Words: Take Back Your Power

Robbin Jorgensen’s talk early this month on the power of words has me thinking of two expressions that make me cringe each time I hear them.  My first thought is to abolish these expressions from my vocabulary but even that would give these expressions too much power. If we embrace these expressions as uniquely individual there’s no right or wrong; it’s what is meaningful to you and only you.

stones-in-perfect-balance_1048-2404The two expressions are “perfect” and “work-life balance.” I believe they have a powerful impact on each other and have been driving women crazy for decades.

Let me tackle “work-life balance” first. Recently I attended an event where a 30’s something woman stood up and asked the speaker how she obtained “work-life balance.” As a 50’s something woman I had hoped that by now we would see “work-life balance” as something that works differently for each of us and not something that can be replicated by someone else’s unique formula for balancing work and life.

Simon Sinek has the explanation of work-life balance that speaks to me. Simon states that if you are looking for balance there is an imbalance in your life. He equates balance with comfort. If you are comfortable at home, are you not comfortable at work? If you are comfortable with home and work, the perception of an imbalance no longer exists.

The definition of balance is a condition where different elements are equal or in correct proportions. Only you can define what equal or correct proportions are for your life. There is no secret sauce that works for everyone, you have to find your own sauce and enjoy it. My sauce is that I am comfortable at home and work and the line blurs between the two. There are still days, weeks or sometimes months that I feel uncomfortable with life. When this happens I stop and listen to what the universe is telling me and take back my power.

Now let me tackle “perfect.” The definition of perfect is having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be. When it comes to work-life or home life where do we get the definition of the elements, qualities or characteristics? They most often come from external sources such as society, our companies, our families and friends, or what we see on social media. How often do they come from within?

The world would be a different place if we strived to reach our own definition of “perfect.” It would help eliminate the self sabotage and we would not miss out on all the amazing things we accomplish everyday but fail to recognize because we have not lived up to someone else’s “perfect.”

My definition of “perfect” is to be the best, most kind and humble person that I can be on any given day. There are days that work gets everything from me and days that home life gets everything from me, on those days, life is in its correct proportion or “perfect” and I have my own “work-life balance.”

Who’s with you in 2018?

jackie-shafferHappy New Year! Many start the New Year with a resolution that usually fades by the middle of February. What I do could be called a resolution; however, I do not look at it that way. I perform a year in review looking for the people, places or events that made me think a little deeper about my place in the world and bring them into the New Year. Here is what is coming with me into 2018:

  • Mike Saccocio, Executive Director/CEO of The City Mission of Schenectady, provided the Women’s Business Council’s Steering Committee with Poverty Training. The basis of the training is to give insight into the world of someone living in poverty. Mike Saccocio talked about how we come to each interaction we have with our own lens of the world. This lens is based on the experiences that we have had good or bad. He asked that that next time we interact with someone to recognize our lens, take a moment to realize that the other person has theirs and be open to the other person’s views. In 2018 I will be aware of my lens and accept others for theirs, in order to have a different view of the world that I may have never experienced.
  • In 2017 with a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion, I took a look at my own world to see how diverse it is. It is not. We all know the benefits of having a diverse network, workplace or friends, but often times fall into what is comfortable. We hire and hang out with those who look, act and have the same perspective on the world because it is easy. In 2018 I will be conscience of who I interact with in order to expand my world, which will expand my thoughts.
  • The Wagner-Sheffer Group’s team retreat this year was attending the Mindfulness in America Summit hosted by Anderson Cooper. It was a day full of industry leaders speaking about mindfulness and how they incorporate it in their lives. The speakers who stood out to me where Jewel, Arianna Huffington, and Eileen Fisher. The 3 things that I will take into 2018 with me are: Happiness is a side effect not a destination – Jewel, 28 Day Challenge, improve 1 of the 4: sleep, mindfulness, gratitude or disconnect from technology – Arianna Huffington, start each meeting with a minute of silence in order to be present – Eileen Fisher.
  • The Women’s Business Council’s committee members and general membership. I have met and worked with a number of amazing women over the past year as Vice Chair. I am never at a loss for an interaction at a committee meeting, program or a one on one with a member that makes me stop and think about our community and how we can make a difference in it. For that I am grateful. In 2018 I look forward to learning more from this amazing community I have the honor of leading. Please reach out if you would like to get to know me because I would welcome the opportunity to get to know you.

Once I have decided on what I will be bringing with me into the New Year, I write them out in my journal and review daily in order to stay present.

I wish you all much success in the New Year with whatever you are looking to accomplish.

Join us at our January program it will be a great way to start off the New Year. Robbin Jorgensen, Founder & CEO of Women Igniting Change will be presenting Ignite – Owning the Power to be You. We look forward to seeing you there.