New Year, New Start: Revive and Refresh Your Career Passion

When we ring in the New Year, we often feel an excitement and zest for the potential of what’s to come. A New Year means 365 days of possibilities, new connections & opportunities to learn, connect & thrive.

The new year brings new starts and a new opportunity to create new career goals. Learn to revive and refresh your career passion.


 

Do you love what you do for a living? This question often comes up this time of year, so we start doing some self-assessment.

Sometimes we can also feel reflective and even a little sad or nostalgic. We might have regrets from the past year or unfinished goals we set out to accomplish but came up short. Even if you don’t subscribe to the tradition of setting “New Year’s Resolutions,” it’s impossible to avoid the sense of putting the prior year to bed and moving into a new beginning where you anticipate new actions you’ll need to take.

The New Year is full of untapped potential just waiting for us.

Revise Resolutions All Year Long

Resolutions aren’t simply for the New Year, though. When we only visit our vision and goals one time a year, we’re surely setting ourselves up for some missed opportunities and regret.

To operate at peak performance, our brains prefer constant learning, growth, and stimulation. When things get stale and stagnant, our brains actually become dulled and subdued. We have to have new experiences, master new skills and professional development opportunities, and seek out chances to stretch ourselves and find our spark.

Our resolutions, whether for the New Year or otherwise, give us a chance to set goals and push ourselves toward the things we want. They give us a chance to check in with our inner “coordinator” and self-governance. Are we really working toward the things most important to our hearts? What steps are we taking to achieve what we want and to get to our next goal?

We should constantly and consistently be revisiting our goals and focusing on our vision to keep moving forward to the next peak. Our vision is our big-picture map and guide.

ENGAGE and Get Back to the Fun Side of Work

When we discover new possibilities on the horizon or when we’re at the beginning of a journey, we must first identify what we want: the deep drivers that we call our yearnings. If our vision is the big picture, then our yearnings are our inner-GPS.

Yearnings are deeper than simple wants. I might want to make money at my job, but I yearn to be recognized as successful. We yearn to be seen, to connect, to succeed. We yearn for safety and comfort. It’s meeting those yearnings that fulfills us.

Once we’ve identified our yearnings (which is no small task), we start to engage. Engaging is responding to our yearnings and ceasing to repress or ignore these important drivers. As we engage, we start to change our behavior, connect with others, and feel like we’ve ‘jumped in the game’ of life.

Engaged people are in the game. They’re going for what they want. They have a sense of purpose. If there’s something they don’t understand or know, they speak up. They embrace conflict and see it as a way to move themselves forward. They don’t shy away from tough situations or challenges. To feel passion and vigor, we must be engaged.

For many, this awareness of a need to reengage can come after a period of feeling sidelined. Maybe those around you are achieving their goals and you’re feeling behind, or maybe they don’t even HAVE goals and they’re just satisfied with the status quo. If you’ve surrounded yourself in an environment of goal-getters and driven engagers but you’ve lost your passion, it’s time to reengage and figure out how you can meet your yearnings. Use their engagement to inspire you and drive you. Ask them how they do it, and listen to what they have to say.

If, on the other hand, you’re at a job where everyone seems to be lackluster and phoning it in, maybe you need to rethink your role and position to find something that meets your energy and stimulates your mind.

Revelate

If your office staff and coworkers fall somewhere in between engaged and lackluster, surround yourself with those who are really going for it and pushing themselves. At the same time, figure out new ways you can ignite not only your passion but also the passions of those you work with.

The best way to become a beacon of engagement in the office? By refocusing on your vision—the articulation of not only your goals as an office but your ultimate ideal as a company. If everyone’s stressed out, burnt out and sick of each other, coming in at the New Year after a holiday break can be a great time to really hit the ground running.


Revelating is a term that describes both the awareness of ourselves and of new possibilities as well as the act of revealing ourselves in expression. Revelating can be inspirational, like discovering a new possibility for a course of action…We realize we’ve been managed by…limited thinking that has been holding us back, restricting our happiness and fulfillment. As we start to act differently, revelating helps us start thinking differently.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


The New Year is a great time to revelate! In fact, the New Year is synonymous with revelating. Now is the time to revelate, discover the new possibilities and how to get there, and look at what you can do to start thinking and acting in a way that will propel you to a year of success!

Work on Your Vision

As you work on revelating and igniting others around you to do the same, let your vision be your guide. Think about your company values. How do you see your role in the company changing this year? What is the big-picture vision for both your career and life in general, and do they sync up?

When we have a vision, it guides us and keeps us in line. It helps us to know if we’re serving our customers and clients, and if we’re actually making a difference in what we do. It’s that knowledge—the awareness that we’re actually mattering to the world and doing something positive—that’s so powerful and motivating. No matter what your line of work, from artist to non-profit coordinator to commercial banker, you have to identify the bigger “why does this work matter?” question, answer it, and work toward that continued goal.

Go forth into the New Year with a renewed sense of focus and a clear vision in your mind. What do you want your life to look like at the close of next year? What changes do you hope to make, and how will you be discovering your yearnings, engaging and revelating by this time next year?


Happy New Year! If you’re looking for more ways to grow and unlock your potential, please join us for our upcoming MORE Life Training, where you’ll learn the skills to unlock your best self.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of the Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.

Jumpstart Your Resolve:
Have a Healthy, Joyous Holiday!

How many of us whip up our New Year’s Resolutions after spending the week prior to New Year’s Eve stressed out and just trying to make it through the hustle, bustle and excess of the holidays?

Wondering how to keep those New Year's resolutions? It starts by jumpstarting your new year resolve.


 

Anyone who’s had too much eggnog or too many cookies knows exactly what I’m talking about. When we overdo it over the holidays, we can come into the New Year feeling more sluggish than motivated.

The holidays can be a great time of joy and wonder, but they can also be a time of stress and hurriedness. We’re trying to finish up projects at work, fit in family time, give the perfect gifts, and keep everything running up to our expectations. Then there’s the decorations and the food and the social obligations and the family drama.

We can become overwhelmed, uninspired and a tad…Grinchy.

It’s time to let the wonder and joy BACK into your holiday season! Instead of spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s letting your old habits die hard, spend the week getting a jumpstart on the new routines and habits you hope to aspire to and resolve that first week of January!

A Week to Get Things in Line

As you enjoy Christmas, Chanukah or just the “winter break,” give yourself some respite and moments to truly bask in the wonder and joy of the holiday season. Find quiet times to reflect and do the things you find affirming and rejuvenating. This can be as simple as reading by the fire or enjoying the lights on the tree with the kids. It can mean going through your old photos or slides with family and laughing about memories. Connect, engage, laugh, and listen to those around you.

One of the most important parts of keeping up our stamina in the winter months is to get outdoors and enjoy the brisk weather. If you’re facing a very white Christmas (as we seem to be facing here in Chicago) then don’t just stow away and hibernate!

Take walks or get yourself to the gym, practice daily meditation and reflection. Stay away from soft addictions like television, too much food and drink, or even social media. How many families will be sitting around the table this season really connecting and engaging with one another and how many will be looking at their phones?

If this sounds like your crew, ask them to check their phones at the door or make a concerted effort to get everyone involved. Express your interest and make it your goal to discover something new about each person you meet over the holidays.

This week between the holidays is a great opportunity to make some reflections. What are the things you want to put to bed with the year? Are there limiting beliefs you need to let go of? What’s been holding you back?

Take some time to journal and reflect on your social and emotional growth and your thoughts for the year. Give thanks for the wonderful experiences and learning opportunities the year has brought you and the takeaways you’ll carry forward into the upcoming year. Put to rest the old ideas that no longer serve you and look at the New Year as a fresh start and a chance to launch into your best self.

Don’t Put Off Your Resolve

Just like diets, resolutions don’t work if they aren’t made up of lasting changes. When we see something as a temporary change, it just won’t stick. We have to adjust our thinking to embrace a new lifestyle or a new approach.

When we look at January 1st as the day we wake up anew, it puts an awful lot of pressure on January 2nd. If we drop the ball, the New Year is already a bust, so we might as well give up for the next 364 days, right?

Instead, don’t think of resolutions with an all-or-nothing mindset. Look at them with a growth mindset and think of how you can use mistakes and setbacks as another chance to build up your grit, change your coping strategies, and come back even stronger than before.

Growth and change don’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up as a brand new person on the first of the year with different yearnings and inclinations, or different beliefs and coping strategies. You will be the same person as before—growth and change take time. Yes, they’re constant, but rarely fast. Growth is a series of steady, progressive steps.

Focus on the changes you can make right now, today! Even if it’s not yet the New Year…even if it’s the middle of July! There’s no time like the present to jump in and decide to start to engage more deeply, to embrace more lovingly, and to live your life more fully.

This year, resolve to continue to grow and evolve all year long. Find ways you can stretch yourself and push your boundaries beyond your comfort zone, whether it’s in the office, among your friends, or with your family.

For more ways to live your life more fully, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses geared to help you learn more about yourself, your career, and your relationships. So don’t miss out on the life you want. Go for it now!


Make this your best year ever!
Happy Holidays from all of us at Wright.


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Overcoming Negative Thinking:
Adjust Your Inner GPS

Think back to the last time you used your GPS to drive somewhere new. When you took a wrong turn, did your GPS yell at you? Did it tell you you’re a bad person? Did it reference all the times you’ve been lost before?

Overcoming negative thinking is hard to achieve. But by adjusting your inner GPS, you can beat that negativity and live a happier life.


 

No, of course not! (If it did, highways would be littered with sassy GPS units thrown from car windows.) When you get lost or go the wrong way, your GPS doesn’t tell you that you’re “bad” or “wrong.” Instead, it politely adjusts and recalculates, then provides instructions for how to correct your course. It doesn’t harp on your mistakes or judge you, it simply accommodates.

Is your inner GPS just as understanding, patient and kind?

How many of us struggle with a tiny Negative Narrator in our head? She says things like, “You shouldn’t have said that,” “You’re wrong,” and “Why did you do that??” Sometimes she’s constantly demeaning us and we just can’t shake her unhelpful pessimism.

This internal monologue is the voice of our beliefs—and for many of us, these deep-seated beliefs limit our potential as human beings. These beliefs hold us back, resulting in that nagging self-critical voice who too often demeans us or sets off internal alarms when we step out of our comfort zone.

We call these “limiting beliefs” and they make up our inner GPS.

What if your inner GPS was a little nicer, more patient, more understanding? How can we adjust our inner GPS to eliminate negative thinking, feel better about ourselves every day, and help us accomplish our dreams and goals without looking back?

Flipping the Switch on Your Internal Critic

Neuroscience is increasingly showing us ways we can start to change our internal program and voice. Just like Siri, the GPS in your car remains objective, simply providing the facts without the extra negativity. Our internal GPS can be reframed to operate the same way: to assess our reactions and interactions and recalculate without reiterating our negative internal beliefs.

So, right now, take stock of your internal monologue. Do you send yourself negative messages, like these…?

“Sigh…my boss obviously hated my comment. Why do I open my mouth and say these things? I’m such an idiot.”

“I haven’t received a message from Staci on my dating profile. She probably thought I was unattractive or I didn’t sound educated enough in my last email. I’m so bad at talking to women.” 

“How did I forget to make arrangements for the babysitter again?! Where is my head? I’m such a disorganized mess!”

“Why can’t I just let my mother-in-law’s comment go? I’m such a control freak and I take things way too personally.”

Do your internal messages tell you that you’re not good enough? Do you tell yourself how you are and reinforce “truths” you believe about yourself?

Our internal monologue is essentially our inner GPS—and we can all strive to tune ours up so it’s not always bringing us down. In the car, when you’re driving from point A to point B, your GPS simply tells you where to go. It might give you your speed, your estimated time of arrival, and it might even advise you of traffic ahead. It gives you facts and objective information.

When you take a wrong turn, your car’s GPS doesn’t say negative things about you. If you take SIX wrong turns, your GPS still keeps on simply correcting your path and steering you in the right direction until you reach your destination. It doesn’t point out your lack of directional skills, the way you’re distracted by the radio, or ask why you aren’t paying attention.

So how can we get our inner GPS to be as clear and objective as the GPS in our car?

The Beauty in Objectivity

Why is our inner GPS so negative? Most of the time, it comes down to how we act and react in our relationships.

Many of us fall into the dreaded pattern we call the “drama triangle.” In the drama triangle, each person has a role: one is the Victim (always accepting blame for the problem), one is the Persecutor (shaming the Victim into submission), and the other is the Rescuer (the person who tries to step in and “save” the Victim from the Persecutor). Many of us seek to cast those around us into these roles, propagating destruction and drama instead of engaging in productive conflict.

We might lean on preconceived ideas about how “we are” vs. how “they are,” using blame, shame, and justification to reinforce these roles and limiting beliefs. Using blame, shame and justification gets us nowhere. Instead, we have to learn to engage in productive conflict and use our differences to bring us closer to one another. In our book The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the rules of engagement and how to fight objectively, productively, and fairly.

Beauty is in objectivity, so breaking these patterns and steering in the right direction means learning a thing or two from our car’s GPS. Our phones and GPS units have a lot of knowledge and data we don’t have, which is part of the reason we trust them. They have a compass, a map, and knowledge of where we are and where we’re headed.

When we’re interacting in relationships, we might often have a creeping sense of doubt or a fear that things aren’t okay. Rather than assessing the situation and “traffic” at hand, we instead rely on old data and past experiences.

You can’t find the grocery store in a new city based on the location data of the grocery store in your hometown. So why do we rely on past interactions and experiences to make snap judgments about where we are in the present?

When we meet new people, we may unintentionally assign them the qualities of our previous coworkers, partners or friends—even though they are entirely different people. Our brains, in their desire to make sense of our world and create order, are constantly seeking patterns and correlating data. So what do we do? We fall into a pattern where we play into our limiting beliefs and then reinforce them with our interactions. We blame the other person for “bringing out that side of us,” or because they can’t make things okay. We skirt our own personal responsibility in the situation and we lose our objectivity.

Getting Past the Patterns

Social scientist William Edwards Deming posited that “blame, shame, and justification” in any relationship rarely brings out desired results. In fact, his work revealed that these tactics fail to bring about a correction in behavior 96% of the time! Blame, shame, and justification simply leave us spinning our wheels and going nowhere in our relationships.

We all have insecurities and a complex underlying system built on truths and beliefs, some of which might hold us back and keep us from learning and growing. Instead we must step back and assess the situation objectively. But we aren’t robots or GPS units—we’re complex, living and growing beings with different backgrounds, conflicts, and feelings.

Rather than falling into the blame, shame and justification pattern, we can get better at what we do by bolstering each other’s strengths and accepting each other’s imperfections. We can let go of our own limiting beliefs and allow ourselves to learn and grow and reposition in each new situation.

As we make adjustments to help us navigate our path in life, we have to learn to separate objective observation and direction from preconceptions and ideas of who we think we are and where we think we should be going.


To learn more about how to engage in productive conflict, overcome limiting beliefs, and live your best life ever, join us for our next More Life Training event in Chicago.


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Survive (and Thrive!)
this Holiday Season

Picture your happiest holiday, your most idyllic scene. Whether it’s Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas or the New Year…close your eyes for a moment and envision what the “perfect holiday” would be for you.

holiday season


 

Does it look like a serene scene right out of your favorite holiday movie? Or maybe it looks like a Norman Rockwell painting…?

We all have an idea of what the “ideal” holiday looks like. Just like a fairytale romance, this scene has been ingrained into our minds by thousands of similar Hollywood tropes, saying, “This is what the holidays should be. This is what a perfect holiday looks like.” In Hollywood, even the stressful holiday moments are part of the storyline—they always work out with a laugh and a happy ending.

You may be feeling a certain amount of stress or pressure to live up to these expectations, so when the holiday doesn’t turn out exactly as you planned or when it feels less meaningful than you’d hoped, it can feel defeating and disappointing…even depressing. Compound these expectations with the additional stressors of the season, like end-of-year work pressures, time management issues, dark days, cold weather, financial strain—it’s no wonder you might be feeling more “bah humbug” than “fa-la-la-la-la.”

According to the APA, at least 69% of people are stressed out over the holidays! Yet, what do we do? We repeat the process every year! We take on the same expectations and ideals. We set the bar higher and higher to find the perfect tree, cook the perfect dinner, hold the most festive party, or give the most amazing gift.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret—it’s not about reaching the singular pinnacle of the “perfect moment,” it’s about finding the joy in all of the moments throughout the season!

Truly Feeling Joy All Season Long

When we put too much pressure on ourselves or build up an ideal scene in our minds, we might be removing the joy, wonder, and excitement from the other moments surrounding it.

Instead, practice mindfulness this holiday season. Wrapping gifts with your daughter, decorating the tree with your spouse, or lighting holiday candles might be just as satisfying as carving the turkey and raising a glass. The weeks before Christmas can be just as festive and filled with happiness as the moment you unwrap gifts from under the tree. They don’t have to be jam-packed with Santa and literal bells and whistles either. The quiet moments and connections can have the most meaning.

In fact, sometimes the anxiety over that pinnacle “perfect” moment can be built up so much that we can barely enjoy the moment itself. Brides and grooms often describe their wedding day as going by really fast or “a blur,” and it’s even common to feel a little letdown after. It’s for the same reasons: when we become narrow and singular in our vision, working on an ideal day or even a single moment for months, we take the joy and satisfaction out of the journey and the learning process.

Planning, shopping, cooking, preparing—these rituals of the holiday season can bring satisfaction, too. Engaging in a great conversation at a party or really connecting with a loved one over the season can be the true highlight. You might not have a Tiny Tim “God bless us, everyone” moment at your dinner table…and that’s okay. You can still have a wonderful holiday season.

Redefining the “Perfect” Holiday

Instead of picturing the single perfect holiday moment, try to picture what your ideal month would look like. Are there family members and friends who you really want to engage and connect with? Are the activities you’d like to do to celebrate the season?

When you have the opportunity to see friends, really listen, and engage with them. Express your appreciation for them and make time for those who elevate you and bring out your best. Make these friends your priority, especially during times when you can otherwise brush off social engagements because of too many other commitments. These are the moments that will renew and revive you.

If holiday lights really give you the sense of magic you long for, make a priority to take a winter walk with your spouse and enjoy the lights around your neighborhood. If you love the windows downtown, keep a place in your shopping schedule to take a walk by all the shops and really be present in the moment—take it in. Treat yourself to a sensory delight like a peppermint latte or a gingerbread tea, and really focus on the memories and feelings it conjures. Don’t worry about snapping the “perfect selfie” or documenting the “perfect” moment. Simply enjoy it!

During these busy days we can forget about self-care and giving ourselves little “gifts” of mindfulness and renewal. Listen to music, get outdoors and get some exercise. Don’t zone out with too much alcohol and food to quell your anxiety—enjoy a treat, and move forward. Keep yourself mindful and in the moment, getting plenty of rest and keeping your schedule from becoming too jam-packed.

Encouraging Meaningful Connections & Engagement

The best part of the holiday season is the opportunity to connect and engage with friends, family and those around us in a meaningful, deliberate and celebratory way. Make the most of it!

Rather than tackling baggage and confronting every issue when you go home, approach even strenuous situations with honesty. If you’re worried about a confrontation with a sibling or dreading criticism from your mother, set up the situation for success. Tell them, “I want to spend today appreciating each other and focusing on the joy of the moment. We have some things to talk about at a later time, but let’s enjoy each other’s company for now.”

Before you head into a particularly stressful family situation, take the time to think of, and even write down, what you appreciate about your family member. When you spend time with them mentally refer back to your list, tell them what you’ve discovered and what they mean to you. Make the holidays about appreciation and connection.

Does this mean you have to let go of rude behavior or become a punching bag? No way! You can express your emotions and feelings (and should)! Just know that once-a-year around the brisket, you’re probably not going to resolve deep-seated concerns and personality conflicts.

If there’s something eating away at you that needs to be addressed, or if a family member gets out of line or does something upsetting, step in and be the voice of reason. Let them know you’d like to discuss things after the New Year (if you feel it needs to be addressed and can be resolved), and for now, you’d like to focus on appreciation and building connections.

When it’s all said and done, there may be family members that we just don’t get along or agree with…perhaps we can’t come together on our core beliefs or attitudes. During the holidays, however, we may end up in each other’s presence because we both care about the same people (other family members). Use this commonality as a platform for connection, and if worst comes to worst, you can both agree that no one wants to ruin Christmas for Grandma, and make the best of mutually appreciating and enjoying her.

Take time to give yourself a break when you need one. Go for a walk. Build your intimacy and bond with your partner by making them your ally. Turn a stressful moment into a challenge you can tackle and use to learn and grow from.

Throughout the holidays we’re given opportunities to stretch ourselves and really tap into our emotional intelligence. We can worry and stress out, or we can rise to the occasion and come through the holidays with a greater understanding of ourselves and those around us—building some great memories to boot!

This holiday season, commit to really engaging in those moments and learning opportunities. Stretch yourself emotionally and express appreciation for the people in your life. Listen, engage, and grow all season long. Look at this season as an opportunity to build your momentum and propel yourself into a successful New Year of transformation and connection!


For more on making the most of the season, please join us for a special Holiday Workshop this Thursday, December 8th—Home for the Holidays: Creating Meaningful Moments Throughout the Season. We’ll help you get the most out of your holidays!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.
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