Skip to content

UXL Blog

Creating Successful Leaders

Tag Archives: Margaret Smith minneapolis

We’re back, friends. We’ve all made one more trip around the sun together and we’re back in the holiday season. In many parts of the world, it is cold and dark (and getting colder and darker!), but there is still much to be thankful for. If you’re reading this, you can be thankful for literacy and for access to an electronic device. If you are indoors, you can be thankful for shelter. If you ate today, you can be grateful for access to food. Most of us can also be thankful for family members and/or friends—those who lift us up, check in, remember our birthdays.

The truth is, most of us have a lot more than we realize. We just don’t always remember what we have or remember to be grateful.

Today, I challenge you to pause and reflect. Think about what went well this year, instead of dwelling on any failures you might have experienced. Think of the people who made a positive impact in your life—even strangers who said a kind word or helped in some way. Think of your favorite moments from this past year—where were you and who were you with? If you’d like to jot some notes about favorite moments or positive experiences from the past year, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!

Don’t you feel better? Isn’t it nice to set aside self-criticism and negativity for a while and focus on all the good that surrounds us?

Reflecting on the positive aspects of life should not be reserved for once a year, and yet we tend to throw all our gratitude energy into Thanksgiving. Why not spread it out? Why not carry a feeling of gratitude with us all year round?

Some people do try to live a life of gratitude, and those people, in my experience, are some of the happiest and most compassionate people I know. Instead of letting others’ negative actions or comments weigh them down, they “let it slide” and move on. Instead of getting tripped up by bumps in the road, they get into problem-solving mode.

My wish is that we will all learn to be a bit more gentle and forgiving with ourselves and others. I wish we would spend more time focusing on the rainbow, instead of the rain. By adopting this attitude, even the most difficult paths become possible. Just put one foot in front of the other and start seeing all the good that surrounds you, each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE. 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recently, the New York Times published an article about a man who, when faced with his own mortality, finally began to realize what was truly important in life. Jonathan Frostick had been working nonstop as a manager at an investment bank when he was struck with a sudden heart attack. As he was being rushed to the hospital, he thought, “This isn’t convenient. I need to meet with my manager tomorrow.” Only later, as the dust settled and he began to recover in the hospital, did he realize how twisted those sentiments were. He had been concerned about his heart attack being an inconvenience.

That’s when Jonathan made a decision. He would begin to focus on what really mattered to him in life. He would spend more time with his family. He would step away from work more often and not get tangled up in workplace drama. He would stop spending so many long, tedious hours on Zoom and begin to enjoy life a bit more.

Jonathan’s experience can be a lesson for us all. When we’re faced with a life-altering situation, we suddenly begin to gain a bit more perspective. We realize what to hang onto…and what to let go.

In your own life, what or whom do you love? What gives your life meaning? What brings you joy?

On the flipside, what causes you anxiety or angst? What do you dread? What drags you down or is tedious for you?

Although life isn’t always a bed of roses, it doesn’t have to be something you simply endure. Life is too short for that. It’s too short to be caught up in a job you hate. It’s too short to put up with people who do not lift you up or support you. It’s too short to be miserable.

Take the time to reflect on your life at this moment and how things, as a whole, are going for you. Are you mostly satisfied, but could stand to tweak some aspects of your life? Do you know you should make some changes to truly find your joy? Or, are you downright miserable and need to completely overhaul one or more aspects of your life?

If you simply need to tweak a few things to get yourself back on track, start THIS WEEK. Maybe you’d like to spend more time with family. Maybe you’re disappointed you let go of a beloved hobby and want to get back into it. Or maybe you need to improve your communication with others and want to start being more honest and transparent. Whatever the case, I encourage you to start making changes now. Why wait? They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago…and the second best time is today.

But what if you feel that you need a complete overhaul?

If things are truly not going well, it may be uncomfortable to be honest with yourself and your situation. It can be downright terrifying to think about changing career paths or exiting a harmful relationship. But in the end, it’s worth it to take a leap and make the necessary changes. Keep in mind, you don’t have to do it alone. Make an appointment with a therapist or career coach. Talk to a trusted friend who has also made major life changes or who is simply a good listener.

If you’re not fully happy with your trajectory CHANGE IT. Don’t wait until you’re faced with a life or death situation to finally gain perspective and course correct. You deserve to live your fullest, happiest life.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’re among the many people who have been working from home for over a year, it may be time to spruce things up and clean your space. Papers tend to get shuffled into stacks, odds and ends tend to get crammed into drawers. It’s a good idea to take some time to pay attention to your work space.

Why tidy your home office?

For one, it will make things easier to find and keep track of. Though you may have to invest a few hours to clean your space now, you’ll save time in the future.

Secondly, having a clean work area can help put you in the right mindset. Decluttering your space can help to declutter you mind, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. You’ll likely find yourself breathing easier once you’ve tidied up your space.

Where to begin cleaning?

Start by taking a good look at your work space and thinking about what needs to be improved. Are you in need of a new filing system? Could you benefit from a “to do” box? Would a large whiteboard calendar be useful for organizing? Are you thinking about swapping out your current desk for a standing desk? Identify your big-picture needs before getting to work.

Quick Tips for Home Office Cleaning:

  • Remove the clutter. It can be helpful to take everything out of your office before putting anything back in. That way, you can thoroughly clean the space and start afresh with your organization.
  • Sort papers efficiently! Create a recycling pile, a shred pile, and a filing pile. Once you have your filing pile, turn on some background music and get to work! Make sure your file folders are logical and well-labeled.
  • Make sure everything has a home. Even your paperclips and sticky notes deserve a place in your office.
  • Group similar items. For instance, you might create a letter station filled with envelopes, paper, stamps, mailers, and return address labels.
  • Buy drawer organizers. It’s easy to cram everything into a drawer and forget about it. Instead, shell out a few dollars for small, plastic drawer divers, like these by Madesmart.
  • Be logical. Keep the things you use the most (pens, notebooks, sticky notes, etc.) handy and within reach.
  • Commit to tidiness. Once you’ve revamped your space and reworked your filling and organizing systems, be sure to stick to them! Once per week, set aside time to take care of any filing or other organizational tasks that need to be done. If you keep up on the work, it won’t feel nearly as daunting.

Happy spring! Have fun reorganizing your space.


MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS® DISCOVERY (AND DEEPER DISCOVERY) LICENSED PRACTITIONER, AND FOUNDER OF UXL. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. 
CHECK OUT MARGARET’S ONLINE LEADERSHIP COURSE.

Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: