You Can’t Buy Peace

“Tell me what you envision for your future.”  She wanted a better, more peaceful life. She had gotten caught up in the rat race to succeed. She has been running the race from her first waking hours till she closed her eye lids for the night. But she exhausted herself and was drowning in discontent. There was no peace to be found. So we talked.

“Tell me about…you,” I asked.

She described her beautiful home, her beautiful children, her beautiful husband. She described her successful business. She went into great detail about how her work makes a difference in people’s life.

It’s true; she is successful and makes a positive difference in people’s lives. “Sounds like you’ve gotten what most people are trying to get. Are you sure you need me to help you be successful, when you’ve already defined yourself as successful?” I was a little confused.

“But something’s missing,” she whispered.

Sensing her tone, it was time to help direct the process.

“Money seems to be good, in fact very good,” I smiled; she affirmed. “Your hard work has made you professionally successful.”

“Yes, but I’m not enjoying it. My family wants for nothing. We have so much, but I’m not enjoying it, and I’m tired.” She gave that long exhale that everyone recognizes, translating to a sense of hopelessness.

“So what do you want?” I asked.

“I just want to enjoy my accomplishments. I want to enjoy what I have… what my family has. I want to just enjoy life without the pressure of always looking ahead and worrying.”

“Ok, so your goal is to enjoy all your many blessings. Genuinely enjoy what all you have, including your family.”

“Yes,” she said, “including my family. I want to enjoy my family. If I could just be present with my family and they could be present with me. I would love that,” she said excitedly having put words to her feelings.

“Well then, let’s start there. Goal number one is to…write this down… ‘Enjoy My Family.’ Now, let’s work on the steps to get you there.  Tell me, what does it look like to enjoy your family?”

As she spoke, there I saw it…a peace in her demeanor, a peace in her voice. It was a beautiful picture she described. She didn’t need coaching to financial security or wealth. She had plenty of that which will pass down to generations to come. With all her wealth, what eluded her the most was ‘peace.’

A peace she could not buy because peace is never for sale. It’s simply there for the taking if you know how to get it.

Get Paid In Intellectual Assets

Workers are losing money! No work, no paycheck. This kind of financial worry can cloud the thought processes from thinking of anything positive. But, breathe. Another ounce of worry is not going to improve our pockets. Instead, let’s think creatively about opportunities.

If you work for a company that offers professional development courses/opportunities, might this be a good time to utilize those resources? The time spent in improving your skill set is a time that will yield a higher ROI when the economy starts to take an upswing… and it will take an upswing.  So be ready. (programmer)

If your company has professional development for management personnel only, ask your HR representative if you can have access to these valuable resources for free. If you can find a creative way to receive intellectual assets if monetary assets are not available right now, why not do it?

When the world recovers from this pandemic… and it will recover… you may very well be in a position to move up to the next level in your career by the time all hands are back on deck in the workplace.  

Reflection Amidst Covid-19

Some coaches who are HR practitioners, like me, are trying to maneuver this unprecedented landscape too. I’m the small business HR strategic asset ‘on call,’ if you will. Having this hands-on knowledge and skill set helps me to do more of what I love – work directly with people to rise to the next level. But right now, the next level is a challenge.

As this pandemic challenges all of us to put our strategic planning hats on, I’m forced to sway my path a little more in another direction.  Right now we’re all forced to cope, to be flexible, to be resilient, to be a collective and help others wherever we can with what we have. So right now, I’m in corporate HR mode helping small companies with complex HR questions.

Like any good HR practitioner, I’ve set up my proverbial tent in from of the legislative door waiting to be the first to get any legislative news for my companies. I’m constantly tuned-in to Bloomberg watching for the changes in economic behavior in anticipation of the ‘curve ahead.’ All this vigilance is heightened in relation to our current way of life during the pandemic. We are all heightened and we are learning.

We will learn from this, as we always do. Next time we will be more prepared.  But as most of us are forced to be home, we can reflect on our life and career and what has mattered most. Think back to five short years ago. Are you glad you took steps to be where you are now? Or are you wishing you took some steps to elevate your lifestyle and financial security so that you are better able to storm this current crisis?

Let’s take a reflective moment amidst this Covid-19 crisis. Where do you want to be in five years, ten years or fifteen years when another possible unprecedented event may occur? Will you and your family be as secure and stable as possible while the rest of the world wonders what their next steps are going to be?

Isolation and Loneliness are Killers

Life is a bowl of cherries until one is scrambling for hand sanitizer and toilet paper, long after the face masks and gloves are gone. The coronavirus has caused a pandemic from the small private mom-and-pop shop to the multibillion dollar company called, the government.

Businesses across the U.S. are closing, from schools to churches, in an effort to contain the coronavirus as much as possible. Distancing and self-quarantines are highly encouraged. This is all well and good, but might another problem emerge? Isolation and the feeling of loneliness is a killer too.

While the nation hunkers-down for a short time, there are those that feel isolation and loneliness on a daily basis. Takeaway what little social interaction they may have, they could easily and quickly despair. So, what’s the solution to the possible secondary effects of distancing and self-quarantine?

There can be a tremendous amount of good to come out of this. Families who have not had the time to connect can do so online. The technological advancements are such that you can online visit with family and see smiling happy faces. If WhatsApp or Facetime is not available to the elderly in your family, a good old fashioned telephone call is a beautiful blessing.

America is a self-absorbed culture. Our lifestyle is so fast that if one cannot keep up, they simply get left behind. However, when a national crisis hits, we are also the first to extend a helping hand whether on our own soil or foreign. Americans are tremendous givers when others are in need.

Right now while the nation has a major slow down, I encourage you to give of your time. Your time means more than money to many friends and family who have been missing you. Your time can be exchanged via online or the phone. Whatever the method you use, your time is more valuable right now than you realize.

Call your family. Call your friends. Make the time count.

Wedding Season

There’s nothing brighter than the glittering lights of romance.  But don’t let the bright lights blind you from seeing the little dark corners of a person’s personality.  You’ll be marrying those little dark corners too and they could have a major impact on your life together.

Marriage is meant to be a lifelong committed partnership. Don’t go into it lightly. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself before that final “I do.”

  1. “What do I love about this person?”  Try to stay away from broad, emotional answers like, “this person makes me feel special.” Instead put something concrete into it. What does this person do to make you feel special?  You get the idea. You should be able to list about 10 solid yet different things you love about this person.
  2. Now that you have your list to get you started.  Ask yourself, “If these items diminish or go away completely, can I accept it?” “Will the lack of these things diminish my love for this person?” Really think about it, because something on that list may drastically change.
  3. Now, make another list asking, “What do I not like about this person?”
  4. Now, ask yourself, “If these items don’t improve or they actually get worse, can I continue to accept it and still live a joyful life with this person?” “Can these things diminish my love for this person?”

I know I’m being a romance killer right now, but there’s nothing romantic about an unhappy marriage or divorce.  I hope these questions will help you to dig deeply and seriously now about your choice before the “I dos” are said and the glitter has faded.  And hopefully the person you’re marrying has considered these questions for themselves because you’ve got little dark corners too.  

If any of the items on your list has caused you to pause, consider seeking professional counsel or advise on the issue(s) with someone who deals with pre-marital topics. Spending a little up front to settle the issues now may save you thousands in the long.

Make good decisions and may you have a long and joyful life.

Coronavirus Layoffs and Seemingly ‘Recession-proof’ industries

As more families give second thought to spring break vacations, the tourism industry will probably be hard hit. People are stockpiling on basic goods and putting luxury purchases aside with potential lay-offs and temporary shut-downs looming.

Typically, May is a strong hiring month in preparation for the busy summer months. It looks like the coronavirus has changed this hiring trend for 2020.

But workers in the construction and manufacturing industry may feel a bit more secure than others. Hiring new or replacement employees is an expensive process for businesses. Companies who need skilled workers with experience will be hesitant to let their current workers go.

Construction and manufacturing companies will be working hard to find creative ways to retain their current employees while balancing the slow down. If employees and employers work together to get through the pandemic, these folks will feel less of the pocket pinch as the rest of us.

For more on this, click here on MarketWatch.