How to Lighten Up for Fall
By Rebecca Coates Nee
Ahh, the joys of August. Unless you're covering fires in the
West or on the
lookout for tropical waves in the Southeast, this news cycle
can be about as exciting as the lull between the Macy's Parade
and the Rose Bowl.
Everyone, it seems, is on vacation but you. Certainly most
of the viewers
are. So how can you spice up the summer doldrums until the
Sept. 11 memorials and new fall line up begin? Take a cue
from that wise sage, Sheryl Crow. Soak up the sun. Tell everyone
to lighten up.
If it were only that easy, you say. Lightening up is not something
broadcasters tend to do well. Indeed, we thrive on variety
and friction. If
we're not getting enough drama - even in our personal lives,
we'll find a way to create it. Being late, being angry, being
unorganized gives us a charge that helps push us through the
For the month of August, try the opposite approach - lighten
up, clean your plate, get rid of your aggravations. How?
When I first start coaching someone, I have them make a list
of all their
"tolerations" - all the stuff, big and small, that
they're putting up with on
a regular basis. Why? Because it's those tolerations that
zap our energy,
bring us down and create the need to be late, angry or unorganized.
Once you start tackling your tolerations, you'll find you
have more natural
energy and drive and less of a need to get revved up again
from manufactured sources.
Start by making a list of the top five things - big or small
- you are
putting up with about your home environment. Do your closets
trailer park after a bad storm? Does the futon need a new
cover? Do you
constantly misplace your keys? Do you have too many clothes
from the 80s?
Now list the five things you are most tolerating about your
and community - even if you don't see a solution to them.
Who's dragging you down on a regular basis and why?
Next, repeat the process with your work life. Are you tolerating
relationship with a co-worker or boss? Are you putting up
pay? An unpredictable future or schedule?
Even if you can't solve all your tolerations immediately,
just the act of
writing them down helps identify the energy zappers in your
life. Now, pick
one small toleration and one pivotal toleration - something
that when it's
handled, five other tolerations will disappear. Take care
of the small
toleration within the next three days and devise a strategy
for handling the pivotal toleration.
Figure out why you have that pivotal toleration in the first
place - and go
after the source of the problem, not just the symptom. If
you don't, it will
be at the top of your toleration list again next August -
in one form or