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What You Can Learn From Jugglers

Are you fascinated by jugglers? We are! Around the holidays, we sent our newsletter subscribers a link to an amazing video of a guy juggling six or seven balls AND playing a song on a keyboard! 

How do jugglers keep all those balls going? Since we’re not jugglers, we did some research. We found step-by-step instructions to learn how to juggle, written by Dr. Craig Rusbult. He taught juggling at the University of Washington for ten years.

Can we learn anything from jugglers about balancing our professional and personal lives?

It turns out that we can!

Start with one ball.
You need to start with one ball and get used to the motion and pattern. Practice reaching the same peak time after time. It won’t be easy at first, but over time you’ll naturally control the ball.

To juggle work and life, start with one “ball” – work, family, you-time, or another area. Obviously, you can’t ignore the other areas, but you can, and must, FOCUS on one area to start.

Find the pattern in that area – take it to its peak while keeping it under control. Otherwise, it will control you.

Start adding balls, one at a time.
Once you’ve mastered one ball, add a second. Get used to juggling the two balls while staying in control. Then add another. You’ll see that it’s not that hard to juggle three balls because you only have one ball in the air at a time.

In your real life, add a second area and give it the attention it deserves. Then add a third. At any given moment, you’ll only have one ball in play. However, you’re always planning to put the next one in play. You’re juggling your life like a pro!

4 tips to become a great work-life juggler

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

  • Find your rhythm
  • Consistency is the key – you know what to expect. You’ve established patterns of behavior. Your balls peak at the same height, which keeps your timing in check.

  • Keep it going.
  • Getting started is the hard part. Once you get it going and find your rhythm, it just naturally happens. You’re relaxed – you don’t have to force it, you’re just going with the flow.

  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Don’t worry about dropping the ball. You’re not perfect. Don’t expect yourself to be. Just smile and start juggling again!

How do you juggle all the balls in your life? Leave us a Comment.

Our Bigg Quote comes from Thomas Merton:

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity
but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

It’s fun to watch a juggler, but the act always comes to an end. Learn to juggle your life because your show must go on!

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do when you have more potential than your job offers. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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CYA: Does It Pay?

You’ve probably encountered people who never take responsibility for ANYTHING. That’s what sparked today’s blog –

Does it pay to shift the blame?

On the show, Mary-Lynn said that she believes it DOES pay.

She said she is not a blame-shifter herself, but she has worked with them. In her experience, they often get away with it. Sometimes they even get rewarded with promotions or a better job!

George retorted that it may work short-term, but it DOES NOT pay in the long run. He talked about a manager he had who never accepted responsibility. He knew that meant one of two things – either she wasn’t doing anything, or she was passing the buck. So he fired her.

It hurts morale when employees see people getting away with not accepting responsibility. George said he learned this lesson the hard way – after firing an employee, another employee asked why it took him so long!

As an employee, you don’t have many options when you’re working with a blame-shifter. However, there is one thing you can do – document, document, document. You don’t want to get blamed for THEIR mistakes.

However, as a leader, you can create a culture where it’s okay to accept blame. That’s important because your employees are often afraid of the consequences of owning up to their mistakes.

So focus on fixing the problem, not the blame.

To rephrase an old saying, “It’s amazing how much gets accomplished when no one cares who gets the blame.”

In our society today, we seem to do the opposite – we rush to find SOMEBODY to blame, rather than fixing the problem. Mary-Lynn said that’s why it pays to be a blame-shifter.

George said he remembered an employee who always blamed something or someone. George told him that he had a lot of potential. He wouldn’t get fired for making a mistake, but he was going to get fired if he didn’t start taking responsibility.

He became one of George’s top managers. That won’t work with all employees, but it will work with the ones you want to keep.

Admit your mistakes
Lead by example – when your employees see you admitting mistakes, they’ll feel safe doing the same.

Distribute the credit liberally and focus the blame conservatively. Give more credit to your team; accept more blame yourself. You’ll win the hearts and minds of your team when you do this.

How to get away with shifting the blame
George said that there was one way you might get away with always shifting the blame.

Be a moving target.

If you’re constantly moving from job to job, company to company, place to place, you might get away with it in the long run. But do you really want to live that life – always looking over your shoulder, always worrying that you’ll be found out?

Mary-Lynn responded that blame-shifters do move – and it’s usually UP – to a better job!

What do you think? Does CYA pay?

Our bigg quote today is by the great writer, Oscar Wilde.

“It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you place the blame.”

 
In the game of life, great teams experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat together, not as individuals.

Next time, we’ll discuss what you can learn from jugglers. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Only You Can Prevent Burnout

By Bigg Success Staff
01-26-08

Work-Life Balance

heart_of_a_fire

Physical discomforts get our attention. We quickly buy a new chair for our desk or get an ergonomically-designed keyboard. We may even go to our doctors for help.

So why don’t we approach mental “discomforts” the same way?

When we experience these symptoms, we tell ourselves that “we must be strong”, “we have to push on”, or something similar.

But these symptoms may be early signs of burnout. Burnout happens gradually as a result of prolonged, unresolved stress.

Smokey Bear says, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

It’s also true that only you can prevent burnout.

No one will do it for you. It’s up to you to recognize it and do something about it. Here are three things you can do:

# 1 – Don’t get caught in the “superman” or “superwoman” trap.
You have a set of expectations. Others have expectations of you. Are they realistic?

You need to have goals, but 144 these goals have to be achievable]. Otherwise, you’ll just get more and more frustrated with yourself.

113 Learn to say “no”] to others when you know that you’ll have to do something superhuman to give them what they want. And by superhuman, we don’t mean “leaping tall buildings”.

We mean setting aside time that you don’t have. Taking on another project when your to-do list is already insane. NOT doing something that’s important to you in order to do something that’s important to them.

Accept the fact that you’re only human – it’s a good thing.

#2 – Get past the “buzz killers”.
Some people are all “take” and no “give”. They expect a lot from you, but when you need a friend, they’re no where to be found. Get past them – find some new friends! That’s easy to say, but no so easy to do. However, you’ll be richly rewarded for hanging out with the right crowd.

Places can be buzz killers, too. The most obvious one is where you work. If you’re being asked to do more and more with less and less, you may need to move on. 57 Change the job] or 135 change jobs].

#3 – Find more “buzz builders”
One of the secrets to preventing burnout is to make sure you have plenty of enjoyable activities. Work should be one of those, as we just discussed. But you need more than that or you will burnout at some point.

There are many ways to build buzz in your life. Some examples are:

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Volunteer for a cause in which you believe
  • Take a class
  • 98 Get a hobby]
  • Start a personal journal
  • Read great books

How about you … what builds you up?

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(Image by Marcus Vegas, CC 2.0)

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TMI Is Not So Gr8

We’re not talking about TMI in the typical sense – someone reveals too much about themselves. We’re thinking about information overload.

Something we all know about. It takes skill to manage all this information. You don’t learn that skill in school. So here are some thoughts on how to manage it all.

Set limits
Establish times when you you’re available, or when you’re NOT. Some occupations require more accessibility than others. But everybody can set limits.

You don’t have to read every e-mail when it comes in! Set times to view it.

For example, you may check it first thing in the morning. Then again around lunch. Finally look it over near the end of your day.

Do what works for you, but don’t become a slave to your incoming messages.

Turn off your alerts, so you don’t see every incoming message. Use filters to automatically divert some types of messages – like those that are fun or personal – to another designated place.

If you’re like most people, it’s easier to resist temptation if you don’t see it.

Also spend a pre-determined amount of time reading and responding to e-mail. This will force you to write more efficiently. Short and to the point!

Now, let’s look at another “Inbox” – the one on your desk.

Set up three Inboxes – low, normal, and high priority, like you have with e-mail. Let the person placing something in your box establish the priority. You’ll see who the abusers are soon enough.

How about those pesky phone calls? You need to filter them, too.

Use voice mail as your virtual assistant. Then you can listen to all your messages at one time and respond accordingly.

Prioritize
Many people spend their time on what’s in front of them, instead of focusing on what’s most important.

Take some advice from Stephen Covey, as described in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Ask yourself two questions:

  • Is it important?
  • Is it urgent?

Obviously, if it’s important AND urgent, you have to react.

The more time you spend on important, but NOT urgent activities, the better. You’ll have fewer important AND urgent items on your agenda over time if you focus on these important, but NOT urgent things.

You’ll also have opportunities that are urgent, but NOT important.  It’s in front of you, and it may even be important to someone else. You know … they have an emergency. But it’s NOT important to you.

So here’s our question – aren’t you too important to deal with anything that’s not important?

Important people work on important things because
that’s how they will become even more important.

We’ve barely scratched the surface. We need more information!
Let us know how you cope with information overload. We can use the help!
Leave a comment.

Our Bigg Quote today is by Erma Bombeck.

“I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer.
It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up.”

So don’t lock up – scan your system for fragments of information that you don’t need so you can run more smoothly and efficiently.

There’s a lot of talk about a coming recession. We’ll offer some tips on surviving, and thriving, a recession next time. Just in case!

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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How To Succeed The George Costanza Way

By Bigg Success Staff
01-24-08

Timeless Principles

U-turn_sign

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where all the characters turned into their opposites?

George was unattached, unemployed and still living with his parents. He decided that every decision he had ever made was wrong because he was 180 degrees from the life he wanted.  

Since his life was the complete opposite of what he wanted, George decided that he would do the opposite of what his instincts told him. Then he should get his dream life.

Guess what? It worked! The next thing you know, George had a girlfriend, a job with the New York Yankees, and his own place.

We can learn a timeless lesson from George Costanza. There are two ways to succeed.

  • Do what successful people do.
  • Do the opposite of what unsuccessful people do.

We’ve heard it before – successful people do what unsuccessful don’t. While this saying is easy to remember, it doesn’t explicitly state an important fundamental of success.

It’s often easy to do something once. It’s a little harder to do it twice. It’s very difficult to make it a habit. Yet successful people have different habits than unsuccessful people.

That’s the difference – the habits!

You have to consistently pursue success. Moment by moment. Day after day. Year after year. It doesn’t happen in a flash.

It’s not always exciting. It’s about the nitty-gritty. Paying attention to little things.

It’s self-discipline. To do what you need to do, not what you want to do.

It’s delayed gratification. Accepting less now so you can have more later. 

It’s persistence. You have to keep on keeping on. No matter what. Overcome obstacles and keep pushing. Never give up.

Remember this basic principle …
If you continue to do what you’ve always done, then the best you can expect is what you already have.

If you don’t want more of the same, you’ll have to change your habits. Find out what makes successful people successful and do that, or look at unsuccessful people’s habits and do the opposite.

That’s how to succeed the George Costanza way!

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(Image by norax, CC 2.0)