THE POWER WHEEL
The POWER WHEEL helps you to stay strong and confident especially in turbulent times. It is one thing to become strong and confident. It’s another thing to stay that way. The POWER WHEEL has four dimensions. Each one is important itself. But the combination of all four of them makes the wheel a real POQWER WHEEL.
The four dimensions are: BODY, EMOTIONS, MIND, RELATIONS.
I suggest 7 tested and proven activities which are designed to strengthen at least one of these four dimensions. Most of them have very positive effects on two or more dimensions of the POWER WHEEL. I strongly recommend that you train your mind and body with those activities on a regular basis. Make them to powerful rituals and habits and you will see: they will help you to stay energetic, healthy and happy:
These activities are chosen for several reasons: they are easy to be done, you can practice them almost everywhere and you are not forced to buy extra equipment or clothing. And they do not take a lot of additional time.
I hope you find them valuable for yourself and your personal development. Stick to them for a while. Then they will become really intrinsic habits. On the other hand be openminded, adjust them in the way they really support and help you and your individual situation. And: always be gentle and friendly with yourself. If a posture or activity does not seem good for you, than skip it or adjust it to your special needs.
Have fun with the POWER WHEEL and the suggested activities.
This activity helps you to step out of the always faster turning hamster wheel and get in contact with what’s going on NOW
A scientific study found out that happiness comes from being in the NOW. But: the study also found, that people spend nearly half their time (46.7%) thinking about something other than what they are actually doing. MINI TIME-OUTs (1-3 minutes) help you to step out of the always faster turning hamster wheel from time to time and connect with the NOW. If you make a habit out of that, you will not only be a happier person, but you will stay healthier, more effective and more successful.
MINI TIME-OUTs are designed to help you to get in contact with what’s going on in the present moment. Especially in your body and mind. They are easy to practice and you can “perform” them almost everywhere.
Okay, here is the intro
- You can do it while sitting, standing or lying down.
I think it is clear that you must never do that exercise while driving or while performing any other activity which needs your full attention.
- Stop doing! Start being in the NOW! It’s about observing with fresh and open eyes. Observe without evaluating. Do not judge, like: that’s good, that I do not like, that’s great, and so on. If you observe, that you are judging, than do not criticize yourself. Just recognize it and become an observer again.
- Also: please do not try to manipulate or change what you observe. You may invite your outbreath to take some of your tension, pain or distress (if you experience something like that) with it. But do not expect that things really change. If the part of the body where you feel the tension e.g. gets a bit lighter, than fine. If not, than it’s also okay. The main activity is to be open and to become aware what’s going on just right NOW!
- You can practice that exercise as often as you want. Make it to one of your rituals. Practice it whenever there is an opportunity: traffic lights, traffic jam, before entering a meeting, after a difficult discussion, standing in a line, …
And here is the guidance
- STOP for about 1-3 minutes. If you feel safe, you may close your eyes gently. Breathing deeply in and out for 3 times
- Bring your attention to your feet. Become aware of them and become aware of body sensations at or in your feet. Warmth, coolness, contact with the ground, tingling, pulse, … whatever you can observe NOW.
- Then scan through your body: check your ankles – your lower legs – your knees – your thighs all the way up to your hips and to your groin.
- Scan through your body with full attention. Not just automatically.
- Keep on going: your pelvis – your butt – the lower part of your upper body – in front, your belly; in the back the lower back – maybe you feel some sensations connected with your breathing – than move on further up: to your chest and to your upper back – bring your attention to your fingers now – the palms of your hands, your hands and your arms all the way up to your shoulders – your neck and your throat – if you feel some tension or pain, just invite your outbreath to take some of it with it – keep on scanning through your body – now feel sensations in your head, up all the way to the very top of your head – and then come to your face
- Then get in touch with your breathing. Also: just observe. Where can you feel some sensations connected to the movement of your breath?
- Now look a little bit deeper inter your inner weather condition: How is it? Sunny, bright, easy going. Or do you feel being tired, exhausted, stressed out, fearful, … Whatever you recognize, try just to observe it.
- What’s going on in your mind? A lot of thoughts? A lot of mental and emotional activity? Or is it calm, cool, centered. Also: just observing. Do not dig into the thoughts or emotions which are going on in your mind or body. Do not try to solve or change anything.
- Now at the end: get in contact with your breathing again. Breath in and out a bit deeper. Then start moving your fingers, your hands, you may stretch out a bit. Open your eyes in your own speed.
- And then step into the next activity which is on your agenda.
The link to the study which was mentioned at the beginning of this text.
This activity helps you to reflect and detect what I call “YOUR LINE” which exists of 3 dimensions: PURPOSE, VALUES, STRENGTHS.
I have experienced myself the power of “being on my line” quiet often. Everything seems pretty easy, meaningful and right. It is almost like being in a flow with the water, the current and the challenges. But I also experienced what happens when I get side tracked and when I am way off my way. In coaching situations I obeserve similar experiences. It seems, if we have something that’s meaningful for us and if we can combine that with our values and our strengths, than we have something what I call the “line”.
The core of the line exists out of three sublines: PURPOSE, VALUES, STRENGTHS.
I strongly recommend that you develop a sensitivity for those three themes. Observe yourself and reflect situations, when you feel strong, happy and in a flow? What is it that you are doing and what makes such situations meaningful for you? What values can you realize or are involved in those moments? And what strengths help you to be that confident?
See it as a process. It is natural, that this process takes some time. But sit down from time to time, reflect some of your successful projects or moments and try to figure out what made them meaningful and which values and strengths were involved. Sometimes it is also helpful to reflect some of your “not so successful” moments through the lenses of PURPOSE, VALUES and STRENGTHS. After doing this over some time I am sure you will detect something what you may call “YOUR LINE”. If you have the courage then to arrange your activities around your line, you will feel full of energy and satisfaction. On the other hand: if you feel drained, frustrated and tired all the time, than this might be a hint, that you are not acting according to your line. Listen to those signals and take them serious.
Here are a few questions that might help to get to YOUR PURPOSE:
- Which activities are meaningful for you?
- Whom do you want to support, whom do you want to serve?
- What is it that excites you and let’s your heart beat faster?
- When do you want to go the extra mile?
- What makes your doing meaningful?
- Which people and which circumstances do you experience as supportive?
- Which difficult or challenging topics fascinate you?
- What is it that you can learn about yourself through mastering challenging topics?
A challenge to get a grip on your VALUES: A SPEECH AT YOUR OWN FUNERAL
A challenging but very rewarding activity is to write a speech for your own funeral. Yes, I said it is challenging. But assume you had a very happy, successful and long life. Friends, business partners and other important people talk at your funeral how they experienced you. What would you like to hear?
Write the speech or speeches really. And then filter out the core line. This might give you a hint about what you really value.
Strengthen yourself with focusing on your STRENGTHS
How can you find out what your strengths are? Here are some ideas:
- If it is easy for you to realize good performance even in difficult situations
- In situations where it is easy for you to learn new things
- Whenever you like to do special activities or if you want to solve specific problems and you succeed almost every time
- When others give you feedback – direct or indirect
Interesting and helpful is also a online test from Donald O. Clifton. It’s called the strengthsfinder. Here is the link: www.gallupstrengthsfinder.com