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Welcome to the Ten Dot Spot - Our Blog!

Monday
Dec172012

December Sweet Spot - What We Have

Happy December!

As we prepare for the holiday season, many of us wrap up not only our gifts, but also our year. The calendar’s about to turn, and there’s a natural tendency to want to take stock, reflect on all the things that have happened to us, and ponder where we may be going next.

Sometimes these “year-in-review” reflections bring us joy, a sense of accomplishment, and excitement about what the future may have in store for us. Sometimes, though, these recollections make us feel sad, full of despair, and anxious about a world that may not have been so kind of late. Perhaps we’ve lost our way, and don’t know how to get back on track. Or maybe we’re still on our path, but don’t feel like we’ve really gotten anywhere. Or we’ve gotten somewhere, but it wasn’t where we wanted to go. Pile on the stress of the holiday season, and the added burden on “Santa” to deliver, and it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re here doing what we’re doing (especially when it’s usually after midnight when everyone’s gone to bed).

Whether it’s material things, or people we miss, or skills and abilities we wish we had, or maybe it’s as simple as a parking spot at the mall... there will always be “don’t have’s” in our lives.

But what about what we do have? If we thought about our year and made note of what we already have, how might this perspective influence our lives going forward? For an inspiring example of living this “have” principle out loud, meet Nick Vujicic. Here is a man with a “have not” list that would lead most of us to admit defeat, yet his “what I have is enough” message illustrates the incredible power of mindset when it’s dialed in to giving thanks, dreaming big, and never giving up. We swear anytime you’re feeling blue, a memory flash of Nick will be the perfect cure!

What would be on your “have” list for 2012?

Here’s a few of ours that we hope might be on yours, too (and if you sing this list to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, you’ll really be taking your holiday game to a whole new level) ... hearts that know love, minds that think possibility, eyes that see magic in the dawn of a new day, ears that hear the laughter of legacy from our loved ones, arms that have the capacity to hold our friends and family close, the company of the young and young-at-heart that keep us playing and curious, the unconditional love that only Moms and best friends can give, sweet memories of our dads twirling us across the dance floor, the never-ending gifts of literacy, music and the arts, the peace of spirituality and knowing the best is yet to come ... and of course Rob Thomas and Keith Urban.

You know what else we have? YOU! Thank you for making our professional dream one of our “already have’s”, and for allowing us the privilege to change the world with you one mindful act at a time. We’re so grateful for the people we’ve met along the way, and please know how much we appreciate the wisdom you’ve shared with us during these past amazingly wonderful twelve months in the Ten Dot universe.

Before we go, here is a letter we shared last year from a mom to her daughter who is demanding to know the truth about Santa (and you’ll want to read this with The Canadian Tenors singing “O Holy Night” in the background , btw.) Another reminder of what we already have! Merry Christmas, enjoy your “have’s”, stay curious, think possibility, and may the mall parking goddesses be kind to you this holiday season!

Thursday
Nov082012

Girl Jam 2013 - Women, Wisdom and Living Woo-Hoo!

GIRL JAM 2013 IS COMING ... AND YOU’RE INVITED!!!

 “Some might call it Girls’ Night Out ... We call it Therapy!”

 What if you could start your New Year off in a room full of inspiring women?

What if these same women could help you discover and live your magnificence out loud in ways that affect real, positive and lasting change for future generations?

What if a four-hour investment of your time translated into feeling more inspired, energized, excited, happy and grateful for the gifts of girlhood?

PLEASE JOIN THE TEN DOT CHICKS ON JANUARY 17TH, 2013 AS WE CELEBRATE

“Women, Wisdom and Living Woo-Hoo”

Galt Country Club. Coronation Boulevard. Cambridge

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Featuring A Keynote Address On Women’s Health Issues By ReAlign Health Clinic’s

Dr. Mark Guker

We are living an average of 34 years longer than our great-grandparents did.  New research describes this “third act” as a separate and distinct phase of the life cycle, and invites us to view aging not as a pathological event, but as a time of truly living our potential out loud.

What creates this perspective?  And how can we live our potential out loud?

In a word ... Wisdom.

Discover your own, and the wealth of wisdom that is all around you, as we explore ways to live your magnificence more fully, each and every day, moment by moment.

Reserve your $50 ticket today, and let’s create your Best Year Yet!

RSVP by December 21st, 2012 via connect@tendot.ca or by contacting sharonmd@tendot.ca

 

Friday
Oct122012

The Wisdom of Gratitude

Happy October!

Welcome to one of our favourite times of the year ... the season of gratitude! Since the very beginning, Ten Dot has been on a mission to help individuals appreciate life, and the magnificence that lies within every one of us to help make the world a better place. With every connection we’ve made, we’ve been overwhelmed with the wisdom that each person had within them, and their willingness to offer it up to others for the benefit of something larger than themselves. So much wisdom, with so much potential for positive, sustainable impact ... over and over, we were reminded of what a magnificent world we are collectively creating.

The whole idea of enabling others to live more mindfully, with the joy and comfort that legacy wisdom – the stuff that stands the test of time - promised, got we Ten Dot chicks thinking. All around us were these tried-and-true wisdom stories told by people who were passing on other people’s wisdom stories passed on by yet a few more wise people ... WOW! Talk about a wisdom avalanche!

We love the idea of wisdom begetting more wisdom. We love how this wisdom is so readily available, in every one of us. We really love the notion of expressing our gratitude by sharing the gifts we’ve received with others. And we’re head-over-heels in love with the opportunity to have you join with us as we give thanks for the world of wisdom we live in!

Please say hello to Ten Dot’s “Wisdom Chain Letter” Project, which we hope you’ll take part in by sending us your responses to the following three questions:

1. Think about someone in your life who was kind enough to share one piece of wisdom that you feel incredibly fortunate to have received, and make a note of their name;

2. Describe your relationship with the individual who shared this wisdom with you (mom, dad, sibling, grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, colleague, community group member, total stranger ... ); and,

3. Send us two or three sentences to describe the wisdom you received, why you’re thankful for it,and how it impacted the way you’ve chosen to live your life.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s some good news ... our chain letter has already begun! Earlier this month, Ten Dot was pleased to present a keynote address on “Women, Wisdom and Words: A Gratitude Celebration” to a group of inspiring women and community volunteers. Sixty women, five minutes of reflection, and we’re still sorting through the scores of wisdom tidbits that were collected up at the end of the session! Who came up with the brilliant idea to wipe your interior windows vertically, and your outside windows horizontally so you can find your streaks more easily? How did anyone discover toothpaste would clean your vehicle’s headlights like nothing else? Or that scotch tape would remove a splinter?

More to come!

Be mindful, stay curious, thank you for sharing your wisdom, and get ready to change the world!

Wednesday
Sep192012

Resilience - Thriving in the Fourth Quarter

It’s September …


For the majority of us operating from a calendar year mindset, fall signals the start of the fourth and final quarter of the year. Three months and a final push to achieve the plan and deliver on the promises we made to our constituents only a few short months ago… are you feeling the pressure yet?
Regardless of what the metrics show, even over-achievers experience the intensity of the fourth quarter. Whether driven by an individual goal to reach a personal target, or motivated by the pressure of a team organizational goal that is in serious jeopardy, the call for continued and ever higher performance and contribution grows louder.

How can we continue to perform well under high pressure? In a word … resilience. Resilience has been defined as the ability of an individual to “… bounce back, cope, renew, and revitalize …”. It includes competencies within the realms of agility, change and transition, creativity, critical thinking, dealing with adversity, empathy, emotional intelligence, and decision making to name a few. Research by The Niagara Institute found incredible value in those leaders who were resilient “ … because they achieve exceptional results and model a perspective which expands possibilities for others around them. Their energy is contagious. They set a tone and culture of change readiness and remain open and flexible as they seek new solutions in challenging times.” Now that’s a leader I want to follow!

Ten Dot suggests all leaders consider adding resilience to their toolkits for better “fourth quarter” performance, when their team members – and themselves – need to batten down the hatches for hauling in those remaining “big fish” goals before the end of the year. But what specific strategies work? Consider these options from the people at Inc Magazine.

Here are five more ways Ten Dot recommends for increasing your agility …

1. Clarify Your Why - At Ten Dot, we always begin with our purpose mindset, and the importance of understanding the overall meaning of why we do what we do within a larger perspective. Taking time to remind ourselves why we committed to a goal is helpful, and particularly when there are competing priorities that can distract us from what matters most. Ask yourself if your why still has meaning … if not, why not? (For more on purpose and meaning, check out our blogs on this subject)

2. Understand Your Context - The world has changed over the last eight months, and no doubt will continue to shift as factors both within and beyond our borders influence our experience of the world around us. What’s changed in your world? What impact have these changes had on the achievement of your goals, and what do you need to do now? For a compelling look at getting in touch with the here and now, take a look at Wab Kinew’s story, and how his approach to a complex, generations-old challenge has been updated to reflect the times and the best ways to achieve success.

3. Assign Your Strengths - Taking stock of your strengths, and the strengths of others, is a good initial step to take for managing high pressure moments. Want even more impact? Be specific! A more focused assessment of mission-critical competencies allows better alignment between talent and task for optimum return-on-energy.

4. Check Your EQ (Emotional Intelligence) - People are worn out in the fourth quarter. Mentally, physically, and spiritually, many have not rounded that final bend to see the ribbon at the finish line, and the prospect of crossing has hit a brick wall. This is the time to practice your empathy skills by engaging more mindfully with your colleagues, recognizing and giving positive feedback for the progress that’s been made, and being available to coach team members that may need guidance and support. As busy as you may be, taking time to connect … with employees, with other department leaders, with your constituents, and with yourself … is a good investment of your resources. And for a really big energy kick for time invested, volunteer!

5. Take Your Mindful Medicine - We’re of little good to anybody if we’re not good to ourselves first. So be smart, and take that mindful moment to stop, think and focus. Make the time to reconnect and nurture relationships. Look after your physical body, and eat healthy foods. Breathe deeply. Attend to your own definition of spiritual enlightenment. And recognize that all of these things serve as energy boosts while protecting the people who matter the most to the people they matter the most to … YOU! Make the investment … it’s the smart thing to do!

Join us again next month as we look at success and the power of giving thanks.

Stay curious, be mindful, get your agile-like-a-U.S.-presidential-nominee game on, and don’t forget to scuff some leaves this month!

Saturday
Sep152012

Defining Success

What does success look like to you?

If your response begins with the words “when I grow up”, it may be time to update your definition of success. As Ben Zander noted in a recent Ted address, “How often do we stand convinced of the truth of our early memories, forgetting that they are assessments made by a child? We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and, in doing so, disperse long-held psychological stumbling blocks.” It can be hard to come to terms with the fact only a select few of us will actually become astronauts … but if our work involves inspiring minds to explore new horizons, or teaching our colleagues to welcome change and unexpected developments as learning moments, are we not still being true to our childhood aspirations and the notion of shooting for the moon as our definition of success?

Ten Dot believes that success is relative. Whether personally or professionally, we alone determine what success means to us within the various contexts we move through day-to-day. At seven years of age, we called success “astronaut” … today, as more evolved individuals, we might describe success using words like “tolerant”, “inclusive”, “open to change”, or “collaborative”. Success aspirations can span entire lifetimes (what we call our “why” in the Ten Dot universe), or a single moment in time … what’s most important is that we truly know, and can describe in specific, concrete detail, what our own version of success looks like … today, right now, where we are, and what we’re doing with the people we’re doing it with.

Does your success definition need an overhaul? Here’s a few tips on getting started …

1. Own your definition of success. You, and you alone, determine what success looks like to you. As such, make your description of what success looks like personally meaningful, using specific language, visuals and metrics to paint your portrait of success achievement. Clarity is critical … you can’t celebrate success if you don’t know what it looks like!


2. Contextualize your definition of success. With the success clarity you now have, expand your definition of success to take into account the various contexts you operate within day-to-day, and the needs of your constituents within each of these environments. How can you live a WHY of “inclusion”, for example, as an individual, team member, leader, volunteer, or parent? What would it look like if you were living your inclusion out loud in each of these roles?

3. Chart your success steps. Armed with your contextual definition of success, the next step is to develop a plan to get you closer to it. Setting goals and outlining the steps required to achieve them help determine what actions you need to take to make success happen, plus motivation levels are easier to sustain over time as the steps are completed. For more on aligning strategies, goals and execution steps with meaningful metrics for evaluation, check out our Purposeful Performance Model which you can find on our website.

4. Recognize and celebrate small progressive steps. The journey is as important as the outcome, so taking time to celebrate small wins and overall progress is key. It doesn’t matter how big the step is, only that you took it! The first step can often be the most difficult, so be sure to pat yourself on the back for that initial exploration with some kind of meaningful acknowledgement. Maybe it’s a ten-minute break to finish the last chapter of that book you’ve been reading, or to enjoy a brisk walk around the block … again, it’s not the size of the acknowledgement, but more the act that counts here.

5. Keep your definition of success meaningful and current. Times change, and our definitions of success should also change as we continue evolving. Core values and principles may still be a part of our definition, but the way we live them may shift depending on where we find ourselves. For a great example of how success definitions can change, check out this short article on John Elkington’s triple bottom line, a tool that “captures the essence of sustainability by measuring the impact of an organization’s activities on the world, including profitability, stakeholder values and its social, human and environmental capital.” What would the world look like if every company considered their success based on these three key pillars?

If you’d like more information on contemporary success metrics, and/or you’d like some help determining what success metrics should matter the most to you, get in touch with Ten Dot. We’re not finished growing up just yet, but we’re evolving as fast as we can and would love to share our insights, experiences and expertise with you!

Stay open to possibility, explore your curiosities, define success in your own terms, and celebrate progress!