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April 2007 Coaching For BulletProof Success
  Are You A Crispy Critter?
When was the last time you went to a party, a sporting event, a theater or family gathering and did not see BlackBerries, Pearls, Treos, and other small assorted communication devices laying around, blinking, waiting to be used or actually in use?

We make jokes about the CrackBerry addicts. We may read or write the articles about computer addiction. However, these ubiquitous communication devices are but one avenue the flood of work has found ways to assaulted our lives in the Age of 24/7 Work.

How does that affect our lives? Out of balance lifestyles can result and personal burn-out ensues. Burn-out is a euphemistic way of describing what happens to a person when they do too much of one kind of human activity and not enough of the rest of life. One can burn out in work, home life, recreation or socializing. Since we are a culture driven about work, usually people think of career and job when they hear "burn-out". But I have seen burned out moms and burned out vacationers.

Balance is possible when boundaries do not bleed from one container of life into an other. Quality of life is enhanced when we error on the side of doing one kind of activity at a time. Do work when working. Do church when churching. Do family when doing family and really get in to it and it alone when playing. No communication devices on the golf course or in the gym!

How to stay in balance and prevent burn-out is one of the most common concerns in my coaching practice. I have coached a lot of "Crispy Critters" back into balance. Balance is necessary before the real work toward success can begin.

Burn-out is a bit like carbon monoxide: you can't see or smell it coming and by the time you know you've been affected, it may be too late. Here are some warning signs of burn-out at work:

  • Feeling isolated from co-workers.
  • Worried that company politics are out to get you.
  • Work tasks easily frustrate you.
  • Small problems irritate you easily.
  • Low emotional and physical energy.
  • Concern there is never enough time to do the job "right".
  • Do not feel appreciated by co-workers.
  • Feeling like an underachiever.

 

If some of these indicators apply to you, get some coaching and put your life back in balance before the Age of 24/7 Work drags you under and you get fried!

Not Making Progress? You May Be Trying Too Hard.
Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D.   Perfection Serves No One But Itself. dilemma
"The best is the enemy of the good," Voltaire.

"He who is determined not to be satisfied with anything short of perfection will never do anything to please himself or others," William Hazlitt.

"Perfection is the enemy of good," Gustave Flaubert.

Extremes rarely work to the health and benefit of those striving for it or the goals they strive for. This is one of the common blocks to success. If you can't move on to the next phase or stage in your project until the one you are working on now is perfect, you may never move on. In that, good is not served. And so the perfectionist creates his/her own dilemma.

I have heard speakers spend so much time defining words and terms they want to use in their speech and in such exacting detail, the point of the speech is lost.

Industry is full of stories of research and development teams attempting to make the product they are producing so perfect that by the time it gets to market, the product is obsolete. How do you balance "good enough to function" against "so bad it won't work"?

The way out of or through dilemmas is to find and accept a third answer or another option in addition to the two "Either Or" options which constitute the horns of the dilemma on which one is hung up. In the case of "Either perfect or Not at all" the third option is to get comfortable with mediocrity. Mediocre is not best or worst but middle of the road. It is commonplace. Although it may feel like a compromise, it will release the struggler who says "Perfect or Bust" and get things moving again.

I am not against perfection and striving for the best. I am offering a solution for the occasions when progress toward a desired goal is arrested by the compulsive need to be perfect. As some have said, "Stability exists when we work for progress, not perfection."

A final thought: after this perfect mountain is climbed, there is another, higher, more perfect mountain behind that, and then another beyond that and then another.... What a wonderful way to lose control of your life. Enough never becomes enough. Pursuit becomes the game and living in the moment long enough to enjoy what has been gained in the pursuit never happens.

 
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