1. Remember When You Used to....
I walked through the hard driving rain, with a college friend of mine, to see his brand new home. He smiled back at me as he opened the front door, yet suddenly paused. Water was dripping on the new wood floor from a hole the entryway ceiling. Momentarily silent, he then said, "Every silver lining has a cloud." Unfortunately the woman he later married pointedly reminded him on several social occasions that we probably didn't appreciate his corny humor. Soon his humor went underground. In fact I forgot about it. Years later he got divorced. Then he married someone who often cracked up laughing with him and I instantly remembered that part of my friend. Each of us has many facets to our personality, found Rita Carter, author of Multiplicity. And we bring different parts out in each other. Some good. Some not.
Yet we've also let some part of ourselves atrophy because we weren't around individuals who brought that it out and delighted in it. Create more adventures in your unfolding life story by cultivating diverse friendships, matching more of your facets with others in ways that bring out the best temperament and talents in each other. What a waste to let parts of yourself atrophy.
Don't give up. When you are out and about this holiday, keep that opportunity top-of-mind, in two ways:
One: As you talk about things that most interest you, or exhibit a part of yourself you've let slide, notice who picks up on it, and consider cultivating that relationship. You may not yet know that person well yet slight acquaintances, do not know how you usually act, found Karen L. Fingerman and Melinda Blau, co-authors of Consequential Strangers. Thus, you get to become, again, a part of you that may have buried yet you, and others, would enjoy.
Two: Pick up on the moment when someone near you perks up in what they are saying, watching and doing. If you find that part of them at all interesting, smile and engage them so they feel supported in that part of their being which is vital to them.
2. Take the Lazy Way to Boost Your Energy and Performance
More than 50 percent of us assume we'll work during our vacations, according to Tony Schwartz, yet we'd actually work smarter if we took time off. Further, for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took at Ernst & Young, writes Schwartz, "Their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8 percent."
Plus, Schwartz adds, "Sleeping too little --less than six hours each night -- was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out." In fact, according to another study, male basketball players "free-throw and three-point shooting each increased by an average of 9 percent" when they were convinced to sleep 10 hours a night.
Further, be self-indulgent and remember more by taking some long naps. "A 60-to 90-minute nap improved memory test results as fully as eight hours of sleep," discovered University of California, Riverside sleep researcher Sara C. Mednick yet with even just 15-20 minutes of napping, she found that, "You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance."
3. Yes, You Can Figure It Out
Most of us are wrestling with some decision and seeking a breakthrough. Gain clarity by letting it go. Get outside and walk by "the ocean or a waterfall or any moving water" to lift your mood and change your mental channel. After all, "Conscious thought is better at making linear, analytic decisions, but unconscious thought is especially effective at solving complex problems. Unconscious activation may provide inspirational sparks underlying the 'Aha' moment that eventually leads to important discoveries," according to renowned Kellogg School of Management professor, Adam Galinsky.
"But the key to unlocking these unconscious processes is to take time to not think about your challenge or problem," advocates Shawn Achor, author of the upcoming book, Before Happiness. As Achor noted after studying many brilliant business leaders around the globe, "there is a big difference between being smart and being inspired." To be inspired, "you need to stop seeing the world through the same old lens. "Even if our conscious minds can't see a solution, our unconscious minds know that one is possible."
How are you going to kick back this holiday to surge ahead? I hope you encounter the individuals and situations that support you.