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How to Use Planking for Success

Road to Success

I have been posting about my planking experience after a friend’s visit. My friend, who is a bit wacky in a trickster kind of way, has taken on planking as the sport of champions. For me it is just a thing that people do. However, I put aside my desire to not be publicly humiliated and became the photographer of record for his Queens planking debut. Click here to view a short 30 second video on- Planking: A Happening

I drew the line at the insides of houses of worship and anything with sharp points or bodily fluids. There was one shot next to dog poo, but its defined shape and size gave me some small comfort. My friend, the trickster extrovert, pushed me past all levels of comfort, waking me up in the morning by banging on my door and loudly singing a wiener song he created just for me. In the eleven years I have known him I have never seen him embarrassed by any thing he has done. He loves the crowd, the limelight, the attention.

Ever the introvert, I can still rise to the occasion and be the speaker in front of the room, teach a class, or walk up to someone I want to meet and say hello. But, its done with great discomfort and angst. The past weekend taught me an important lesson; being outlandish, doing what interests you, despite criticism, is not generally life threatening.

My friend’s visit had me doing a lot of things I would not have done if left to my own comfort level. Using fear and the label of introvert has kept me in a small world. I have wrapped myself in false comfort. I understand that there is a balance I can achieve and I have my cave dwelling when I need it. However, is my own comfort level preventing me from achieving more success?

Are there ways you hide? Do you use labels to keep you from trying new things? Just wondering – who is the planker in this group?

Consider the qualities of my planker friend. He was brave, ridiculous, focused, curious, excited and willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goal despite criticism and the possibility of looking silly. Considering the qualities above, which ones are you lacking? Are you afraid of looking stupid? Do you have a good idea, but hesitate in pursuing it because you might fail? Have you lost the childlike curiosity to explore new ideas? Do you think Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or Oprah have any of the qualities of my planking friend? Which ones could you embody right now?

Three steps to using planking for success.
1. Feel fear and do it any way. Even if you are afraid of looking stupid, take a chance and try your idea out on an audience. Try it out on more hen one audience. Your parents may not be the best go to people for your ideas. Try some business groups, colleagues, etc. Ask what they like or not like about your idea.
2. Spark your curiosity. If you lack ideas – go visit a library. Do some sleuth work. Casually look around and observe the people in the library. What are they reading? Is it fiction? Magazines? What kind? Make a list of topics. Was there a trend? Take a topic or a trend you are not familiar with and go visit that section of the library. Let’s automobiles were a big trend then go pick up a history of cars, or a biography of Henry Ford. Spend a hour or so exploring the topic and then brainstorm some possible ideas about the topic. You don’t have to do anything with the research just use it to spark your curiosity and move you out of doing the same old thing.
3. Focus on one idea and see it through. My friend researched planking, created goals and took action. Doing that sparked him to step out and visit new places and try something different. Now he has new things to share.

*originally posted on Google Plus and edited for use here.


What do you really want?

*We are almost six months into 2014. Where are you with your goals? I have to take George Clooney off my bucket list- at this writing he has broken out of his box and gotten himself engaged.

I am moving along in creating new business opportunities. I have settled into a new state, new town and a whole new way of living. 2014 is a change from last year, a bit unsettling, exciting and brimming with possibility. Change can do you good. What are you up to in 2014?
Circles: Where are we going?

*Updated from 2012

I bet, if you are like me, you have been thinking about goals for the start of 2012. Each year begins the annual ritual of anticipated success, ending with broken promises and shattered dreams. OK, maybe some goals are actually achieved, but for many of us we look back on a littered highway of unmet expectations.

Coming into this current year I wanted to approach the planning part a little differently. First of all, I didn’t torment myself with starting off the year all glittery and made up to look like my perfect self. I wanted to reach in deep and create goals based on my true needs and feelings.

In the past I would create goals based on a good idea. A goal might have been “have a job that pays me 50,000 a year” and then I’d go look for “a job” that fit that criteria without much thought to what I might like to do. The result has been work that stressed me out and didn’t end well.

However, what if I looked at work as a way to fulfill my feeling and needs? Looking back at what worked and didn’t I can begin to identify what might suit me better.

I want work to satisfy my need for security (money, health care, structure), or ownership of a project or my work. Some additional needs I may want fulfilled through my work:

Presence, Discovery, Exploration, Learning, Making sense of life, Shared consciousness, Excitement, Safety, Self-Care, Shelter, Sustainability, Competence, Consciousness, Contribution, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Community, Choice, Freedom, Independence, Inner power.

It would seem like there are lot of them here, but remember work fills many needs, I don’t want to neglect them for the sake of brevity. I want to honor my needs so that when the end of the day comes I am not resentful but filled up and happy. Also included in the list will be feelings:

Dazzled, Energetic, Encouraged, Quiet, Confident, Enthusiastic, Optimistic, Open, Invigorated, Inspired, Satisfied, Proud, Lively, Amazed, Safe, Passionate, Awed, Engaged, Vibrant, Joyful, Refreshed, Absorbed, Amused, Enlivened.

Once I have identified my needs and feelings I can more clearly clarify what kind of job or goal would fulfill my needs and wants. Applying this strategy to different areas of my life I create goals that I am more eager to achieve and can set actions around them to further meet my needs. Want to discover your own feelings and needs? Melissa Zwanger, MA, MBA, Leadership Specialist for Visionaries, has created a wonderful document for you. Here is the link to determine your own needs and feelings.

Below I posted a tip from Rich Goodfriend about how to strategize when setting an action, goal or intention. Using this technique around any action I might take really helps me identify whether it will bring value to my life, instead of unconsciously saying yes and being dissatisfied as a result.

Sample tip from Rick Goodfriend, Founder – World Empathy Day (WEday)

The Tip: For this week as you start to do an action, ask yourself, “Does this really meet my needs or values?
This is a strategy to make sure your actions will meet your needs.

Example: Action: I want to take a trip to a National Park.

Need Met: Relaxation, Beauty of Nature

Self Discussion:

The drive is 4 hours- It is longer than I want yet if I take it slow and stop on the way it may be more relaxing. I enjoy driving. Need Met
I would like a change of scenery. This trip will definitely would do that.
Is there any other strategy that may work better? Not really at this time.

I now feel confident that this strategy will meet my needs and more. Try this exercise and see if it is more effective to meeting your needs and bring more ease to your living and relationships.

There is value in setting your 2012 goals to really meet your needs and honor your feelings. Goals become juicy and vibrant and more exciting. You want to jump up in the morning to meet your needs and get things done. Go ahead give it a try. And December 2012 tell me what you accomplish. I am confident you will feel better about life.