Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ambition, Achievement, Fulfillment


A few weeks back a colleague said to me, “I admire how ambitious you are.” Her words stopped me. 

“Ambitious? You see me as ambitious?” I was puzzled. I never thought of myself in that way, so I had to ponder what she meant by that. 

I turned to my internal dictionary and thesaurus — the one my grandmother had drilled into me as a child by insisting that I learn the list of spelling bee words she tore out of the Sunday paper each week. 

Ambitious: a go-getter, power-hungry, zealous. That’s not me. Determined. Hmm. Determined. Now that is me. I am determined, purposeful, motivated, and an enthusiastic learner. I am an achiever

This got me thinking about what is achievement? Achievement is the experience of accomplishment, of attaining the goals you set for yourself. While ambition is the chief driver of achievement, it seems to me they are variables in the equation that equals fulfillment. 

Fulfillment is the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted; it is the feeling of satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one's abilities or character. You may have all the success and money in the world, yet be internally bankrupt and feel that life has no meaning.

Fulfillment is accomplished by two things: continuous growth and continuous contribution beyond oneself. It comes from living a life of meaning, of significance. Achievement, however, is pleasure; achievement is of and in the moment.  

In my studies in strategic intervention, I learned that the strongest drive in human beings is the “drive for fulfillment, and that all human beings share this need to experience a life of meaning and purpose.” (Robbins-Madanes) Fulfillment can only be achieved when we focus our lives on the need to grow continuously, and the need to contribute beyond ourselves in a meaningful way.

My desire to grow continuously and to contribute beyond myself in a meaningful way is fueled by an inner ambition to do so.  

Perhaps my colleague was right. I am ambitious.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The ABCs of Serenity Now

Here are my 26 ways to lead a more serene and happy life.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you practice serenity in your life.
~ Rita



Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's About Time (Management, That Is)

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. wrote, "Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

Time management, in a nutshell, is how we get things done. When you develop good time management skills you are in control of your time, your life, and your stress level. So, if you feel the need to be more organized, more productive, start by considering the following:

1) Meet your Time Bandits.  Do you set out to check your e-mail, or your Facebook page updates, or your favorite Internet news site, and suddenly find that ninety minutes has flown by? Do you set out to play fifteen minutes of your latest online game “just to clear my mind” and suddenly three hours has passed you by? These Time Bandits are insidious time-wasters that steal time we could be using much more productively.

2) Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible. While unexpected interruptions or crises will arise, you will be more productive if you have a plan of action to follow.

3) Set time limits for tasks. Reading and answering e-mail can consume a large portion of your day if you are not mindful. Set a time limit of one hour a day for this task and stick to it. If checking e-mail is part of your work routine, plan no more than 4 to 6, ten-minute intervals each day.

Making these simple, small changes can help lower your stress. For more ways to live a flourishing life, visit my web site: www.ritaschiano.com.

Embrace joy. Be mindful. Live a flourishing Life.
Rita