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POSITIVELY SPEAKING: Wherever you are, be there

Gary Moore
Gary Moore

I must confess, I thoroughly enjoy writing this column. I was raised in a positive home and understand the importance of looking at life through a positive lens. No, of course, I don’t believe ignoring the negativity, despair, sadness and tragedy in the world is the answer to life’s problems, but neither is giving in to the negativity as if there is nothing to be done. Pretending challenges don’t exist isn’t positive, that’s ignorance. We certainly must acknowledge the negative issues but no matter what the problem or circumstance, attacking it vigorously with a positive approach will always increase your chances for success. I choose to focus on the good and positive. My column is written to encourage you to join me.

Being present

Last week I wrote of being physically present while mentally elsewhere and the response was incredible. Thank you for your emails. I receive email every week but last week was different. In my last column I shared a very personal moment that I regretted from my past and it seems to have struck a nerve with many. I usually do not revisit previous columns in my writing, but I’ll break that tradition today. What did I learn from your correspondence?

We all must forgive ourselves

We all make mistakes. We’ve been taught from childhood that the goal is to learn from our mistakes. There is nothing we can do to change past occurrences and regrets other than move on and not repeat them. The fast pace and demands of our economy, since the dawn of the computer age, has placed us all in uncharted waters. There aren’t many people working only a 40-hour work week and homework and/or weekend work is common. The lifetime job is almost nonexistent and we are all tasked every five to seven years with reinventing ourselves or being unemployed. We must be positive and creative to survive. So it’s no wonder why people have become mentally at work while physically home. We are a stressed society. But here is what I have learned. If I am home thinking about my job, I’m often at my job thinking about home. When that happens, I am never where I am needed.

A recipe for failure, personally and professionally

When we are not mentally where we are supposed to be, we become unhelpful at home while nonproductive at the job. We end up never having our body and brain in the same place, while being helpful and useful to no one. Deteriorating relationships, failing career and guilt are the result. I know from experience and years of repeating this cycle over and over again. The solution is simple but not easy.

Wherever you are … be there

You must raise a curtain between your professional and personal life. Your curtain may be heavy and soundproof while others may be shear and somewhat transparent. But if you do not recognize some form of separation, while you are on one side, and it doesn’t matter which, your heart and/or mind will be on the other. There must be a line of separation if you are to succeed professionally and personally. Yes, you can jump back and forth, but wherever you are, be there.

I have a friend in California, who works in the insurance business from home. Jim tells of how he has a home office and when he is working, he hangs a sign that says, “Daddy’s at work.” His wife and kids understand that he has responsibilities and needs to earn a living for the family. But when the sign is down, the insurance business is closed and Daddy is totally engaged with his family. He says it took awhile to create the boundaries, but the result has been success at work and at home.

My literary agent, Tris Coburn, will not take my call after 5 p.m. EST and I’m in the Midwest. It use to drive me crazy that I could not call him after 4 p.m. my time until my wife said, “His wife and daughter are lucky. You should try it.” I did. Thank you, Tris.

And one more thing

When someone you love and/or respect are in front of you, stay off your phone. I confess, this is a very challenging task for me, but I am working hard to break the habit. Why is texting someone who isn’t here more important than looking into the face of the person in front of you? Make eye contact. Listen! Smile and have a meaningful conversation with the person you are sharing space with at the moment.

I believe it is impossible for happiness and guilt to occupy the same space. Feeling guilty? Forgive yourself and move on. Having trouble being where you are? Raise the curtain between your professional and personal life. When you are on one side of the curtain, be there. And when on the other? I think you get the picture …

Wherever you are … be there and be positive!
  • GARY W. MOORE is a syndicated columnist, speaker and critically-acclaimed, award-winning author of three books including the bestseller, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and garywmoore.com.

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