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Daily archives "September 8, 2013"

Burning the Candle or Burnt Candle? Personal Brand Lessons

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fireIn the midst of a conversation the other day I was posed with the question, “How are things going? Busy?” The question made me think heavily about the term busy and how it is used so lightly. Everyone is busy. In the same respect, every person has a different definition of what it means to be busy. To the question I simply replied, “I am no longer burning the candle at both ends; The whole candle is on fire!” Uproarious laughter ensued.

In my post Busyness or Business, I touched on the shortcomings of saying the much overused phrase “I’m busy.” This post goes a little further to discuss the source of being busy and what you can do about it. When the burning candle that is your life is no longer just burning at the ends, you should ponder these next few thoughts:

  1. Self-reflection: Harvard graduate and executive consultant Dr. Robert Pasick describes self-reflection as one of the most difficult things for business people to do. “Self reflection is merely spending time asking ourselves important questions which others ask of us but we fail to ask ourselves,” say Dr. Pasick. Being self-reflective will not only allow us to change things that we may not always see that is wrong with us but it may also help us understand where we are letting things slip in work and life. This will teach us what things we can let go and what things we need to pay more attention to. It will ultimately allow us to realign one of the most precious aspects of our life – time.
  2. Minimalism: Some people, myself included most days, try to be all things to all people. This does not work for long periods of time. It is important to minimize your lifestyle. What is the excess? What does not matter as much anymore? What matters more? These are the things we must consider. Minimalism is not just for the people who go through life with little or no possessions. It is also a mindset for the “busy” individual who needs to refocus their personal brand.
  3. Healthy balance: Many of us have work, home life, friends, volunteer activities, church, hobbies, and the like going on every week. Not to mention trying to find time to hit the gym, clean your house and spend time with kids or family. It is important to find a healthy balance. Thousands of articles will tell you to find a balance and give you all the ways to make it easy on you, which it is not. As long as you know you need a healthy balance it is easier to focus on it. Once you know you want it just do it. Delegate tasks. Plan more from the beginning. Let lower priorities wait longer. Tomorrow, it will still be there waiting for you.
  4. Letting go: Some perfectionists, like myself, have a difficult time of letting certain things go. Whether it is a nagging work project, mowing your lawn, cleaning your house, and the like, it is okay to ask for help. It is okay to assign a project to someone who may not be completely versed in what to do. These tasks all take away precious hours of your week that could be better spent elsewhere. It may not be easy to let go of some things, but it is necessary.

Read the article again. Understand why these four points are needed in life to strengthen your personal brand. I can already see the flames off your candle dying down. What is the fifth thought you would add to this list?