Posts belonging to Category Time Management – You

Have You Found Your “Sound” Yet for Your Life?

notes Have You Found Your Special Sound Yet? 

I like many types of music. One of those genres is big band. 

And I like true stories – biographies especially.  Too, I enjoy many of the old movies.

The other night I was watching Turner Classics channel.  The story of Glen Miller was being broadcast. 

What struck me was the struggles he experienced to find “his sound”, something different than all the other bands and the sacrifices he made along the journey.  He often pawned his instruments to have enough money to eat.  He quit good paying jobs to write his music.  And, even when he did finally get his own band, lady luck wasn’t too friendly at times.

One day, it happened.  Someone with money was willing to invest in his “sound”.  It was a hit!  The people hearing his “sound” for the first time were appreciative.  They listened.  They danced.  They applauded.  His sound was launched!

How About Your Sound?

Have you found it in your life?  I think that Glen Miller’s story parallels all human life – we each have our own “sound” whatever that might be.  Some of us are lucky enough to find it before we die and others are not.

The key for him was never giving up.  He knew he had to find that something special in his heart and let it come out.  Trial and error.  Error and trial.  He continued despite all odds.  He was lucky.  He found people who believed in him.

Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

It’s not easy.  Some of us know what “it” is when we are two years old and experience it early in life.  Others don’t know what “it” is nor find it until we’re 70 or more.  Grandma Moses found hers at the age of 80!   

What Is It?

It’s that something inside that keeps wanting to get out.  Often, we don’t even know what “it” is but the “it” is constantly there.  In the most quiet of times, we yearn to open the door, to see it, feel it, experience it.  But we can’t quite grasp fully what “it” is. 

Are You Willing Not Matter How Long It Takes?

It may take until you’re 80 or more.  Does it matter?  Wouldn’t it be great to have that smile on our face having found “your own sound” and can experience it? 

Glen Miller was one of the lucky ones.  He found it before he was lost in a plane en route to a concert in England at Christmas.  For his family, what a legacy!  For us all, what a gift! 

What Will You Do To Find Yours?

I’m looking.  I have been looking for a long time.  I have hope that, soon, the stars will align and I’ll find that “sound”.  I’m not sure what it looks like entirely but I know I’ll recognize it when I get there.

Won’t you join me on the journey?  Let me know when you find yours.

Lorraine Arams
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What is the One Question You Can Ask Yourself to Add Calm to Your Life Every Day

what could that question beWhat is it?

What is that one question you can ask yourself daily in any situation?

Will it really calm you?

I think it will

Every Day

Every day we are faced with ourselves – our thoughts.  Add to the mix, all the other people in our lives or strangers who cross our paths every day.  We pay attention most when we face something we perceive as negative.

When we perceive something as negative, our thoughts get into high gear —-  Wasn’t that terrible? Wwho do they think they are?  What rudeness?  What a dirty trick to play!  I’m so mad, I could slap them!  How could they do that to me?  Where did that come from?

We rev ourselves up to the point that our energy creates even more problems.  People sense something is wrong so they either avoid you, confront you or ask the question, “what’s wrong with you today”.

It can take all day and all evening to get over it.  In the meantime, your entire day has been spent in this negative “aura” and, if you keep it up, the following day could be affected.  In some cases, the whole week, month or year or beyond.

Is It Worth It?

Never.  It’s never, ever worth carrying around negative energy of any kind.  The more negative energy you allow your mind to wallow in, the worse your life will get – that’s a guarantee. 

If you don’t believe me, think of a person you know who is always complaining or whining or crying “woe is me” .  Has anything ever changed for them?  Of course not and never will until that substitute that habit for a new one that is positive.

How Can You Stop the Flow of Negative Energy Immediately?

Ask yourself one question:  So what?

It’s short and powerful.

It shocks your brain.

And your thoughts change mode immediately – just like that – in a second! 

What Do You Do With the Answers?

Look at them – honestly bring them out into the open – say them out loud to yourself or write them down – whatever works for you.

Then, really go to town – “awfulize” every thought as much as possible – the worse case scenario – dark, dank, super charged with negativity.

Then . . .

Switch . . . .

To problem solving –

What if people shove and crowd you on the bus?  They could knock you down and cause you injury.  You’d have to sue the bus company.  You’d be off work and may lose your job.  You’d lose all your friends because you would be so disabled.  You’d be in the poor house! 

So what?

Now the problem solving . . . .

I could get injured by someone pushing me on the bus but how likely is it – if it’s crowded, I’d just bump against someone else; maybe the worse thing that could happen is that someone steps on my toe.  What can I do about it?  Be alert and practice safety on the bus.

If something really bad happened, I’m sure the bus company carries insurance and my injuries would likely be covered.  I can check that out. 

If I couldn’t go to work every day, maybe I could get my boss to agree to let me work from home some days until I’ve completely recovered.  My disability insurance would also kick in. 

As far as my friends are concerned, I think they would likely help me as much as they could.  I’d have them over more often’  We could maybe start something new – movie and popcorn nights on Friday at my place.  With disability insurance, coverage by the bus company and working at home, I’d be okay financially and  able to return full time fairly soon with physiotherapy and a little help.

That’s how it works – problem solve.   The power in knowing you can cope with anything that happens calms your energy.  Mind chatter is about fear.  Face the fear – know that you are able to deal with anything that comes along in your life with the simple little question:  so what?

You’ll be amazed how well it works!

Lorraine Arams

PS if you need more help, check this out


What Do Values Do for You in Relationships?

which values will you select

Relationships and Values Go Together Like Nothing Else


For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about values.  It’s not something to which I gave much thought until lately when I finally understood that values are the basis for my thoughts, behaviors and connection with others.

Values and Jobs

Have you ever started a new job and within a week or so knew you had made a mistake?  It happens to all of us.  We think we asked all the right questions, did enough research and understood the information we received.  Then —- bang —- the realization —- it’s not right.   Most often, we stay on the job.  Who wants to start that whole job hunting process again?  Letters, resumes, interviews, networking – who wants to start all over again?  What went wrong? 

For me, I know – I didn’t ask enough questions about the “culture” of the organization.  I didn’t dig deep enough during the face-to-face interviews – a job was a job was a job – money coming into my account – that’s what I was focused on.  Why?  I had no idea how critical understanding my values were in my employer/employee relationship.

Can you relate?

55% of the people in America are unhappy in their work, 36% in Canada.  Do you think that number could be reversed if everyone understood their values, found employers which matched those values and lived and worked accordingly?

Values & Friendships

How about friends?  Before we invest a lot of time into our new friendships, do we know enough to expend the time necessary to get to know someone?  Often, friends come from family connections or partner relationships.  They’re not the friends we would necessarily choose but we spend a lot of time with them.  Or they are elementary, high school or university friends we think we must keep.

Since there is only so much time to spend with friends, shouldn’t we be more selective?  We should.  We generally aren’t.  Then we wonder why we feel hurt or discounted or uneasy in their presence.  Their values likely don’t mirror our own. 

For instance, one person I once knew was a great guy in so many ways.  But one thing really affected our relationship – he thought nothing of having multiple intimate relationships at any one time without telling the truth to those women.  It was so far removed from my value base of loyalty that eventually I simply couldn’t tolerate being around him because I felt like an unwilling co-conspirator!  What he did didn’t affect me directly but the impact, nonetheless, existed.  I felt as though I was lying every time he brought a new person into the picture while his “steady” trusted him.

Values and Family

And then there are complicated family dynamics.   Many believe that family is everything and will tolerate most everything to “keep the family together”.  Is that wise?  To some, it is because they have been taught that family is everything.  In a new city, knowing no one, I discovered that one can create a “family by design”.  So many people in cities have found the same thing – surrounding oneself with people who “fit”.  Some people I know spend the holidays with these friends and rarely, if ever, attend immediate family gatherings.  They’ve chosen to spend time with those they really like and care for.

Is that something you think would work for you too?

It’s not about weathering the little hurts that come with all relationships .  It’s about spending time with people who connect with your values and feeling relaxed and connected in their presence.

Does that ring right with you?  Can you start seeing how critical understanding your values and your definition of those values are?  Do you think it’s worth spending time understanding yourself better through your values?

Values and Self-Esteem

You’ll be amazed how it helps your self esteem.  Self-esteem is what you think of yourself – if you value your values, you value yourself – what a great way to start building that self-esteem if you have a problem in that area.  For all of us, it’s a great way to shake off the past and begin anew, on a path which will satisfy us. 

Choose Yours

Have you chosen your personal and work values?  Have you defined them?  What do they look like in real life – your life?  Do you think it’s important to live a “life by design”, your design? Are you afraid of what you might have to give up to create that life?  Instead, think of what you’ll gain.  Can you do it?  Yes, you can!

Lorraine Arams


How Do You Use Values to Create The Life You Want?

Last week, I talked about identifying your key values.  Were you able to boil down your list to 5 top values?

This week the question is: 

How do you use those values to create the life you want?

Values are values or are they? 

Actually, I’ve learned from Helen Dewar that values aren’t all the same.  I can say to you that one of my values is health.  To me health means great food for my body, daily exercise, vitamins and learning all I can to stay as healthy as possible physically, mentally and emotionally.  However, the person next to me the health value means losing weight or the person next to them, health might mean environmental health.  We all focus energy on health but in different ways. 

How Are Your Values Applied in Your Life? 

First, define what the value means to you. 

If it is freedom, what does freedom look like to you?  Does freedom mean living in a democratic country or does it mean doing what you want when you want 24 hours a day?  There are as many definitions of freedom as there are people.  How do you define each of your values?  Write it down.  The word might be the same but the definition quite different from everyone else’s definition.

Second, ask yourself how this value applies in your life. 

In other words, how will you live that value. 

For instance, if one of your values is self-respect, how will you support that value at work?  at home?  with friends?  in recreational activities? etc.  What does your value look like, feel like?  What are the results of living that value?

Third, are you prepared to act in alliance with your values?  If your boss is constantly yelling at you and one of your values is self-respect, how will you deal with that situation?  Will you approach your boss and let your boss know how the yelling impacts you and ask for change?  Are you willing to quit your job to support your value?  How important is that value?  If you can’t back it up with appropriate action, then you need to question whether it’s really a value for you.

The Importance of the Value

If you are willing to do whatever it takes to support that value, then you know that it is truly a value. But if you say, for instance, self-respect is a value but you allow people to bully you at work and in your social life, then, obviously, self-respect is not a value but a wish.  It’s a wish to feel self-respect but you won’t support it for yourself.

So often I’ve heard people express a particular value and yet their actions contradict their words.  It’s amazing to watch.  Someone will say I value money but, at every opportunity, squander it and  rack up debt for no good reason.  If money was a real value, they would take care of it – save it, spend it wisely, manage it to meet their dreams and understand the connection between holding money as value and exercising that value consistently.   Actions are part and parcel of building self-esteem – you back up your own words with action.


Wondering why life hasn’t quite worked out so far?  It could very well be because your words and actions are simply not aligned.  Or, even worse, you’ve never defined your values and, if they existed, you wouldn’t be able to recognize them because you don’t understand what they look and feel like. 

You’ve not identified your values, defined them for yourself and you are not prepared to defend those values at all costs.  Within those “sticky” and difficult times your value is tested. In those moments, you’ll know whether or not you truly cherish a particular value which is under siege.   If you fold under pressure, the value is not a value.  If you stand up for your value, then you know you are living in alignment. 

Is It Difficult?

Let’s say that identifying, defining and living your values are far easier than living out of alignment.  The results will be more satisfying and rewarding because somehow every single day you know you are living the life you have chosen –the life you have chosen as opposed to living according to expectations of others.  It’s not always easy to stick to your values but when you do, you’ll know the power that comes with that choice.  It’s all a choice.  What do you choose?

Lorraine Arams



Do You Know What Values You Are Operating Under? Does It Matter?

How Do You Know Which Values Make You Tick?

Do you care?  Does it matter to your life?

Have you ever thought about it very carefully?

Personally, I never paid much attention to my values.  People talked about values in passing.  In the many programs I took, values were mentioned but not much time was spent on them and certainly no one explained why knowing my values was so important.  The exercise was repeated so often without direction, it became meaningless.

Why?  That’s the question – Why Does Someone Need to Know and Understand Their Values?

Recently, I’ve been involved in a program and the issue of  identifying values came up again.  Yes, yet again.  The difference this time?  The facilitator gave us the reasons why understanding our values is mandatory in conducting our lives to cohesively achieve our dreams.

Helen Dewar  made it abundantly clear the reason for taking the time and the energy to define our values.  She took the time to explain “the value” of values.  How do we use our values to live our lives, to make the choices we need to make and to be true to ourselves.  Are we living in alignment with what we value?

Never before has someone explained it so clearly and so emphatically how values affect everything we say and do in our worlds.  She also explained how we are led to believe things about ourselves which are untrue all because we reacted in defense of those values.  Not everyone shares our set of values – in fact, it’s rare that any two people have exactly the same values or live out their values the same way.  Hitler had values and so did Mother Teresa – what do you think they were?

What Are Your Values?  Do You Really, Really Know What They Are?

You can find a lot of lists on the internet and you can likely come up with about 50 values you “think are a good idea for you”.  Can you really serve all those masters?  Of course not – what are your core values?  Here are a couple of places to begin?

Please note:  often values are mixed in with skills.  Values are far bigger than skills.  Think of values of overall compasses of your life – North, South, West and East, Center

Helen has us boiling it down to five.  5 – try it – you’ll be amazed how difficult this exercise is.

How do you know what your values are?

Watch yourself.  How do you spend your time?

Let’s say that most of your time is spent on family.  You have a job which pays the bills with a little left over for savings but the bulk of your time is spent with family.  You spend a lot of time with your kids, you organize family events all year round and people gather at your house every Sunday for Sunday dinner.  Your home is filled with relatives and friends all the time and you’re talking on the phone with a large collection of family and friends.  Your Facebook account is buzzing with the latest pictures, stories, meetups, etc.

If you value a success in your career,  you spend the majority of your time thinking about your career. You’re constantly thinking how to enhance your career – what can you do next to build that career?  A job is not a job to you but a very important way for you to achieve fulfillment.  You have a coach and a mentor.  You ask questions about getting ahead and you mingle with people you admire.  Jobs are not jobs to you but a stepping stone to greater success in the scope of work.  You spend a lot of time working, thinking about strategies to get ahead and continuously networking.  You’re constantly upgrading your skills and your education to give you the edge.

If you have a value of health, you watch every single bite you take, you exercise almost daily and you do and learn everything possible to stay healthy.  Health seems like an obvious value for all of us, however, that’s not the case.  Most people don’t value their healthy until they lose it.

Where do you spend your time?

What Ticks You Off?

Another way to tell, is what ticks you off at work or when your around other people in your personal life?  Do you react strongly to unfairness or bullying or pet abuse?  The stronger your reaction, the higher your value.

It takes time to decide what your values really are.  It takes a lot of digging.  The first two might not be so difficult but the others will likely cause you to ponder the realities of your being. 

Define what each value means to you.

Why Are Values So Important?

Values are the foundation of who you are, the reality of knowing yourself and the building block for everything else in your life – your career, your relationships, your decision-making, choices you make about everything in your life and the knowing what is right for you in the seemingly complex and confusing parts of your life.  If you know your values intimately, your life will be a lot easier to navigate.

What’s the Alternative?

Chaos.  Lost opportunities.  Working for the wrong organizations.  Putting your trust in people who don’t value what you value.  Hurt.  Anxiety.  Stress.  Disaster.  Dissatisfaction.  Lack of self-esteem.  Name it for yourself –

How Do You Know What I’m Saying is Right?

Because you’ve experienced the results of going against your values.  All humans have.  If your value is family, have you ever fought with someone in your family to the point that you destroy that relationship, you are no longer welcomed in the family unit?  How does it feel?  Feels quite awful because you’d like to keep the family unit whole and happy.  What happened?  You let something get out of hand and went against your family value.  Was it worth it?  What will you do about it?  If you truly value family, you’ll resolve the issue.  If not, then family is not truly a priority, not truly a value but likely someone else’s value or a value that is not all that important to you.

What Good Will It Do To Know These Values?

You’ll be able to plan accordingly.

If you are applying for a job, you’ll take the time to research the companies to which you are applying.  You’ll talk to current employees, you’ll talk to clients and you’ll explore the internet to find everything you can about how they match your values not only in value statements they make but how they honor those values.

You’ll stop yourself before you behave in ways which will contravene your values.  If you value friendships, you’ll forgive transgressions more easily or take the time to resolve any angst or you’ll drop relationships which don’t work for you without regret.  You’ll spend the time building your positive  friendships.

Are Values Critical?

You bet.  Without knowing what they are, you’re a sailboat without a rudder – you’ll wonder all over the place not understanding why your life is not working so well.  The wind and tides of life will send you adrift in a maze of confusion and dissatisfaction.

Is It Too Late?

NEVER.  It’s never, ever too late – that’s a myth perpetuated by society  – nothing is too late as long as you’re alive and functioning.

There are hundreds and hundreds of values – by the time you have selected your top 5 and defined them for yourself, you’ll truly understand the very core of your being.


1.  Look over the lists.  Pick out the ones that resonate with you strongy.  Write them down.

2.  Run down the written list, eliminating some.  Then do it again and again and again until you arrive at 5.

3.  Go through each one and ask yourself why you believe it is one of your values.  Write it down.  Then, ask, “Is that true?”.  Give yourself an example how you exhibit that value in your life.

4.  Leave the list alone for a day or so.  Observe yourself.  Hear yourself. Does what you say and do align with your values?  If not, you’ll have to go back to the list and eliminate what you “thought” was a value and, through self-observation, you now realize is not such a strong value after all.  Give yourself no longer than a week to get to complete your list of 5 values.

5.  Write your 5 values on a card and put the card in your wallet.  Put the list up on your computer.  Keep a list by your bedside.

6.  Test the list.  Are the values you have listed truly your values?  How you behave, especially in crisis, will definitely show you whether you are kidding yourself or not.  It won’t take long.  A crisis doesn’t have to be life or death.  It can be any discomfort we experience.  Notice how differently you make choices now.  Notice the clarity with which you conduct your life and how constructively you face disagreements.

Will the values change?  Yes.  As you test the list, you’ll likely amend it.  As your life changes, your values may change.  For instance, if your top value is money, it could very well be that at a stage in your life, you’ll begin to replace that top value with another value which has become paramount such as community.  Community may have been fifth on your list but now it rises to the top and since one of your values is money, you’ll focus on making the best use of the money in your community towards achieving the most impact.

Values do work together though it may not always be obvious.

What are your values?  Have you wondered why you felt like a boat without a rudder?  Think values first.  Decide.

When will you begin to change your life?  Today would be good, right?

Lorraine Arams




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