15 Tips for Assistants on Staying Power
I am writing this blog on the eve of my 69th birthday! I wasn’t going to tell the hundreds of assistants who follow me that I was turning 69 (that sounds old). But then I decided, why not? I am grateful for another birthday and to still be around after some major surgeries in 2014 and 2015.
How have I lived this long and still have spunk? I’m stubborn. I’m Italian – I come from good stock. And I’m determined to live a long, fruitful life.
We all need staying power, especially in this day and age. What tools have I used and continue to use to employ staying power? I have 15 habits that I’ve developed over the years.
- Surround myself with the right people. What do I mean by right people? I mean don’t be around people who drag you down or make you feel worse after you have talked to them. I surround myself with people who are upbeat, strong, face life’s challenges head-on, are interesting, can teach me something, and who challenge my thinking.
- Know when to coast and when to push yourself. There are times we need to coast or take the pressure off ourselves. Then there are times we must push ourselves through the hard stuff. For example, last night I worked out at the gym with my trainer. I had not been to the gym for a month. My trainer worked me really hard last night. After about a half-hour in, I wanted to say, “Enough!” I was sweaty especially with wearing a face mask and it was hard to lift the weights. I finally told myself, “I can do this. Muster up my strength and lean into the exercises.”
- I write in my gratitude journal 3 – 5 times a week. I started writing a gratitude journal 13 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have about 15 fat journals. I especially write in my journal (at the end of the day) when I’ve had a rough day.
- I keep a two-sided quote card at my desk at the Office Dynamics office. One side says, “It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Bietrich Bonhoeffer. The other side says, “Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” – Dale Carnegie
- I vent when I need to vent. It’s not healthy to hold emotions in. Of course, I know who I can vent to and when. It feels good to just let the steam out of my body and then I can move on.
- I pray. I am a believer. I could not have gotten through brain surgery, open-heart surgery, and my husband’s three-year battle with pancreatic cancer without prayer.
- Watch funny movies. I found this to be very therapeutic.
- I have trained like a warrior in the areas of
- Developing a high tolerance for change
- Grit – I’m not ready to give up
Yes, these are skills we can learn. You have to want to get skilled in these areas.
Get up and move my body, whether it’s doing chores around the house, walking my dog, or dancing in my kitchen. What’s interesting is when you don’t feel good physically or not mentally in the right place, this is the last thing you want to do. But it is the VERY thing you need to do.
- I dream about future vacations, things I want to do with my kids or a girlfriend, and get dates on the calendar. I’ve recently booked rooms at Disney World in Orlando for next March for my 5 teenage grandkids, and me. It’s Disney World’s 50th It is the carrot dangling in front of me.
- Build resources along the way whether they are financial resources or people networks because I know, someday, I am going to need them.
- Put money aside for a rainy day, even it’s just a little bit every week.
- Build your people network. I cannot “do” life on my own and I don’t want to. As we travel life’s journey, we need to meet and build authentic relationships with others.
- I pamper myself. Since I was 19, married, and then had 2 kids, I believed in taking care of myself. I knew if I didn’t take care of myself, I would not be good for the people I loved, including taking care of my bosses at work. I love to go to the spa, beauty shop, and occasionally buy myself flowers.
- I’m always learning how to dance in the rain. I don’t have this down pat. I read a quote that says, “Don’t wait for the rain to pass. Learn to dance in the rain.”
- For staying power, I picture myself as a marathon runner. Marathon runners start out with enthusiasm and energy. As they get toward the end of their race, they tire yet they keep the finish line in their sight.
- I naturally tend to see the glass as half full vs. half empty OR I see the sun peaking through the clouds vs. seeing clouds blocking the sun. It’s just in my DNA. Some people call me unrealistic or say I’m not practical. That’s fine with me because it works to my benefit and contributes to my well-being.
I’d like to end with this quote from a book called Fight On.
DO NOT give your time to the things that drain you, the thoughts that bring you down, or the people who break your heart.
Make room for good things to begin!