inbox for the first hour of your day. Instead, make your own list of what you need to get done in the day before you. What will serve you best? Then head to your email to respond and deal with those emails that assist you in getting that done.

More on this as I continue to experiment with it, but I can tell you my productivity has really increased. Good thing too, because I am getting ready for the Getting Your Message Out Fall Tour. I will be on the road for the most of the next three weeks.

If you would like to, please share in the comment section below what your favorite flower is.

Happy Autumn and lets make this season the best it can be!

To Your Successes and Victories, 
- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles   
www.VictoryCircles.com

 

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Courageous Concentration

The word courage has come up many times during the past couple of weeks. One of those ways was a direct question to me from two very different places. Both times the question shot right through me like an arrow, bringing every fiber of my being to attention:

What would you do differently if you were being totally courageous?

I really gave myself much introspection with this question – including pondering it during a recent hike up to the Royal Arch here in Boulder (See pics over on the blog).

Sure, my schedule especially moving into September has been incredibly demanding. Yet I felt there was more to what I was feeling other than just the fact that I was “busy.”

I found myself blaming the problem my tendency towards ADD symptoms (which I readily admit as an entrepreneur I can get a full dose of on a regular basis).  

Something was missing in all this busyness that wasn’t allowing me to reach my full potential and purpose. What I finally had to admit to myself after much introspection was that it was a lack of courage that really was throwing me completely out of whack!

Have you ever felt this way? 

While some people (including myself to be sure) might look at the things ahead as already pushing the envelope, I further had to ask – was I pushing the right envelopes?   

Was I fully underestimating my potential and not fully playing the game I needed to be playing?

September is a month that finds us easily overfilling our plates with a lot of to do’s.  How about the “to be’s” that designate what you want to become.

What if we started each day with not only looking at what we have to do, we looked towards each how we wanted to feel and wanted to be. How do you want to be enjoying your life right now in this day ahead and how do you touch the lives of those around you in the process?

In one of her many great talks, Brene Brown talks about the fear that shame brings. By asking the simple question: “am I meaningful?” Each of us needs to answer individually because we each march to the beat of a different drum. 

If you have been thinking that ADD symptoms have gotten the best of you, I want to share this week some great insights from the book, Driven to Distraction.

There are certain common signs of not putting your best foot forward when it comes to looking at courageously at the way you concentrate. Below please enjoy The 19 Keys of ADD.

Pick one or two out of this list that you want to change that show up most often for you. So many things can change when awareness is brought to the table… Wishing you great courage to make a difference - today and tomorrow!

To Your Successes and Victories, 
- Cheri 

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles   
www.VictoryCircles.com

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Digging Deeper

This week’s Victory Letter has compelled me to honor a man who has come in and out of my life. Always it seemed, when I needed to hear his words most. The man I am talking about is the man who wrote today’s quote, Dr. Wayne Dyer.

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Concentration Formula

1)   Create a plan (in writing if possible) that includes the timing for getting it done.

2)   Quiet and clear the mind to allow you to be fully present.  Presence is mandatory. Thus why too much daydreaming doesn’t allow you to get a whole lot done.

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Forming Filters

your beliefs influence your actions

Indian summer and the Fall season will take us this week to the ending of September and the beginning of October. Along with this change will be our wrap up of our conversations on the Master Mind Principle of Concentration.

So today, a final thought on the power of Concentration...

As a client and I discovered together this past week, mental filters are critical in one form or another to keep out the noise and distractions that can be all around us.

It’s difficult to concentrate with distractions that are constantly trying to get our attention. What are your greatest distractions?

Think of your distractions in three realms as you analyze the appropriate filter required to get the most focus in order to see what needs to be seen on a given basis. 

1. People - Who are the people you hang around most often?  Do they inspire you to take actions that matter to you - or perhaps only to them?

Use the people filter to pay attention in the course of your week ahead to those people who don’t have give the proper consideration of your time - also perhaps look to make sure your aren’t being the distractor to someone else. In contrast, who are the people that allow you to get things done and contribute in a number of ways to that process?

2. Places - Take a look around the place you do your daily work.  Is it organized in a way that makes you most productive?  Do you enjoy working in your space? Or are you finding excuses to constantly leave it to do something else....

Use the filter of a perfect work place that inspires you to be “in the zone” when you are working towards what needs to be done.   Get your work space organized - maybe even bringing in a professional organizer to assist you in a work space that only holds the items required to get the work done. 

3. Possibilities - While the opportunities in front of us are those things that get us charged up, do you have too many possibilities?  Especially those of you either at the lead of your own ship or managing others. 

Use the filter of planning to give life to the possibilities that matter most.  Give time lines to your potential possibilities.  Remember that it is okay to plan out two or three years in advance - those two or three years can allow the possibility to fully come to life in a way that is enriching and enduring for the long haul.

As we move toward the new Master Mind Principle of Cooperation this October, the People Filter becomes even more important to see who those colleagues, clients, and vendors are that contribute to the overall health and well being of your company. 

We kick off October with Founder and CEO of My Employees, David Long as our guest on Victory Circles Radio. Check out the info below as well as other events we have coming up this week. 

Try on these filters and give it your all. After all, putting our best foot forward gives back to ourselves and those whose lives we touch in so many ways. Share your favorite filter over on the blog. 

  

To Your Successes and Victories,   

- Cheri

  

Cheri Ruskus 

Author, Business Growth Coach, 
and Founder of the Victory Circles   

www.VictoryCircles.com  

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Golden Deadlines

an apple a day keeps the doctor away

How good are you at meeting deadlines? Stop and think back to the most recent major deadline that you reached that took you one step closer to a specific goal. How did it make you feel and how did you celebrate the accomplishment?

 

Today with apples dropping in my backyard at a rate I can barely keep up with (as I shared a few weeks back) it got me to thinking about this phrase an apple a day keeps the doctor away. While a very true statement in eating something that is rich in fiber and vitamin C, it also it a reminder about creating habits and rituals that sustain us.

 

Getting good at meeting deadlines is one of those habits, especially in our business life, that can bring us many more fruits to our labors. Continuously meeting deadlines can also wear us out mentally and physically.

 

This past week I found myself right on top of some deadlines that quite honestly were pretty darn stressful in getting all the logistics handled. With a few glitches along the way we were able to make the difference on the planet I was hoping to achieve. I got to tell you by Friday afternoon I was more than just a little fried!

 

Now normally, I would have hit Saturday morning full force with the back up work that needed to be done from making these deadlines. However, when I woke up to a gorgeous day on Saturday I decided to seize the day and enjoy myself, totally getting completely out of the work zone. After all isn't that what we are supposed to do with the weekends?

 

Together with my husband, and son, we headed out early for a hike in the high country. First stop was one of my favorite breakfast places up in Nederland, The Sundance Cafe. It was a spectacular day hanging out with my two favorite guys and our pooch. The glorious blue sky day and the golden aspens hitting their prime made it even all the better.


It was a perfect way to celebrate the week's hard work with no timeline or to dos.

 

Hiking back down the mountain from Lost Lake, surrounded by the intense beauty of Colorado gold aspens all around us, I kept thinking of this idea of a "Golden Deadline", the habit and ritual of celebrating our concentrated efforts.

 

What is a big deadline in front of you? Something that you know will require you to work hard with full concentration, letting nothing get in your way? Knowing that the focused effort you put forth could be a bit stressful, how about also planning the fun to be had at the realization of the deadline? What element can you put in place to enforce the "work hard, play hard" philosophy?

 

Coming up next week we are opening up the gates for the final time in 2014 for our Effective Email Marketing Course. This program has been a game changer. Keep an eye open for more info. If you are in the EEM alumni, you will of course have the opportunity to refresh at no charge.

 

In the meantime, with the last 100 days of 2014 starting tomorrow take a look at my colleague Gary Ryan Blair's 100-Day Challenge in the info at the bottom of todays letter. I have taken it before and it really is motivational to get Gary's short but powerful videos every day to take you where you want to go by the end of the year.

 

While the week ahead is once again is full of things that will keep me moving fast and furious I am ready to take it on, looking forward to the rewards at the end of the week. How about you?

 

Here's to creating habits and rituals that keep us in the game in healthy and fulfilling ways.

 

Here as well is to that apple a day! ;)

To Your Successes and Victories,

- Cheri 

 

Cheri Ruskus
Author, Business Growth Coach,
and Founder of the Victory Circles
www.VictoryCircles.com

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Contained Excuses

excuses are the destroyers of dreams

Sometimes life is not always easy, and easy actually feels like an insignificant word at the moment, to get all the things done that can be required of us in a single day, week, month or year for that matter.

On Saturday morning I woke up and looked out my bedroom window to see the sunrise, excited for the weekend ahead of me. As I looked from the sky to our field below I saw what I had hoped not see - serious frost all over the grass.

In a panic, I ran out to the garden to see a layer of frost on everything - and quite honestly - I cried - not wanting to say goodbye to my beloved garden with the coming of fall and subsequently winter.  

On Thursday night I had done what I could in the cold rain running around in the dark with a flashlight headband on covering, clipping and bringing in my potted plants. With warm days forecasted after the cold snap I knew in theory I could hang on to my garden for a bit longer if I did the work required.

And Friday night after coming home from dinner with a friend, I trusted the reports that it would only get to 40 degrees and didn’t cover the garden beds with the plastic that lay ready to go nearby. Yes, I had given myself the excuse that it would be okay and that I was just too tired after a busy week and wanted to head to bed.

With luck on my side, and the frost happening so close to dawn, the sun filled day didn’t allow Jack Frost enough time to do too much damage to the plants. You better believe on Saturday I gave the garden the time it needed to begin the harvesting with the only real thing lost was the majority of our basil.

What have been some recent excuses you might be telling yourself that could be robbing you of your dreams especially the big and important ones that matter most to you?

Sit down and write the obstacles sitting in front of you that created the excuse to begin with...  

Which one is the result of putting things off? 

Which one is self imposed and perhaps has a little (or a lot) fear mixed in with it?

Which one is centered on blaming someone else for the obstacle?   

Which one can you easily rectify by putting your complete focus on resolving it...possibly even as quickly as this week?  

By getting focused on what is needed to change the “story” can really make all the difference. We possess the ultimate power that can change the course of our lives.

Watch yourself this week and every time you say you can’t do something see if there is an excuse lying behind that “can’t” and how you can rectify it. In other words, contain that excuse...nip it in the bud...stop it from spreading further in your life.

I really encourage you to focus on one excuse you have been telling yourself for too long and look at what it will take to push through it this week.

Allow your actions to take you closer to something you have been dreaming of and wanting in your life? Share your excuse below to give you the momentum to contain it, as you proclaim your intention out loud to the world!

Know I am cheering you on every step of the way!

Happy discoveries as you end an excuse or two! 

To Your Successes and Victories,  

- Cheri

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Labor of Love

freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose

With Labor Day now celebrated again for another year it’s time to get back to work. I ask you this: how do you feel about your daily labors? 

Labor day was declared a holiday dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers starting in the state of Oregon in 1887.  It soon became a national tribute in 1894. The holiday was founded to honor the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well being of the country.

Most of us work for the financial reward it brings us - yet when you can also include the work you are passionate about creating into the mix it makes it even more fulfilling and rewarding.

As I was driving down the road last week, I heard the words of todays quote being belted out over the radio by Janis Joplin in her infamous song “Bobbie McGee” (originally written by Kris Kristofferson). 

Freedom is a word we cherish. In fact, it’s when our freedom in living a life we wish and honor is challenged that we have to stand up for what it is we really want to have and to hold.

In my work as a Business Coach I am consistently talking to people looking to improve the profitability of their business - most are looking for a way that improves the quality of the work they are doing, but occasionally I will lend a hand to those that are looking at completely changing what they are doing altogether.

I ran into a woman in the grocery store last week that has been a teller at my bank for many, many years.  She shared with me that after 25 years she quit her job last Monday because she could no longer take the stress it was bringing to her life.  She no longer felt valued, heard, and honored. On that specific Monday she had enough and walked out the door. 

Far too many people find themselves in that same situation. That’s when the words, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” comes to fruition.

This month in the Victory Circles we are moving from Accurate Thinking into the skill sets required through the Master Mind Principle of Concentration

Any time we are moving without purpose or with a concentrated effort that is taking us somewhere that we need to go, we become like the proverbial hamster on a wheel having stress and worry lead the way.  Living each day without much happiness in it deeply affect our overall health and the health of our business. 

So as you head back to work this 2nd day of September, just as the kids across the country are fully getting back into school - take a second and ask yourself: what is it that you want to accomplish in this business year?  What does freedom in your work really look like?  How can you fully be all that you want to be? Write down your answer, and keep it somewhere where you can refer to it often.

I hope that you are returning to work that fully brings you to many elements of joy everyday. Help stay accountable and share your goals in the comment section below.

Here’s to the freedom we each wish to see!   

  

To Your Successes and Victories,   

- Cheri

 

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 

and Founder of the Victory Circles   
www.VictoryCircles.com  

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