What's Not BrokenWisdom comes at the expense of having broken much – friendships, habits, glasses, heels, codes, hearts, dishes, connections… So, it’s logical that by our 30’s, we have a good grip on dealing with what’s broken: we trouble-shoot effectively, decide when to cut our losses, and how to invest energy into fixing whatever we want to keep.

It’s natural to want to attend to what’s broken: giving energy to the child who is struggling, allocating mental space to the one work project that is not going smoothly, investing into a relationship when it feels strained.

We have become phenomenal problem-solvers who are excellent at fixing things that are broken, and we’ve learned early on that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There’s a catch in this, though: whatever if focus on – expands. If we keep focusing on what’s broken, we’ll keep seeing more of what’s broken. (Neuroscience in action).

So, then, what if you consciously shift your focus from what needs fixing to what you want to expand in your life?

This time of the year is always full of surprises for me, ranging from unexpected flowers to connections with amazing people who happen to pop up in my life, be it friends from the good old times or new kindred spirits. Because it’s a day before Valentine’s Day, and it’s my Birthday. This year’s surprise: if everything is going according to my husband’s plan, today we’re breathing in the whimsical air of New Orleans, a refreshing change from a blizzard in New York.

Today, as a change of pace from constant problem-solving, I want to put my mind on what’s working well, what’s good, what’s NOT broken. Would you do it with me? Let’s take a look at our lives.

What is working well?
What could use our energy even though it is Not broken, so that it could expand even more?
What do we love as it is now, without having to fix it?
What are our current relationships that sustain us, mentally, spiritually, and physically? How can we invest into them and support them, even though they don’t demand anything from us?
What are our most successful projects, and can we give them more resources?
Who are our most favorite people, and how can we share energy with them even when nothing is broken between us, and simply as a sign that they matter?

Let’s look at what’s Not broken, because whatever we focus on – expands. Let’s scan all areas of our lives: professional achievements, friendships, intimacy, love, personal victories, innovation, sense of purpose at work, having impact with our actions, staying healthy, learning new things, developing mastery and expertise, autonomy to make choices…

This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift of seeing and investing into what’s not broken in your life. 
And if you want to give me a Birthday gift, please share your “what’s not broken” updates with me ( Alina@AlinaBas.com ) -d tell me what’s working well in your life. Thank you!

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UPDATES:  Later this year, I’ll be teaching  programs on intuition development for analytical thinkers at Garrison Institute and at MIT Sloan School of Management. Would you like to introduce your organization to research-based programs on intuition development? Let’s set up a call to discuss. (Or send me an email at Alina@AlinaBas.com )

NEW: Need a change of pace? Is it time for a transformation? Ready for your personal Everest? Learn more here.  

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When you meet someone charismatic, knowledgeable, attentive, interesting, generous, it’s always a pleasure to be in the company of this person, isn’t it? It is true in professional settings, at parties, and even during random interactions.Campfire

The draw is unmistakable: you want to look up, to listen up, and to stand closer.

You feel energized by the encounter, and moreover, you yourself feel more interesting as a result of this interaction.

What exactly does this person bring to the exchange that makes the experience so invigorating? Is it just charm? Is it really expertise? The looks, maybe? Sense of humor? What’s your best guess?

If you peer group is made up of people in their mid-thirties and older, and if they are anything like you, most of them are highly intelligent, funny, charming.

Yet, there is one who stands apart as most engaging. Why?

Energy. This unmistakably attractive person has energy. This person has enough energy to deliver a spark, light and warmth, like a campfire. He gives off enough energy to fuel to those around him, in contrast to people who always feel drained, and demand energy from others. He (or she, of course) has energy to talk, to listen, to share, to take in, and to ignite.

(When I say “the person has energy”, I mean “the person feels full of life”. You can almost visibly perceive the person’s light being turned on inside. I am not referring to the coffee-fueled mechanical energy of the Energizer bunny, and not to the esoteric “positive aura”.)

Abundant personal energy is so attractive because it’s so rare in mid-adulthood, as many of us are simply chronically tired. And it shows, even if we show up and do what we have to do.

The better you are, the more overwhelming life can become, because a) you want to do more when you’re at the top of your game, and b) more is expected of you because you’re so good.

Your children (and often parents) needs and want your help and attention. You want to be involved in their lives and to give of yourself.

You still want to make a big push in your career; you’ve already achieved a lot, but you can still have more impact.

You want to give your attention to your good friends. You probably have fewer close friends than you did when you were in your early 20’s, and now it takes more time and energy to maintain the quality and the depth of the friendships you’ve kept.

Plus, you want to keep up with the news in the world, updates in your professional field, to read and watch things for pleasure, to keep up with your social and professional networks.

Oh, did I mention romance and intimacy? To feel treasured and connected, you probably invest time and energy to either keep up or create that unique connection.

This may all be exciting and fulfilling, but …you are spent. Your energy is drained. And often, it shows.

We show up, because we are excellent, and because we are responsible, but showing up doesn’t always mean that we bring energy. Technically, bringing energy is not a requirement.

If you want to be unmistakably attractive, to wow, to charm, to deliver happiness, you must bring energy.

Beam with it, share it, give out your warmth and light. You will be a welcomed, refreshing change at any gathering.

I hear a million dollar question (courtesy young professionals who manage successful careers and being involved parents to kids under the age of 7): “Where, oh, where to get this extra energy?!!!!” Here: evaluate whether your personal energy battery is full or empty, and make time to recharge it when empty, above all else.

There is no other secret or magic– you must give yourself time to refuel, if you want to stand out and to up your game, if you want to show up 150% for your kids and career.

Needing time to recharge, and giving yourself this time without guilt and regret is one of the greatest challenges of mid-adulthood.

Let’s do it anyway, though, so that we can recognize each other in tired, dusty crowds by the warmth and light emanating from us.

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NEW programs: Executive Development +Intuitive InsightLearn more here.  

PrintNEW developments: I’ll be teaching a custom-designed 2.5 day program on Developing Intuition & Creativity at MIT Sloan School of Management in March. Would you like to introduce analytical thinkers in your organization to a similar program? Please, set up a call to discuss , or send me an email at Alina@AlinaBas.com   

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Shaping Up: Career, Relationships, Self

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Full or Empty? Manage Your Personal Energy

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When Options Look Disappointing

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Turbulent September gave way to contemplative October: deciding when to say “yes”, and where to take distance. October has been about choosing options that luckily work, and minimizing disappointment of letting go of good alternatives. What if all your options seem disappointing rather than inspiring, though? I know that with the Presidential Elections coming up, […]

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Grace Under Fire: Handling Life Changes

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I’ve always loved fall. It is colorful, fresh, unpredictable, and usually brings about all sorts of new promising beginnings.  This September came as a mixed bag, though. It has delivered new work projects and soulful celebrations with friends. It has also brought a cosmic reboot (read: “a series of small, but epic failures”). My phone […]

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When Your Expertise Fails You

September 13, 2016 Am I Good Enough?

What do you answer when someone asks you “What do you do?”?  I’m guessing you can easily reach for one or two explanations about what you get paid to do, or what you spend most of your time doing. If you’ve been practicing something deeply and mindfully for years, it is likely that you’re very […]

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Chase For Upgrades: When Is “Good Enough” Good Enough?

July 27, 2016 Career Change

This summer has been filled with more questions than answers for me. About parenting (is it better to cut kids some slack, or to continue with sports practices 5 times a week through the summer?), about work (is the safety net of an internal corporate Exec Coaching position an upgrade or a downgrade from running […]

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Happiness Routine That Actually Works

June 15, 2016 Decision-making

(Originally posted here , but this important topic deserves a second look; I’m putting it at the top of the blog so that you don’t have to look for it.) “You should follow the advice that you give in your blog posts. Maybe, you’ll feel better”- my mom said. “I’m fine”- I snap back. “I don’t […]

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Control or Let Go?

May 31, 2016 Decision-making

Analytical Thinkers’ Guide for Letting Go As analytical people, we often try to control situations to create or get what we want. It seems logical: we want something, so we make it happen. Intellectually, this is clear that in many situations that we’re trying to control, all we need to do is be ourselves, do […]

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