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Our daily intentions ...

Like all executives, my days are governed by calendars, calls, meetings and deadlines.

It continually amazes me when I see my life calendared for months and years ahead!

I know that, at best, these events are plans, and that these plans can be altered in a second. Many times, our plans are interrupted due to outside events or challenges we have no control over. If you’re questioning this, check out your pre-COVID calendar! For most of us, the pandemic was unexpected and impacted all areas of our personal and professional lives.

While my calendar is a guide, my days are governed by what I call my “daily intentions.”

Every evening before I retire and every morning before I begin my day, a part of my ritual is the establishment of my daily Intentions. I take three to five minutes to review who I want to be, how I will conduct myself in my personal and business life, and how I choose to face the day. Over the years, I have been able to refine this process. While they always have a consistent theme, these intentions do change based on situations, plans or events.

Years ago, I attended a leadership training event at Disney University. A speaker shared with us some of the tools that were used in the call center for all the parks and attractions. The call center cast members don’t use their real names. They adopt a different persona for their interactions with guests. I know this is a common practice in many customer service positions, but was still interested in the speakers’ words. She said that one of her staff told her they didn’t feel like coming to work that day, but their call center persona was ready to do business! I laughed at the time, but over the years, I have come to understand this. The cast member at this call center, like all of us, could not control exactly what their day was like, but they could control how they were going to handle the day.

Only I create, control and practice my daily intentions. They remind me of my core values, of who I aspire to be as a person, of the legacy I want to leave, and the remind me that I can handle whatever comes my way. These intentions empower me, encourage me and help me focus on my “why” and my priorities. Also included in this practice is an understanding of the value others bring to my day, and a reminder to be of service. I cannot control others or the world around me, but I can control what I do!

"Recently, one of my adult children was hospitalized unexpectedly and was in the intensive care unit for eight days in a coma, and then spent weeks in the hospital."

The day it happened, I was delivering a workshop and flying home in the afternoon. As soon as I was notified, I turned around and made my way to the hospital. All plans were placed on hold and my priority was to be there. My intentions that morning included doing a great job professionally, but they also included a reminder of my value to my family and my loved ones. My intentions supported my actions and enabled me to make the decisions and changes in upcoming plans that I needed to make. I knew exactly what I needed to do. My daily intentions were my compass and my internal guidance system.

How about you?
What are your daily intentions?
Are you controlled by your calendar and schedule or are you guided by your priorities?
Who did you want to be today?
Did you hold yourself accountable to your own standards?
Did you face the day on your terms?

Life is complicated, tricky and requires us to be on our toes! Having tools or hacks that support us and remind us to be our best are valuable. Check your internal guidance system and make sure that your compass is guiding you in the direction you want to go!

By the way, my compass always points to E,
reminds me to practice what I preach with the E-Factor,
and to consistently empower and encourage leaders!



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