December 21, 2018
Dear Friend, As winter begins and the holidays continue, I hope that you’re making the space to slow down and take extra care of yourself. We tend to get even busier than usual in December — finishing projects, gift shopping, holiday cards, family plans and thinking ahead to the new year. All this pressure can be really stressful and take you off path. If you’re not too, ahem, busy, I’d like to share more thoughts on the subject of busyness below and in my December blog post, Reimagine Busyness, which is the first installment in a series I am doing over the next few months called Reimagine Success. In both the blog and this newsletter, I begin to explore how to take the reins of your stress levels, productivity and potential in a 24/7 world.
Go Slow to Go Fast
Being hyper busy and always plugged in is a way of life too many of us know too well, and we pay a price for it. You may find yourself skipping meals and exercise, making mistakes at work, not taking time for family and friends or even losing your sense of purpose. I love helping individuals and organizations explore how slowing down can actually serve as a catalyst, not an obstacle to your ambition, vision and impact. It’s critical to examine your unique recipe for creating a smart, focused and, dare I say, playful approach to work that is integrated with the rich rewards and recharging benefits of life beyond your professional mission.
It may feel like a luxury to step back, assess your values and plan how you can more intentionally manage your time, energy and focus. However, my experience is that it’s a necessity, not a luxury. In order to take charge of your life and sustain your positive contributions, it’s key to commit to and follow through on a daily work and life plan that allows you to meet the majority of your needs and feel inspired, supported and successful.
Assessing Your Needs
When you're too busy, you tend to short-change some of your needs. Over the long-term, this can create serious consequences because meeting your needs is an important foundation of a healthy Busyness Index. My experience is that when you prioritize meeting the majority of your needs, it's much less likely that you'll be busy in ways that deplete your resources, make you less effective in work or less present for yourself and others. Knowing the best way to integrate the full range of your needs provides you with a powerful tool to keep yourself centered and growing. I’ve created a Busyness Inventory to help you get a quick, initial sense of how your level of busyness is and isn't working for you. You may be surprised by the results!
I’d love to hear how you’re making it through December soulfully and your plans for 2019! —Cathy
Does your busy schedule allow for a full life? Find out by taking this quick inventory! It will give you a sense of how well you’re meeting the full range of your needs with suggestions for what you can do about it if the busyness trap has got you!
From 2012, before social media fully took off, this is a very good opinion piece from The New York Times, “The Busy Trap,” by Tim Kreider. I remember reading it the day it appeared and it seems as fresh and relevant six years later. It’s far from an advice column, more of a witty polemic for the great value of idleness.
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Rest. Alex Pang is a scholar, researcher and writer with lots to say on a wide range of subjects related to technology, rest and optimum human performance. This book is a kind of manifesto for a more humane work ethic.
This lovely short film by Francisco Kitzberger, “Busy,” takes a Thoreau quote and translates it into a beautiful and enlightening experience of constant busyness through art and music.
“My Dinner With Andre,” the 1981 classic, written by and starring Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn and directed by Louis Malle, is a feature length meditation on life. The film consists almost entirely of a conversation between two men over dinner, yet is a captivating look at the magic that emerges when we give relationship and conversation real space.
October 15, 2018
New Website. New Resources. New D.C. Location.
Hello! A lot has been happening in my and our world since I last wrote. It's been a momentous and stressful few weeks filled with extremes — we've seen some of the most incredible organizing in recent history with many people raising their courageous and important voices while our government strays further and further off the path of democracy. The perfect time to move to Washington, D.C. right?! Well, after 20 years in NYC, I took the plunge and relocated to the belly of the beast earlier this year :). Believe it or not, it's a slower paced life for me and a great base to deepen my collaborations to build a better world. I'm still coming up to NYC regularly and working with clients across the US and around the globe. I hope you’re thriving in your corner of the globe, despite this wild roller coaster we’ve been on! Please scroll down for a special offer and recommended reading and watching.
In the midst of all this, I’m excited to announce my new website! When you have a moment, please mosey over and check it out. Note I've changed my website's URL to cathywasserman.com from self-leadershipstrategies.com.
As you’ll see, I'm emphasizing ideas and techniques I’ve developed over decades that show how and why using all your "colors" — your strengths and vulnerabilities — not only helps you to achieve your goals, but is a critical part of what leads to success and what we need more of in this turbulent cultural moment. The new site also reflects some key additions and an evolution in my services and resources, including my new blog and upcoming podcast.
I’m continuing to provide personal, career and executive coaching. Plus, I’ve added coaching for duos — colleagues, business partners, co-founders, family members and others. I’ve also deepened my services to organizations and I'm offering more workshops, retreats and facilitated conversations in the following areas:
Across all of my services, I’m providing support for staying strong and seizing opportunities in these intense times using a unique modality that I've developed called cultural therapy.
Also, if you or someone you know has an idea or project — including a job search — they would like to launch and need affordable, comprehensive support, my IncYOUbator groups may be just the ticket!
I’d truly love to hear how things are going for you and what you've been cooking up in your work and life! I wish you a fabulous and fulfilling fall! —Cathy
Why Technology Favors Tyranny by Yuval Noah Harari in the Atlantic. This alarming, in-depth essay breaks down how technology — artificial intelligence and the centralized nature of the internet — may threaten to further concentrate power and make liberal democracy obsolete. I think this article is useful to consider even as we acknowledge the many incredible benefits of technology.
The Power of Vulnerability Brené Brown’s talks are well known, but worth revisiting now. This is a video highlighting her essential ideas on vulnerability and shame, particularly important to bear in mind during such triggering times.