I know that meditation is the essential practice that allows me to view my life as an objective observer as it slows me down, heightens my awareness, enables greater compassion and allows me to be more contemplative. During short periods when I have stopped meditating, I noticed that I quickly lost my baseline and became more prone to emotional responses, anger, stress and knee-jerk reactions.

I look forward all day to my meditation practice which is the foundation of all of my spiritual efforts and the primary means by which I remain in alignment with Source energy and live from my inspired soul-view. My practice typically takes place at the same time and place every day and is the time when I can finally exhale, surrender and just be. The benefits for me have been extraordinary. Almost immediately I noticed that I was experiencing much less anxiety; lifelong patterns and conditioning that were limiting me were weakened. This is partly due to the extraordinary physical benefits of meditation as well as the fact that this time of communion with my inspired soul-view led me to transition out of a particularly stressful circumstance which allowed me to transform my entire life.

Fortunately, the practice came very easy for me; however, I have many friends who struggle with it as they are simply unable to still and quiet themselves. If you find this to be the case, I strongly suggest that you search for a qualified meditation instructor.

Meditation has taken me to the place of essence so deep within myself that when my session ends, I have several minutes in which I feel like a completely different person than the often frazzled, working mom I was just 40 minutes prior. As I leave the deep, still, peacefulness of meditation, I find the transition to be fascinating as it gives me an idea of what an out of body experience might feel like. I think of it as if I had been temporarily frozen; as I thaw out, the ego’s personality and thoughts return. I have also had the opposite experience in which my body pulsed with vital energy during my session creating a keenly dynamic experience. There have also been times when I have intentionally pulled myself out of meditation because I became fearful of the intensity.

During my sessions, my sense of self becomes one of interconnectivity and compassion as I grasp the vastness of the universe and experience my soul in glimpses and glimmers. I know now that much of the restlessness I have previously experienced in my life was my soul longing to be nurtured, express itself and experience a deeper, sustained connection with my physical, Earthly life. My spiritual journey has been a step by step process. Once I began to pray, the door was cracked opened; once I began to meditate, the door swung wide open allowing me to further know and experience prolonged periods of connection, compassion, enlightenment, peace and joy. Once I focused on these things and made them a priority, the transformation in my life was remarkable. Meditation has empowered me to focus and feel in my life in a way that I could not have previously – it has allowed me to live with certainty.

How do you become inspired and motivated to approach your life and career with the utmost purpose, productive action, passion, and positivity? The defining characteristics of the most successful, fulfilled, and joyous individuals — including top-flight executives, entrepreneurs, and championship team players — are about far more than the leadership style they’ve adopted or the persona they’ve assumed in order to assimilate more effectively into a particular organization and its culture. The actual qualities that make someone truly extraordinary are far more intrinsic to who they are as individuals and encompass myriad thoughtful, ingrained approaches to their life and career.

Many of the principles and precepts that create extraordinary personal lives should also permeate one’s professional approach if you are to live authentically and purposefully. The “best of the best” executive talent understands and integrates both personal and professional success principles, and they know how to assimilate and interchange these approaches throughout their lives in a way that unlocks and stimulates creativity, leverages passion, fulfills purpose, elicits development, and brings meaning. They do not reserve their deepest, most profound and strategic thinking only for work because those who live the most fulfilling lives don’t garner their joy merely from work – they thrive upon the totality of well-rounded lives and reap significant pleasure from both the professional and personal aspects of their lives.

How have they done this? Very simply, individuals who are extremely satisfied with their career progress, who are surrounded by family and other healthy relationships that bring forth their life’s greatest joy, and who live their lives with resounding positivity and meaning, typically took the time very early on to discover their life’s passions, purpose, and priorities. And since that time, they have kept these priorities defined, focused, and squarely in front them, providing guidance and clarity as they moved along their life path. They put the pieces of their life together so that their thoughts, actions, talents, relationships — even expressions of gratitude — remained centered around their deepest authenticity — who they are and what they are all about, whether they are on or off the “stage.”

50 Traits of Positive, Exceptional Leaders: The Real Career Success Tools

  1. They understand the immense, overarching importance and necessity of figuring out their life’s purpose. They have carved out time for this significant contemplation, and consider the understanding of what they are on Earth to do and accomplish to be the most useful discovery of their life. They are committed to the expression of their purpose, believing that the purpose of their life is, in fact, to apply their purpose every single day. Not surprisingly, the people who make life’s most significant discoveries and contributions are those who have embraced their unique gifts and have confidently, creatively expressed their purposeful authenticity in an imitable way. A life of greatness is a life of purpose. You are sure to wander aimlessly and build a life around the wrong targets (leading to inevitable feelings of emptiness, angst, and wanting down the road) if you don’t get very clear about your purpose.
  2. They are able to articulate with extraordinary vision and specificity what success means for them – how it feels and what it looks like in their life. They know where they want to have an impact, and they thrive on these feelings of accomplishment. They understand the types of experiences that will allow them to grow and experience meaning. Feelings of personal and professional “success” and fulfillment are important because they lay the foundation for creating true vocational fulfillment.
  3. They can readily separate the wheat from the chaff and get to the heart of the matter to focus on what’s important. They also know how to apply themselves to the most high-impact activities when they find themselves with prime work time. The sense of accomplishment they feel from these core work times fuels further action and keeps progress and momentum moving forward. When focusing on details, they don’t lose sight of the big picture.
  4. They have strong self-assessment skills and have unlocked and understand their intrinsic talents and gifts. Their time spent at work adds to their self-esteem because they are actively engaged in roles that leverage their strengths and interests and/or that allow them to develop. They have actively sought and utilized developmental feedback throughout their careers.
  5. They positively approach their thoughts in such a way that they intrinsically bring to bear their best self, making choices and decisions that help them remain in a purposeful, pure, dynamic, and positive flow.
  6. They don’t merely skim the surface of their lives. They dig in deep, and think profoundly and with the big picture in mind.
  7. They live and work deliberately and in the “here and now” moment. They maintain a “present” focus – not ignoring the past or future – but remaining engaged in the improvement of current actions and processes.
  8. They get extreme comfort and pleasure from their family and friends and understand that these individuals and healthy relationships are, in fact, the most important, enduring aspects of our lives and have so much to do with our life’s fullness and degree of happiness. (Just ask one terminated executive whether he made the right decision in neglecting his family/children for years for his job, and you’ll never have to wonder if it was the right thing to do again. If your family is, in fact, the most important aspect of your life, you will not allow them to be neglected. You will allocate time appropriately to both family and career.)
  9. They live principled lives of high moral character, integrity, and honesty. Their values permeate their personal and professional lives.
  10. They have a need to constantly self-actualize and achieve. While professionally they keenly watch the competition and are, indeed, competitive individuals always striving to win and be the best, personally they don’t continually waste time comparing themselves with others, as they tend to leverage their own strengths with the fullest force. They have discovered ways to feel acknowledged, needed, valued, positively challenged, responsible, significant, successful, appreciated, and encouraged at work which carries over to bring positivity to their personal lives.
  11. They possess an abundance mindset and believe that their effort and expression of their purpose will be rewarded. They don’t believe that there is a limited supply of reward.
  12. They feel good about themselves, are unpretentious and do not live or work from a place of massive ego. Because they live from a core of pure purpose and passion, they have solid self-esteem and solid footing.
  13. They treat others with dignity and respect expecting to earn the reciprocation like everyone else – one step, one interaction, one day at a time. They are ever mindful of the best interest of others.
  14. They set priorities based on their purpose and their life’s overarching goals. They have sacred boundaries drawn around certain activities and people that they do not cross. Their priorities are very clear which prevents feelings of bitterness from developing when they do have to make a sacrifice. They have a balance in their life that allows them to enjoy and take pleasure in personal and recreational pursuits. They have an internal equation and compass for how to divide their time. They have not sacrificed their personal lives for their career. They listen to their internal voices when they get out of balance and need to redirect their time.
  15. They are flexible as needed because they have their eye on a larger prize than just the hour, day, or even the week. They know that the external world will always be fundamentally unpredictable, but their firm dose of purpose – internal certainty about what they want and who they are – allows them to make the occasional shift or sacrifice.
  16. They understand the significant role that serendipity can play in our lives, particularly, when we are in our flow or zone, and they follow their instincts and hunch as they see fit.
  17. Money, prominence, and prestige are not their sole, or even primary, drivers. While they want financial stability and freedom, they clearly understand what brings them deep meaning and joy. They have not allowed their priorities to become completely skewed by building a life purely around financial success – this is one of the reasons that many wealthy executives eventually get to a place of inevitable unhappiness and not uncommonly want to make a late-career switch to a not-for-profit leadership role that might bring more meaning. Money and financial rewards serve as poor guiding lights with respect to our happiness and life satisfaction – and once you use them as your key goal, you find it harder to ever supplant them with more meaningful drivers. When your vocation is truly a part of bringing forth your most fulfilling life, it provides deep and lasting personal development, growth, service to others, contribution of your unique gifts, and achievement of meaningful benchmarks. It also brings appreciation, recognition, and acknowledgment from constituencies that matter to you — be it family, friends, a team, colleagues, or customers.
  18. They haven’t drawn a line or separation between who they really are – purpose, passions, spirit – and their vocation or career. They don’t feel as if they must abandon their true essence to go to work and get through the day. Rather they approach all aspects of their life with the fullness of their purposeful authenticity.
  19. They do not allow fear to hold them back. They are bold and are not afraid to take a risk, seize the moment, be different, think different, or express their individuality. Because they possess the ability to think deeply and strategically, they are not reckless. Their risks are thoughtful and calculated. They know that very often moving through fear and anxiety is how greatness is born.
  20. They possess the ambition to realize their fullest potential.
  21. They find their jobs to be fun and exciting – they like what they do professionally and they want to do it. They literally will get up earlier than necessary in the morning because they are excited to start their day. An amazingly small number of people are truly jazzed and energized by their jobs.
  22. They believe that the future is big, compelling, and great. They live with hope, optimism, and positivity. Their optimism, when combined with purpose, brings them to their goals, heightens their confidence in their capabilities, and inspires additional goals that further build upon their success.
  23. They are resilient through change as they accept change as a part of life and welcome the lessons change brings as an integral aspect of their intended personal growth and development. They keep their eye on the prize/big picture. Life’s inevitable changes, challenges, and distractions are part of the cycle, and they don’t allow themselves to be sidetracked from taking purposeful action toward their goals. They don’t lose their hope and optimism.
  24. They feel that they are doing something for the greater good, beyond their professional demands.
  25. They feel immense gratitude for their good life. Nothing is taken for granted. They express their thanks and gratitude freely and frequently. They are grateful for all that they have and believe with no doubt, and with immense hope and optimism, that even better is on the horizon.
  26. They live without a victim mindset. They view themselves as capable, self-sufficient, and ready to lead.
  27. They take responsibility and don’t make excuses.
  28. They are hard workers who diligently and conscientiously apply themselves, personally and professionally. They never stop taking action to move forward. Even when they are tired, stressed, or anxious, they maintain a high level of effort and action. They are thorough, outstanding in their execution, detail-oriented, and the quality of their work is exceptional. They always go above and beyond.
  29. They want to leave a legacy that is significant and meaningful and that leaves the world a better place than they found it.
  30. They create and engage in traditions and celebrations, personally and professionally.
  31. They are life-long learners and are open to learning from anyone anytime. They admit when they don’t have the answers and proactively educate and inform themselves. They are always eagerly seeking further learning, development, and enlightenment. They never stop trying to move themselves to the next level. This approach to life keeps you moving forward; when aligned with purposeful action, you are an unstoppable force.
  32. They work to earn people’s trust knowing that trust-based relationships endure.
  33. They inspire confidence by not only knowing what to do, but through a willingness to jump in and take action themselves.
  34. They are strong mentors and get personal satisfaction from developing others, empowering them, and seeing them progress. They have also sought and utilized mentors and have surrounded themselves with an inspiring, supportive inner circle.
  35. They see things through and honor commitments rather than giving up or flitting from one thing to another.
  36. They expect tests and challenges to happen from time to time and face anxiety and challenges head-on while maintaining the greater perspective that irrespective of how dire the situation may seem, it will somehow stretch, grow, and serve them. They have perspective about life’s inevitable ups and downs, and face them with resiliency. They do not get sidetracked for long or sabotaged. They can be counted on to become their best self and best leader during times of challenge. They know that by kicking into overdrive to solve a particular problem, they will open new doors. They step into action, step into the moment, and proactively reshape and redefine the situation with authentic inspiration, confidence, resolve, strategic thought, and optimism. When faced with trials, their dreams and visions do not diminish, but rather grow more resolute.
  37. They are proactive about keeping to the path that feels right for them and maintaining their peak energy level and happiness. When they find themselves in bad situations, perhaps an ill-fitting role, culture, or supervisor, they figure the best way out.
  38. They take great pride in being good managers and leaders and garner significant personal feelings of reward from teaching, developing, and recognizing others, and also from fostering effective teamwork. They gain significant fulfillment from helping others to achieve, reach goals, and be their best selves. They truly want to positively touch the hearts and minds of others.
  39. They are strong communicators and relationship builders who take the time to develop deep, engaged, and meaningful relationships and to express interest in others. Even those individuals with a more introverted intrinsic nature take the time to cultivate relationships. They believe in the power of interconnectivity and respect the ability and potential contribution of others. They effectively team with others and excel in the communication and buy-in of collective mission, vision, and values. You cannot build a truly successful team and culture without leaders who are relationship builders. Our relationships — and how we cultivate and grow them – can make or break our careers and lives.
  40. They don’t carry unnecessary burdens and fret about the past.
  41. They tune out naysayers and armchair quarterbacks, never allowing the uninformed to take them off their course.
  42. They possess a keen awareness that they are setting an example for others in everything they say or do, in the vision they share, and in their demeanor. They roll up their sleeves and jump in whenever needed. They walk their talk.
  43. They care for and nourish themselves, physically, mentally, spiritually.
  44. They create and innovate.
  45. They have a sense of humor.
  46. They don’t waste a lot of time being offended, taking things personally, complaining, or fretting over who likes them or who doesn’t.
  47. They believe in their greatness, maintain a focus of excellence, visualize their success, and never stop dreaming and believing that all their driving desires will come to fruition. They live from a positive baseline. They expect success yet are undaunted (and may even be surprised) when things don’t come together as planned.
  48. They are completely self-motivated.
  49. They always celebrate success, big or small, knowing that supporting progress along the right path is as important as setting the right goal.
  50. They do not participate in negative energy-producing situations, including gossip and discussion of the trivial. They bring positivity in the face of negativity. They have full lives and realize that their full effort needs to be placed on the meaningful. When they do have time to unwind and relax, they do not focus on anything that carries negative, destructive energy.

The approach of the most purposeful, fulfilled and successful individuals teaches us the importance of living an integrated life that leverages your best, most profound and inate abilities and traits. Through discovering your purpose, and subsequently experiencing passion through the application and leverage of your unique gifts, you can experience new dimensions of yourself and begin to live with an underlying fulfillment, optimism, self-assuredness, confidence, and deep joy that you may have never previously known.

Living with Certainty
While clearly there is no one right way for everyone to live that carries with it the absolute guarantee of success and fulfillment, just beginning with the intention to create a more authentic, passionate, and abundant life carries power that can help to fuel productive action. Living with Certainty™ describes a process or template for uncovering your best self and beginning to live from a place of pure, purposeful positivity. This places you into your life’s optimal flow from which the fullest expression of your potential can begin to be realized. How you overlay the template to your own life, and the extent to which you attach the insight and meaning that subsequently emerges, is up to you. For some this process is intrinsic to who they are and how they live – they don’t call it “living with certainty.” Rather it is simply how they live their most authentic life. I have seen it time and again.

Living with Certainty™ can reveal to you a fresh perspective on your life and how you have up until now approached the discovery of your best self and your life’s purpose. This new lens can help you to understand how the path you have taken, for better or worse, has led you to the place you are today, and to chart a new course that will bring you ever closer to deeper meaning, fulfillment, and success (however you define that for yourself).

Kristi LeBlanc has spent over 15 years as an award-winning, retained executive recruiter with the globe’s largest, most prestigious executive search firms, including Korn/Ferry International where she was a Senior Partner. She is currently the Executive Vice President & Managing Director, N.A. Consumer Practice with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of the three-time award-winning book, “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,”  and the creator and CEO of Living with Certainty™ LLC where she is a corporate keynote speaker and organizational/personal consultant with a focus on developing positive leaders and positive corporate cultures. To learn more visit http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com, http://www.dhrinternational.com/consultants/consultantsviewbio.aspx?consultantid=329, or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.

“Work can provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal, as well as financial growth. If it doesn’t, we’re wasting far too much of our lives.” – James Autry

 

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

IF YOU HAVE LED a life of comparison, competition, envy, and jealousy, it will be powerful and freeing for you to experience the way this negativity falls away as you naturally begin to experience the contentment and confidence that comes with living a life of purposeful authenticity. Once you uncover your inspired soul-view, self-love comes more easily, and the notion of comparing yourself to others seems increasingly absurd and trivial.

Envy, jealousy, competition, and comparison exist only in your mind thanks to your ego, which likes to isolate itself this way. As you live with certainty, however, you increasingly accept that while we are all connected at the level of essence, there is no value in comparing your life, success, and achievements with others. By virtue of our universal interconnectivity, we need and will be aided by others, but we are never to measure ourselves against our fellow humans. Rather, our benchmark should be how closely we emulate the vibrational level of Source energy through our everyday thoughts, beliefs, actions, and gratitude.

Without question, some people have suffered more hardship than others. While this isn’t fair, we must understand that there is no concept of fairness in the ways of our universe. There are only our intended lessons.

Let go of the lack of fairness you’ve been focused on and replace it with a more productive thought-focus.
A so-called lack of fairness may have caused you to endure the very hardships that have prepared and strengthened you for the next level of your Earthly experience. This isn’t to say that suffering is by its very nature good. Clearly no one wants to endure it. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger through teaching you invaluable lessons.

Congratulate and Wish Others Well
Give due congratulations, accolades, recognition, and kudos to others, even when this direct “competition” in your mind has won a battle and you’re not happy about the outcome. When you do this, you shift the frequency of your energy level to one far more positive and life affirming.

All too often, we attempt to slander and disempower our competitors, but if we could just remember that we’re all interconnected souls, we would choose to behave differently. Competition is clearly a man-made concept; the truth is that there is nothing but unlimited abundance in the world. If we could truly understand this, we would not harbor such negative, self-defeating, and distracting feelings.

Embrace Your Own Gifts
When you don’t have a sense of the authentic you, you can become severely lacking in confidence and self-assurance. As you discover your inspired soul-view, however, you know that your success and the abundance available to you aren’t based on what anyone else has or does. There is no need to compete. We are all unique, different, and diverse, and we should like it that way. The universe benefits from this diversity.

Regardless of who you compare yourself with, you will have the same life—you’ll be just a bit more miserable.
If you compare yourself to people who have either more or less, you may feel either good or bad. As you resent the success of others, you emit negative energy, thereby harming your own life experience and weakening your ability to co-create. Instead, celebrate the success of others if you want to see more success in your own life. Extend love to others and begin focusing on expressing your own purposeful authenticity and joy.

Jealousy
Feelings of jealousy are creatures of your own mind, and are detrimental and destructive to your personal energy. Allow your heightened awareness and internal instruction system to alert you to feelings of jealousy so that you may quickly shift to a more positive, comforting mindset. Otherwise, these feelings may draw more obstacles and competition into your life. The silver lining of jealousy is that it exists to make you aware of your own need to heal some of your own shortcomings and soft spots.

Competition
Competition stems from the fear that you will not measure up, will be revealed to be a failure, or will look bad due to someone else’s success. You worry that there won’t be enough for you. Once again, you can thank your ego for your feelings of inferiority to those who somehow, in your mind, have more than you.

Businesses and corporations must compete effectively in order to survive and thrive. However, the competition that exists between individuals is the natural outgrowth of our external search to fill internal voids. At the root of this interpersonal competition lies the desire for power—and this is the root of much conflict and hate in the world. As social beings, most of us live and work in communities filled with other unfulfilled humans. This will never lead to strong, compassionate human relations. We must change.

When you’re living competitively, you haven’t found your own way yet; you aren’t living in alignment with your inspired soul-view. Living with a scarcity mindset causes you to feel as if we all are competing for a limited supply of material and professional success, power, and accomplishment. Once you understand, however, that it is unnecessary to compete with anyone for anything, you begin to realize how much time and mental energy you’ve poured into the wrong things. Yes, some people will always have more than you, and you, in turn, will always have more than others. This is inevitable, since we’re all unique individuals with unique souls living unique lives. Rather than spending time competing with others, use that time to live with certainty so that you can exploit your own unique potential for the rest of your life.

Focus on abundance.
Any time you feel territorial and competitive, you’re focusing on a lack of something, rather than on the creation of what you want. There are unlimited supplies of everything and anything good in the universe—more than enough for everyone. It is people who feel alone and inferior who focus the most on competition. You’re not battling the world; you’re not competing for finite amounts of anything. You are an empowered co-creator.