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The Now Habit at Work: Perform Optimally, Maintain Focus, and Ignite Motivation in Yourself and Other by Neil A. Fiore

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Chapter 3. The Language of Effective Self-Management

Catch them doing something right.

Ken Blanchard, The One Minute Manager

How you talk to yourself determines most of your feelings and behaviors and your ability to be an effective manager. If, for example, you constantly tell yourself, "I should have finished by now," "I shouldn't have checked my e-mail this morning," "I should be there instead of here," or "I should be like her," you're telling yourself that what you did, where you are, and who you are is inferior to some imagined ideal. After all, "I should be there" communicates the sad message to your brain: "But I'm not in that better place. The place I am in is bad and worse than that better, though imaginary, place."

This negative comparison, repeated dozens of times a day or an hour, usually leads to feelings of depression and anxiety. In addition, the internal language of "should" fails to tell your mind and body—your workers—what to do now, in the reality of today, to actually improve your current situation. Much like "I have to get a lot of things done," "I should" doesn't communicate a leadership message of how and where to direct your energies.

When you eliminate "shoulds" from your inner dialogue, you still can strive for excellence, but now you do it in the real world of what is possible without the frustration of trying to reach a place that doesn't exist. You are more effective because you are facing what is real and can be achieved. You might want to remember Dr. ...

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