2014 Focus: Alignment and Passion

If you read through my blog, you will discover that each year, not only do I do my personal and business goal planning, I also have a long history of starting each new year with a “Word of the Year” or a “Quote of the Year”. I do not really recall where and when I started to do this.  It’s just always been a part of what I do.

This year, 2014,  my Word of the Year is : Alignment. 

A supporting word of the year is: Passion.

Basically, everything I do this year need to be in alignment with each other and based on passion.  This means, teams I work on, teams I work for,  personal goals or tasks, professional goals and benchmarks I will achieveDomino-Line-518x389need to be in alignment with my top 5 passions.

When all we do is aligned with one another, amazing things happen.

When the teams we work with, participate in are in alignment with one another- even more incredible things occur!

The ‘quote’ of the year will be: “Does this align with my top 5 passions I am taking actions to achieve?”  

That question is a guiding post for my journey that I’ve been sharing and will continue to reveal. The benefit of taking this type of a mental approach at all you do is here: when we take the time to line up things, when they are aligned, it does not take a lot of momentum to start a chain reaction for success.  It’s kind of like playing dominoes.  You can spend hours setting your design and vision just right.  Knowing that, along the way, things can happen where you need to reset the vision.   The passion to see your vision come to pass is so strong, that you go back, assess, reset and go again.

When we play dominoes, some of the most stunning results of our time, heart and labor occurs when all the pieces are lined up ‘just so’ …and you push the first one. We watch the vision and movement unfold before our eyes.  I like to watch people doing things.  I’ve seen many people watch dominoes in motion- and it’s always the same: admiration of the dedication, precision, thought process, the engineering and the patience it took to create such a masterpiece. The fluid movement of dominoes in motion is peaceful and exciting to watch.   It takes alignment of each piece to make the vision work so those who view the movement can enjoy all the heart and effort that went into the creation.

As you start your 2014, ask yourself “What are areas in your life that feel out of alignment?” What is one action step you can do today to start to get things going in the same direction for max velocity and effectiveness?
2014  is a year to take action to work towards a passion you’ve always wanted to see happen in your life.  Take the first step and start to line up the things you need to make that passion a reality!

Here’s to kicking of 2014 with extreme Alignment & Passion!

Debbra

Here’s to what will be an incredible 2014!

The Rouse of the Rooster- Insights to Discipline in Leadership

When I get up, which often is in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun rises, I can hear the roosters in my 220px-Rooster_portrait2neighborhood doing their job of crowing.

It is interesting to me to hear them so proudly and fervently sing their rooster songs each morning. They are consistent and passionate about their crowing. It reminds me of how to continue to bring passion, commitment and consistency to everything we do as a leader.

One of the things that always impresses me when I hear them crowing in the mornings that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. Whether it’s sunny and hot or rainy and cold the same roosters, every single morning, do their job and do it with excellence.

As humans we can learn a little bit about discipline from these roosters.

The job of the rooster is to protect the flock, and he takes the lead in doing so each morning by crowing.

The rooster is often portrayed as crowing at the break of dawn (“cock-a-doodle-doo”). He can often be seen sitting on fence posts or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory

The role of the rooster in animal husbandry has a long and illustrious history from the guardian of the back yard flock to the fighting cocks center ring.

Aristotle called the rooster alektora and sang its praises along with the likes of Theocritus, Pliny, Varro, and Aldrovandi (Lind1963). The rooster holds a time-honored place in the small flock, protecting the hens, announcing the day, and ensuring the next generation.

As leaders, one of the ways we can learn is by paying attention to some of our surroundings. Nature inherently prepared plants, animals and humans to have an instinct for leadership roles and hierarchy.

The discipline of how these roosters crow in the morning is a great example of how we, as leaders, can be approach our role of serving others and leadership daily.

Do you rise each morning with the mindset to announce the new day, care and protect those you are responsible for, and do things to ensure the succession of your leadership when the time is right?

Leadership takes discipline. It takes commitment to one’s self to improve. It takes courage to rise up each day and take the helm of your leadership role, regardless of the weather or how you feel.

There are about 5 different roosters in my neighborhood and each has its own call, it’s own ‘voice’. Two of them nearest me have very distinct crows. For the most part, one of them has a very dominant and confident sound. Yet, there are some days where I hear him crow in the morning hours and I think he may be sleepy or a bit under the weather as his sound is not quite as crisp or commanding. However, he still follows through each day.

The other rooster I hear has a bit of a funny, ‘broken’ crow. His song is not as smooth and flowy from start to finish like the first one. He has a stutter in a couple of places. That does not matter to him – or his flock. He too, each morning calls out with his crow and takes his place as the protector of his flock.

Both of these roosters are also there to make sure that the clutch of hens are profitable and successful in producing eggs and future little leaders.  🙂

As we venture into 2013, it is the time for more leaders to take upon their shoulders the ability to be disciplined with the same type of commitment to protect and ensure the success of the people that they serve.

Remember, leadership starts with yourself, then leading your family and then leading others at work and in the community.

In this day and age, many our so-called leaders seem to be practicing more leadership by simply fluffing up their feathers- and thinking that is good enough. It’s not. Vain puffery from the outside is short lived. The true leaders will be willing to be disciplined to rise early, announce the day, declare their protection of their flock- and then do what is needed to ensure the success of those they serve now and for future generations.

When you arise tomorrow, ask yourself, do you lead with vain puffery, or are you sounding your call of leadership with actions that denote confidence, provide security and ensuring opportunities for those you lead to grow?

What action steps can you take today to be a better leader tomorrow?

Debbra Sweet

Author & Speaker of  “The Power of Leadership”

Life Under the Brim- Part 2: Perspective.

As I continue to experience life from underneath the brim of wearing hats, it is interesting to see the literal change of perspective that occurs by simply placing the hat on. Each hat style, shape, color and even materialhats they are made from effects my field of view.

The hats I had to wear over the summer had to have wide brims that not only cover the front of my view, but also need to have brims that can cover my peripheral vision at times too. The summer sun was very intense and the rays reflected off many things that we are often not even aware hit the eye. (So Cal drivers have very clean cars with lots of chrome. )  Those summer rays of sun would quickly bounce and come up underneath my brim and sun glasses to leave an imprint on my brain.

In fall I changed to wide brim felt and wool hats. The hats provided extra warmth during cool mornings, and good coverage of lights through out the day.

Now that we are into winter, my hats have been more page boy in style. Comfy with a brim. I am indoors more and do not have to have all the full coverage like I did in the summer sun.

My life under the brim the past months has created an interesting observation of how the focal point of our perspective can quickly change as easily as changing a hat.

I’ve always known about managing and protecting your input. One of the first things you learn along the journey of self improvement and personal development is to pay attention to what you open yourself up to as far as input goes. This means tv, radio, books, people you work with, people you socialize with. There’s a computer concept known as garbage in, garbage out. If you put garbage into the computer (as far as technology, coding, etc goes)- what it produces is also garbage. There’s the old adage called ‘stinkin thinkin’.
What you focus on is what you get.

Focus on negative – and you will attract negative. Focus on positive, you will attract positive.

The relationship of my insight on how the perspective of our visual input changes with each change of a hat is here: when you manage, limit or protect your daily input- starting with your eyes, you can laser focus on what you want, what you need- and can really start to understand the depth of just how MUCH impact what you SEE really has on your thought patterns.

Day to day, our eyes, minds, and thoughts are bombarded with images that are picked up by the brain both consciously and subconsciously. The filtering our brain does is incredible! When we go out with the hustle and bustle of the day, we are unaware of the magnitude of the volume of input we receive.

This deluge of input actually does desensitize our conscious awareness to all the things around us. It is an interesting thought perspective: when we have complete exposure to al things around us, we actually perceive less.

When we readjust our input –and often narrow our focus and field of vision- we actually perceive more. That is what happens when you don a hat.

Since I’ve had my ‘filters turned off’ since the summer – because of a physical situation related to my eyes – it has been Amazing at just how MUCH information our eyes process. It’s amazing how many things imprint on our mind that were are never really aware of.

During your journey for betterment in your life and business, I encourage you to consider your filters. Is your vision so wide and open to everything that you are not able to see the finer details that could be holding you back from being your best?

If so, try a simple thing: find a hat with a brim and wear it for a while. You may discover too that your attitude is a bit different. Other people’s attitudes towards you will be different. What you focus on may be less- but it will be with clarity. You may slow down just a bit to enjoy more of what you see, feel, do and perceive.

Enjoy your journey and discovering new perspectives!

Debbra Sweet

What you need to know about the Thyroid and Nuclear Fallout

For those of you who know me,   I am not one to create drama. However- in this case, situations in the world are changing and this is an unusual circumstance  that many of us here may be affected by.  We don’t have control over the weather conditions from the other side of the world, or their ravages that are impacting many… but we do have control over how we take care of ourselves.

In this instance, I feel a little education will go a long way to give you a choice and options should you choose to be proactive to nourish and protector body as best as possible.

With the ongoing news, and increasing concerns about more nuclear explosions in Japan due to the recent tsunami- for those who want to take some protective measures to strengthen your body-and more importantly, do what you can to protect your thyroid, here’s a bit more information for you.

Seems that the first part of our body to be affected by nuclear fallout is the thyroid gland.

Depending upon your current state of health, you may need to strengthen your thyroid, or in some cases activate it.  Here are two products from Nature’s Sunshine can help you with that:

Thyroid Support

Thyroid Activator

The bigger concern, though is how to protect the thyroid from being ‘filled up’ with nuclear waste. The thyroid needs iodine. Iodine is found in abundance in seaweed, kelp, cod, along with a handful of other fishes.

How to protect your thyroid from the possible nuclear fallout coming our way

Nature’s Sunshine has available high-quality kelp, fish oils, and a product called Algin.

Algin is made from a brown seaweed. It is mucilaginous and bulking. That means it gets slippery inside of you, and it has a high fiber content so it bulks up inside your belly. The good part about this is that it coats the inside of your digestive system, and the bulk fiber helps to have more frequent healthy bowel movements.

Algae and other seaweed is exceptionally nutritious. It contains carbohydrates, oils, proteins, vitamins, trace elements, minerals and fibers in balanced proportions.

It is especially well known for it’s high levels of minerals (salts) and trace elements (metals), which are highly beneficial to human beings.

Algin is often used in food and pharmaceutical preparations. Algin offers especially good protection from many kinds of modern day pollutants, carcinogens, and toxins.

Algin prevents living tissue from absorbing radioactive materials. Algin also encourages the action of dietary fiber, by supplying nutrients, and by normalizing bowel functions.

Seaweed has been used as food by both humans and animals for thousands of years. Today, it is eaten in many Asian countries as a vegetable but when the knowledge of it’s high food value spreads to the western world many people have begun eating algae in tablet form.

Alginates have been widely used as food additives and in the cosmetic industry.

If you have any questions about this post, or like assistance in place in order, feel free to contact me.

My heart and intention with this post is to educate you- to help remove fears or concerns you may have.  God always provides an answer if we look, listen and take action.

May you be blessed in your day & steadfast in your walk.

Debbra Sweet

Health Coach

Certified Herb Specialist & Action Leadership Coach

Aglin RECOMMENDED DOSAGE:

Take two capsules three times daily between meals. Drink two glasses of juice with each serving. Any type of 100% juice will do. Juice should be taken with algin as it causes the algin to gel in the body and the acidity of juice helps breakdown the algin for assimilation. Remember, TWO glasses of juice with each dose.

INGREDIENTS:

Amount Per 2 Capsules: Sodium Alginate (from brown seaweed) 950 mg*

If you have any questions about this post, or like assistance in place in order, feel free to contact me.

*Daily Value not established

Other Ingredients: Gelatin, and water.

Notes: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

©2002 Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc., Specialists Since 1972
Product of U.S.A.

 

Integrity- My Word of the Year

I am not sure why this personal habit of mine developed- but it’s pretty cool. (I seem to recall starting this activity about 5 years ago.)

Each year, right within the first day or two of January, I either develop a “Word of the Year” , a “Quote of the year” or a  focused platform to live by  for the year.

Last year, I kicked off 2010 with the focus  on “The Big Fat Juicy”.  It was about going for the biggest, fattest, juiciest goals of my life.

Before that, the 2009 quote of the year was “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice”.

I recall prior to that, one of my very first personal quotes and focused sayings for a year was: “If you don’t like it…Change It!”  ( In fact, I believe this was the original personal saying of the year.)

That particular year, I had no idea I was actually starting a new trend or habit.  I recall being a bit sassy and frustrated about another person’s grumpy attitude towards something.  I mumbled to myself in my head “If you don’t like it… change it!” That was it.  In that moment of declaring that in my head, I felt a personal change.  In fact- I realized the wisdom and freedom with that statement. I decided to adopt that and really make it my own personal reminder that ” If I don’t like something… change it!”    I was giving myself permission to not be stuck in a hole. I was giving myself permission to be happy. I was telling myself that things don’t always have to be ‘just so.’ I have the power to change things.

That year- I often remembered and reminded myself of that sentence. Each time, freedom, encouragement and a step towards better results followed. I was hooked! I loved my personal quote!

Much to my surprise- at the beginning of the next year, without much forethought or planning, my next personal quote to be passionate about appeared. Then again, the following year.  Personal quote doesn’t really describe the power of this concept.  It’s more like a theme to live, work and play by.   It’s part of the equation that is involved in the goal planning  I do.

So this year- yesterday to be exact, upon rising early and being inspired to write with passion about our conversations with business prospects – it was very clear what my word of the year is : Integrity.

Here’s to integrity in all I do!  I will strive to be my best and walk as honestly and circumspectly as I can. If you ever see or hear me walking (or talking) out of alignment from integrity- I give you permission to put me back in check.

May your day be blessed,

Debbra

Life Lessons

Life always creates opportunities for us to relive situations until we learn the lesson we’re supposed to.  Life is patient. It will keep bringing that same set of circumstances to pass until we decide to learn from them. Then.. life shows us something new to learn!

The ones who are truly humble, and willing to look at themselves squarely in the eye and ask “What is this about? Why does this keep happening? Where is all this coming from? and.. “What can I do to change this?” are the one’s who truly will be successful.

It’s not about trying to be perfect. No one is. It’s about trying to perfect our willingness to set our ego aside and speak honestly in all cases- even if it is hard to do- that is the biggest lesson of all.  A true leader understands this and actively looks to set the ego aside for the opportunity to continually learn and grow.

As a leader, are you listening to the lessons that are showing up in your world? Is your ego getting in the way- or are you willing to set it aside?  Remember, it is not the BIG Ego that is the problem.  It is the small, still, quiet ego that protects the deepest part of our being that is the one to watch out for.  This is the one that can ‘show up’ in ways that appear at a glance to be genuine, honest, ethical and humble.  Question yourself and ask what really is at the core of your inner being.

You may be surprised to find that your inner ego is working very hard to cover up, hide, dismiss, and keep hidden away vulnerabilities, frailties, and often times.. lies based on fuzzy ‘filters’ of perception.

These filters often mask the very things that could be your most powerful, genuine, authentic essence. Until you are willing to rip off the mask of the ego and look at those filters, face your vulnerabilities- you will never know the fullness of the human being you have the potential to be.

Here’s to taking that step and remove those filters so you CAN become the very best!

Debbra Sweet

www.PowerOfLeadershipBooks.com

www.PowerOfLeadershipRadio.com

Leadership Begins With You

I’ve been studying human nature, behavior, thought process and interpersonal communication since I was about 7 years old. That’s a LONG time.

It still amazes me how the psyche of humans operates. Our core motives. Our choices, the reasons we have for our decisions and then how we respond, react, hold to or change our reasoning and beliefs around those choices.

When it comes to the title or label of ‘leader’ – that is a word that brings about many interesting observations regarding people. In fact, I can’t even count anymore how many times I have seen this scenario:

1. You  have a natural leader who is there, steadfast, ready to lead and serve every time. They are often quiet, have a willing heart and contribute to the effort with little or no resistance. In fact, they will contribute to a situation simply because they want to.

2. You have those who title themselves as a leader. They come on with confidence and an attitude of “I am -or should be- in charge.” They often have a strong sense of ego… dare I say they are often very egocentric?  They bring with them an attitude of entitlement and will lead if there is profit in it for them.

Now here’s the funny side of observation:

The first one, the true leader, often, if you point out, admit to, or encourage them to step up into a formal role of leadership … they quickly say “Why? I’m not a leader.”

The second type of person, will come up to you and say – or even declare “I am the leader. I want to be THAT Person.”

Guess who typically does the BEST job when they are in a formal role of leader? …Yep. It’s the first one.  Why? Because they are meek, humble, willing to learn, and have a heart of giving. That is the true sense of leadership from the beginning of time.  Also, they typically take that same mind set and way of living into all areas of their life.

God made us to have balance in our lives. That also means balance in the areas of life we lead.

We first and foremost have to lead ourselves. If you cannot lead yourself and take responsibility or be accountable for what you do, how can you lead others?

Areas in our personal daily life that we need to start to lead ourselves in are:

Spiritually

Emotional

Mental

Physical

Personal Family

Spiritual Family

Relationships

Career

Financial

These areas we need to lead ourselves in are not the end all- rather a great starting point.  Take care of yourself and get your house in order first.  Do it with heart of servitude, meekness, humility and willingness to learn.  THEN-go forth and bring to other situations you are in the same type of heart and diligence. You will be justly rewarded from the leadership you do and show.

Have an awesome day,

Debbra Sweet

http://www.debbrasweet.com/