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What Does Your High-Tide Mark Look Like?

What Does Your High-Tide Mark Look Like?

 

    My walks with the dogs afford me some daily down-time and 30 minutes or so to clear the mental cobwebs – and sometimes, it is the source of new ideas from the most unlikely places.

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    A recent dogwalk took myself and the dogs down to the beach for some fun and frolic – cabin fever was setting in after a particularly rainy, stormy stretch, and the Shiba Inus needed a good play.

    As soon as we reached the bottom of the stairs, I could see that the inclement weather had created an unusually high storm surge at high-tide, reaching right up to the base of the cliffs. We were the first beachgoers there after this unusually high tide, and it had completely transformed the beach! All the flotsam and jetsam, evidence of beach parties (both human and otter in origin), and the straggly bits of seaweed were washed away, and the sand all the way down the beach was pristine.

    Like we were the first ones to discover a secret destination!

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    Now during the winter, these storm surges are somewhat regular occurrences, tides will reach a high point, and about once a year, there will be a huge tide, influenced by both the moon cycle and whatever might be going on weather-wise. The point being, this is part of the cycle of nature that so many of us don’t notice as we live our urban existences.

    Here we go again!

    It struck me that in our business and personal lives, we also experience similar natural cycles, but just don’t notice them as such because we are also out of tune with the cycles found in nature. The notion of the “business cycle” is a commonly referred to phenomenon in economics, but most small business owners are too focused on the day-to-day stresses to worry about the long-term. The notion of the “7 year itch” is part of our popular lexicon (and spoofed by Hollywood), but we seldom give ourselves slack in our personal relationships to roll with the ebbs and flows of our romantic lives.

    Instead we expecting the months in the 10th year of our relationships to be exactly as exhilarating as the first! We also pay a lot of attention to circadian rhythms and sleep cycles, but forget about the intermediate, seasonal cycles that influence our lives.   The more intentional we get about recognizing some of these seasonal rhythms, and the strategies we’ve used in the past, the better we will get at life – personally and professionally!

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    Tack right … or left

    It also struck me that there are times in our personal and professional lives where we find ourselves at a high-tide, or storm-surge mark – where we weather difficult periods, and come out the other side with a fresh start – or a “do-over”. Think about it – in the world of startups, the concept of “pivoting” to react to market demands is perfectly acceptable; even encouraged! And there is a definite efficiency to recognizing where you are in the cycle and adjusting to change rather than beating your head against a brick wall. Ironically while we laud the agility of successful startups, when it comes to our own experiences we hold ourselves to the rigidity of the perfect 5-year plan and deem ourselves failures if the end result does not play out exactly as we viewed in our heads.

    So, I encourage you to get in touch with the rhythms that permeate your life. Pay attention to repeating patterns – the ebbs and flows, and get to know when to take advantage of signals such as the storm-surge that tell us its time to change direction. (Just think, in 5 years, there are a total of 20 seasons – a lot of natural changes to take advantage of!)

    Take a deep breath, and get your hands dirty

    I firmly believe that one way to bring home an intuitive sense of those rhythms is to reacquaint ourselves with the rhythms of the natural world. If you live near a beach, make a regular visit to the shoreline. Take a walk by the river or lake, or get outside and take notice of what colour the leaves are, and in what sequence the flowers emerge in spring, and when the trees begin to bud.

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    Better yet, if you have a yard or access to land, get outside and grow some food. Its the ultimate way of getting in tune with nature’s rhythms. Not only will you reap the benefits (literally) of making your own food, but it is the ultimate exercise in rolling with whatever challenges arise. … like the ultimate high-tide mark, every growing season is a fresh start.

    (Photo credit: high strong ocean waves with spray and surf via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2019

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

    In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

    These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

    1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

    Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

    But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

    Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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    2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

    You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

    The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

    3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

    If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

    Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

    If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

    4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

    Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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    To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

    In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

    5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

    We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

    If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

    Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

    “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

    6. Give for the Joy of Giving

    When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

    One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

    So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

    7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

    Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

    Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

    When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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    So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

    9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

    Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

    It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

    It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

    10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

    There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

    But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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    Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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    Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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