Miles Baltrusaitis

Marketer, Musician,

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6 Hand Gestures for Peace of Mind

I'm always looking to improve myself. I'm constantly trying out ways to stay productive and positive. Each day, I make an effort to do the things I can to reach my potential as a good and helpful person. 

Occasionally though, I let my circumstances get the better of my emotions. For moments like these, I have always employed the coping mechanisms I learned as a kid. Shut up in case you say something you can't take back. Walk away if you feel you're going to react in anger.

Lately, I've been using this new method (I call it the 5 Minute Attitude Adjustment) in conjunction with a "deep thought" from one of my phone meditations. The idea was "what you think, you become."

I took that to mean, focusing on an attitude attribute (and repeating it, while trying to embody the characteristic) would eventually lead my countenance in that direction. To my perception of feelings, it works.

It started out with one word. When I would let something rile me, I'd repeat the word "calm" in my head for a minute or two and I would eventually calm down.

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The Teaching Power of Failure

failure-meditation-blog

Today's mobile phone meditation is of the garden variety children's advice. "Failure teaches us how to succeed." I sometimes get a little frustrated momentarily when the concepts are so seemingly accessible. Do I really need seven minutes to think about, "If, at first, you don't succeed, try, try again?"

Still, It's old and often passed along advice for a reason. It reminds us to be brave and not let fear of failure to prevent us from trying things out of our comfort zone.

I feel like I parrot a lot of what Seth Godin says but this reminded me of the intro to his book, "The Icarus Deception." In it, he writes of people confusing their personal "safety zone" with their "comfort zone." Something to keep in mind today.

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Another Ted Video with a Happy Message

Needed a break from some technology that was messing with my workflow this morning so I popped open the TED channel on my Roku 3 to see what was new. 

Came across this video and I'm grateful that I did. (get it?). Simple concepts, accessible language, useful takeaway ("stop, look, go"). 

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What You'll Never Hear From Someone Who Wakes Before 5

"I woke up before 5am and I got nothing done."alarm-clock

If you wake up that early, it isn't to mess around (unless you're 5 and cartoons are on the agenda).

Nope: if you're up that early, you're up with purpose. Whether you're up early to exercise, get a head start on work or take some personal time before the day officially begins, it's not a bad way to start things off. 

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Hate Your Job, Company or Boss?

miles90"Treat your current job like an audition for your next one."

I recently watched the first video in Lynda.com's Management Tips series "Working with people you don't like" and I was inspired to address the issue with my own thoughts. 

When I went through the process of hiring a marketing coordinator last year, I asked each applicant a question that I imagine every hiring manager asks, "What were your major accomplishments at your current or most recent job?" 

The applicant has an opportunity to respond with a literal answer to the question but also a chance to illustrate their feelings towards their current or most recent employer. Much can be revealed in those words so choose them carefully.

If you choose to view your less-than-ideal job as a means of qualifying you for the next job:

  • your level of tolerance will rise
  • your performance will not suffer
  • you just may improve the way people treat you in the meantime
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Meditation on my Mobile Phone

as-you-sow-600hI'm a pretty positive guy.

I like to think I take bad news in stride and I'm excellent at dealing with work pressure. I love the challenge of project deadlines and the look on people's faces when my team exceeds expectations. 

There are times though when the things out of your control make you a little tense. Things like rumors of reorganization at work, uncertainty about a new boss or a new job responsibility can induce some serious stress.

I had such a phase at work last year and it was very unwelcome. I felt distracted and frustrated so I started looking for ways to disarm the stress.

After watching Sean Achor's TED talk about the Happiness Advantage, I thought I'd give meditation a try. 

Turns out, meditation doesn't have to be full of confusing foreign words, impossible to grasp concepts or uncomfortable sitting positions. For me, meditation just became a few moments each day to contemplate a thought outside the normal routine of my responsibilities. My train ride for work presented itself as the perfect time so I began with Dharma Meditation Trainer on my Verizon Nexus.  

Huh? 

Yeah, the app gives you an interesting thought to reflect on and a timer to know when you're done. It can even start put your phone into Airplane mode so you won't be disturbed. They start with relatively accessible ideas like "As you sow, so you reap" and they get more complex to decipher what they mean to you. 

I've found that it can help direct my attention and funnel frustration back into a positive direction. 

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What are your Big Picture Priorities?

Whenever I get caught up in the rush of working hard on projects and I have a hard time deciding where to throw my energy, I pull back and I review my big picture life priorities. The list is a result of a self-assessment from a few years back and, in the time since I've revised it a little bit but it holds up pretty close to the original. 

  1. Wellness (Healthy diet, exercise, weight control, flexibility, strength). I figure if these things are lost, the rest doesn't matter much. 
  2. Family (Respect, support and appreciate my spouse, children, parents, siblings and others).
  3. Finances (keep my eye on income, expenses, recurring vs one-time, debt, cash flow, investments, savings, etc).
  4. Work & Career (all the things that entail my professional responsibilities to my employer and myself).
  5. Personal Goals (all the activities and goals I chase outside of the workplace) Things like music, photography, videography, web development, public speaking, story telling and sports.

These are what I remind myself of whenever things get harried in my world. What are your big picture priorities? 

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