Tag Archives: MOJO

Holidays got you down? Abort, retry, ignore…

29 Nov

This has not been an easy year for many people, including yours truly, and I’m just not getting into the so-called “Holiday Spirit” of giving, giving, giving!  I can understand the frenzy and excitement of the holiday season when one has small children to entertain and family members who gather near and far, but when those are fading memories and if you are not into commercialism, it can get to be just too much ado about nothing (aside from the religiosity of certain days).

As a self-employed professional whose work is exclusively traveling to foreign cities (and countries) to deliver keynote presentations, training seminars and consulting services, I’ve never had the luxury of corporate festivities. In addition, my children are grown and living elsewhere (yes, I’m close to them), and I live a single life enriched with friends and the companionship of one remaining cat.

I have no wish to rehash or restore the married years of yesteryear, and the consumer-retail-marketing aspect of the holiday season really holds no allure.  “Buy, buy, buy – get diamonds for your love – the best time of the year” – it’s all so nauseating.  All I want to say is Bah, humbug, who cares?  I’m living life in the present and I am happy with my choices – they just don’t match the joyous couple – center of the universe – apparently blissful existence that television and media purports as being essential.  So, why then do I feel anxious about the impending holiday season?

Does anyone else feel like this or am I an anomaly?  In the U.S. when there is only one day off for Christmas Day, it is common to find many people celebrating (or getting through the day) alone – it’s the reality today!  But, society, advertising and our media don’t seem to get this.  (I guess the almighty dollar still trumps sanity.)

With 46% of American adults currently single, we ought to celebrate and find ways to thrive without needing to be (co- or otherwise) dependent on others.  While humanity remains a social sport (we are “social beings” say the sociologists) it is not a guarantee that holidays will be a social event.

So, instead of saying bah, humbug, turn off the Christmas music already (hey, we just got finished with the election blues a couple of weeks ago!) – I’ve decided I’m going to resort to the Microsoft way of dealing with the holidays this year: 

Abort, retry, ignore!

Abort retry ignoreHere’s how I propose to use these three IT (information technology) based approaches to solve problems:  The next time that I am irritated by Christmas tunes or frustrated by holiday traffic jams or don’t feel like talking to a “Happy, happy, joy, joy” elf-like acquaintance about their holiday preparations, I’m going to:

Abort — Get out of the situation:  if it’s a store with obnoxious music, I’m going to walk out; if it’s a shopping mall parking lot – go somewhere else; if it’s being besieged by a friend who wants to go on and on about their wondrous preparations, I’m going to excuse myself and escape to my own space.

Retry — If I cannot get out of the situation (abort above), then I’m going to reframe the situation in my mind through meditation or gratitude thinking. For example, when the music triggers memories (good or bad) that I might not be prepared to revisit, I will change the channel in my head to one with positive energy:  think about how fortunate I am to have good weather, good health, good friends, good fortune — whatever it takes to get me out of the funk-of-the-moment brought on by the holidays.

Ignore — if the first two approaches don’t work (or are inappropriate for the situation), I plan to use the MS third tactic – IGNORE.  When I hit the ignore button in my brain it will turn the distraction off!  If it’s someone who is incessantly babbling, I will imagine that their mouth is moving without any sound coming out!  (Think of Peppermint Patty’s teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons saying “Wyap wyap…”  I’ll be sure to say “uh huh” at the end when their mouth stops moving!)  If the offending trigger is music, I want to turn it off in my head and ignore it.  Nothing can enter my brainwaves or make me anything but happy without MY permission, so I plan to ignore whatever it is and go on with my life!

What do you think?  Would this be an option for you as well?

Your life is your choice!

Remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be today (I love the saying “the Present is a gift you give to yourself!)  and you are the best that you will ever have  – and that’s more than enough for the world.  (Remember you have to love yourself completely and unconditionally – that’s all that really matters in life!)

Have a great week, and let me know how the Abort, retry, ignore approach works for you. I know that I’m going to practice it at least a couple of times this week!



ISO… Quality

23 Sep

Everywhere I go in the world, it seems to be the same… everyone is ISO (in search of) something or someone who will bring more happiness into our lives.  We run, follow, read, study and take steps to improve ourselves and our lives with the hopes of attaining the elusive “happiness”.

Bookstores are jammed with self-help books promising shortcuts, secrets and pathways to happiness, each with its own different slant on the proverbial “change your attitude, change your life” adage.  I think that the premise is misguided and I agree with the saying (on one of my coffee cups no less): Happiness is the journey not the destination.

I don’t know about you, but a one-size-fits-all method or approach to happiness just doesn’t work for me — I believe that the secret to a happy life is different for each of us.  Do you agree that happiness is an individual state of being?

More and more, I am discovering that happiness is a relative state of mind that begins and ends with the “royal we”: me, myself, and I and knowing what makes up happiness.  What makes YOU happy?

Today I am happier than I’ve been in years, and I have a short list to reach an even higher state of happiness. For me, it is all a matter of increased quality in the things I already have in my life:

1. Better client contracts (with committed clients),

2. A few more high calibre, high quality friends,

3. More affordable living arrangements,

4. More opportunities to travel with friends.

Here’s where I believe the intent and positive attitudes in life fit in – the more that we demand higher quality in any aspect of our life, the higher quality we will achieve.  In the process of moving from accepting low quality (in terms of clients, contracts, friends and any aspect of our lives) to high quality – we might sacrifice short-term gain (money, opportunities) for long-term success (consistently higher quality of life).

What do you think?  I know that the higher I set my goals in terms of “quality” the better the results tend to be. Accepting low quality results along the way takes up space and gets in the way of high quality opportunities.

Have a high quality week!



More MOJO…

2 Apr

As a follow-up to my posting yesterday about Dr. Marshall Goldsmith’s new book Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It, the Business Chamber emailed me the link to his webinar, and encouraged sharing with friends and colleagues, so here it is:

MOJO — webinar featuring author Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

If you’re interested in the buying his book, I’ve added a link to it on Amazon:
Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It

Wishing you and yours a stress-free, high MOJO weekend!


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Copyright 2010 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————

MOJO…What a great concept (and a new book)

1 Apr

I just finished listening to a free webinar hosted by the Business Chamber (free membership) and featuring Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, the author of Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It
and I wanted to share it with you.

Dr. Goldsmith was down to earth and generously shared an hour of his time with attendees from around the world.

Here are my takeaway highlights:

1. MMOJO the bookOJO is defined as “that positive spirit toward what you are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside”. (For free resources visit www.MOJOthebook.com)

2. The changing nature of our life today (and this is a shared viewpoint worldwide) focuses on globalization, new technology, current economic crisis, work-life balance, and pressure.

3. What matters in life is: Health, Wealth, Relationships, Meaning and Happiness. Marshall’s travels confirm that these are a universal set of values.

4.  Dr. Goldsmith stated that his earlier works (including the best-selling What Got You Here Won’t Get You There) focused on interpersonal relationships with others, while MOJO focuses on your intrapersonal relationship with yourself.

Dekkers’ note: It is interesting hearing Dr. Goldsmith say this because he went on to explain how much of our MOJO seems to hinge on what others tell us about ourselves (in fact three of the four parts of MOJO: Identity, achievement, and reputation, are based on what others say) — that we often lose sight of what makes us US! I’m hoping to read about how to listen more to our internal MOJO “voice” and ignore the external “noise” of our own internal critic and our external environment.

5. Dr. Goldsmith shared two stories illustrating some novel ways of looking at life that I plan to try today:

“Leave it at the stream”

Two Buddhist monks were walking by a stream and came upon a beautifully dressed distressed maiden crying by the shore. When they asked her what was the matter, she confessed that she needed to cross the stream to get to a wedding but she was unable to do so with the silk gown she was wearing. The two monks looked at each other and the one apologized and kept walking, while the other scooped up the woman, waded into the stream and carried her to the other side. When he returned and caught up to his friend, the first monk chastised the second for touching a woman (which was forbidden). The first monk was so perturbed by this violation that he couldn’t sleep that night and woke the second monk to continue the scolding. The second monk responded saying “Yes, it is true that I carried the woman across the creek to the other side and I’m over it. But you, on the other hand carried the woman all the way back to the monastery where she might as well be with us still”. I took the moral of the story to be: Get over our obsession with the past – and leave it where it belongs – at the stream.

“The Empty Boat”

This is a story where a fisherman is out in the middle of a lake when he sees a boat being carried by the wind drifting quickly into his path. When the boat strikes his own, he yells out to the other boat only to find out that it is empty. The moral of the story is that getting upset at someone else for being who they rightfully are is as stupid as getting angry at the empty boat.


I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to reading the book, AND to discovering more about my own MOJO.  Of course, I’ll still be interested in knowing what you think about the whole MOJO concept too!

p.s., Growing up in Canada, we could buy candy called “MoJo’s” that were small wrapped nougat fruit cubes at 2 for 5 cents. We thought we had died and gone to candy heaven when we’d come home with a baggie full of MoJo’s!

Wishing you a happy weekend!


Copyright 2010 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————

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