Newsletter by Barbara Mintzer

Barbara Mintzer's Newsletter
The Power of a Vision... a Leader's Journey

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March / April / May / June 2008
Living Your Life With a Grateful Heart

Wow, I can't believe it is already June, and we haven't "spoken" for a number of months. I was on the road last month, speaking to a number of nursing groups for National Nurses Week. I am always humbled after speaking with nursing professionals, at the dedication and humanity you all display in the vital work that you do.

I had a marvelous trip to Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, where I addressed the nursing professionals of the Chinle Service Unit. This hospital, which is on the Navajo Reservation, takes care of the medical needs of approximately 50,000 Navajo people in Chinle and the surrounding areas. What a bang-up job they did for Nurses Week. I presented two in-house sessions one day, and keynoted their banquet for nurses and spouses the following evening. I immersed myself in the Navajo culture and toured their beautiful canyons. My thanks, once again, for the warm hospitality afforded me, and for the opportunity to discuss the issues facing nurses in healthcare today. A hearty welcome to all of you who signed up for this Newsletter.

Earlier this month I addressed The Healing Power of Women Luncheon and, once again, was privileged to be in the company of women, each one dynamic in her own right. This diverse group of women comprised older women who brought their daughters along, as well as mid-life entrepreneurs and business people, and young women just starting out in the workplace. We discussed how to live with a grateful heart and, quite frankly, I was sorry when the luncheon ended. I really didn't want to leave. A hearty welcome to all of you who signed up for this Newsletter.

So...the question can you live your life with a grateful heart when there is so much confusion and chaos in the world? I am especially aware of the need to do this, since as a professional speaker and consultant, my work is to empower and uplift others. I cannot do this with integrity if I have lost my own focus and am walking around depressed and unmotivated. So anything I say to you, I say to myself as well. The following are three excellent strategies to use to make sure you stay in control of your life.

"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is
something for you to do in the world. So long as you
can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain."

                                                Helen Keller

1.    Live your life with a sense of purpose.  Life can be disappointing; people can be unappreciative of what you do; things happen that seem so unfair. All this is true, however, when you have a sense of purpose, and you know what you want to accomplish, all these things are taken in stride. You know what you have to do, and your inner sense of direction and purpose help you overcome the obstacles life throws your way. Also, when you have a sense of purpose and are inner-directed, you are not at the mercy of other people's approval. It is a NO-WIN situation to live life to please others. No matter how hard you try, someone won't think it's enough. And, deep down, you have an expectation of something in return. When that doesn't happen, resentment sets in. If you want to live your life with a grateful heart, chart your own course, and be grateful for the opportunities given and the lessons learned along the way.

"If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks
good to the world but does not feel good in your heart,
it is no success at all."
                                                Anna Quindlen

2.    Know your weaknesses.  When you are down and can't find anything to feel grateful for, you are particularly vulnerable. Stay away from the "negaholics" and critical people in your life. You may say "too late...I already married one, gave birth to one, or one gave birth to me!" That may be the case, and it is particularly difficult to stay away from family and good friends, but when you are vulnerable, you must protect yourself. I know when I am feeling down, I am much more sensitive to what my husband will say to me. A "cute" comment or a "friendly word of advice" that would not otherwise bother me, can bring me to tears. I have learned to tell him that I am really not in a great place, and those cute remarks are not going over well, and it would be terrific if he could save them for another time. I have learned to let it be okay to keep my voice machine on and screen my calls, as there are some people I really need to stay away from when I am not in a good place. Know who pushes your buttons and know when you just don't have it in you to deal with these people. Far better to stay away now, than get into something with them that you will regret later. Be grateful that you can control this situation and do what is necessary to take care of yourself.

In business, I do not actively market by phone when I am down. I have found that my mood reflects in my tone of voice and lack of animation, and in my ability to field tough questions and handle rejection. I used to push myself to make these calls, even when I was not at my best, and in almost every instance, it was a mistake.

3.    Allow yourself a time-out.  When you are feeling down and dis-engaged with your work and life in general, do you have a place you can go to where it is quiet and private where you can do some reflective thinking? Is there a place at work you can hide in for five minutes where you can have a "time-out" from everything around you just to think, meditate, pray or do whatever it takes to get you back on track? Silence is very powerful. If we can learn to harness that power and use it to our advantage, it will help us enormously when things get tough. If you find life or a work situation getting to you, take a few deep breaths and sit in the silence for awhile. Allow your body to calm down and give yourself the time and quiet to think. Answers will come to you much more clearly when you are peaceful and tuned in.

Do you have a trusted friend or confidant you can talk to? One who would be willing to listen without judgment, just to let you vent and get it off your chest. Sometimes just verbalizing how you feel, giving those feelings an airing, helps you sort things out. Pets are wonderful if you just need "someone" to listen. For those of you who own dogs, you know that whatever you say or do, you are absolutely perfect and always right in their eyes. Cats are a little more "discriminating" but they are still terrific to talk to.

I am grateful for the opportunity to send these Newsletters to you and hope you find them of interest and of value. As always, I welcome your feedback and input. If you have practiced any of the above strategies and would like to share your experience with us, I'd be delighted to hear from you. We all learn from each other...your story may be just what someone else needs to hear. If you have another strategy that works for you, I'd love to pass that along as well.

About the Author

Barbara Mintzer is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant with over 30 years in business and healthcare. She speaks from experience! Her how-to programs provide participants with immediately applicable skills and strategies for getting buy-in and commitment from staff and staying on top of their professions in today's competitive and constantly changing workplace. Barbara presents keynote talks and breakout sessions for international, national, regional and state Conferences. She also conducts management retreats and in-house seminars. She facilitates panel discussions and roundtables and can be a master of ceremonies for your event...a good investment for your meeting budget. To explore the possibility of having Barbara speak at your next event, or work with your staff/leadership team, please contact her office.

Phone: (805) 964-7546
FAX: (805) 964-9636

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