Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v42

It’s a district work period for the House and I’ve got work travel up to Philadelphia for a training. I’m looking forward to talking with folks who want to learn how to run for office and most importantly, share techniques on how to raise money. It’s not rocket science so those of us who can do it comfortably will always have the advantage of doing. The odds are in your favor when you actually make the asks vs those who never do. So take whatever fear you may have and turn it into positive results.

Let’s get on with Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m generally a good sleeper because I tend to keep a schedule for my body clock and that means I have a bedtime 🙂 I do use an alarm, however I also tend to wake up before my alarm usually turns on. On the weekdays that means 6am. There was a time when I used to get up at 6:45am and slowly that changed to earlier and earlier. I used to go to the gym for a 7am class on weekends until I started taking long walks in the morning so I didn’t really change my sleep schedule, but now if I “sleep in” then it’s 7:30am. I really don’t like to linger in bed so I’m usually on the go thereafter which translates me to going for a walk or going to the gym. I don’t like to exercise any other time of day so if I’m not exercising in the morning, it’s not going to happen. I’m also the weirdo who hates blackout curtains. When I’m in a hotel, I like to wake up with the sun so having sunlight stream in is important to adjusting my body clock, especially if I’m traveling to a different time zone. Articles tend to talk about how entrepreneurs are successful when they are morning people. I don’t prescribe to that idea because there are people who more productive when working at night (I’m not one of them). I do prescribe that people are at their highest level of thinking when they get sleep. Prioritizing this essential habit can help get you to your best work.

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  • I try to stay on the positive side of things whenever I’m feeling challenged. Of course, I have my moments and I try to process them so that I extinguish whatever negativity that may exist. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m especially cheery and goodness knows that I can be grumpy if I don’t have enough sleep (see earlier post). In our current times, it seems that everyday life has been impacted by the news and the overall mood fluctuates from surly to sadness. Living in this constant state of anxiety is unhealthy and can lead our brains to atrophy. We need positivity in our lives to also stimulate our brain to generate creativity and alleviate stress. You can get positive results when you also give to others so give an unexpected compliment to someone you know and recognize the small joys that uplift your spirit. Happiness can be shared and it should be valued.

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  • Is there something that you want to change in your habits? Tim Ferriss has a suggestion for you to help you start thinking differently. I try to find people who I admire who can help me improve my own actions. Have you ever experienced a time when you thought, “Geez, I could have handled that better?”. Watch the video and see if Tim’s suggestion helps you create changes.

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  • I was setting up my Instagram posts for this week and one of the pictures that I chose was that of a statue of Duke Kahanamoku at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. The caption that I put with the photo was basically that I visit this statue when I go surfing in Hawaii because it reminds me that although I have no natural talent with surfing, I continue to try to surf because I know that it helps me become a better person in doing something that I enjoy no matter how difficult. Just like with fundraising, people become more comfortable doing it with practice. You may never be as good as you would like because human nature can be ambitious. Kurt Vonnegut calls this “practice becoming” and this mantra encourages me to be unafraid to do things that I’m not very good at unabashedly. This form of self expression can make you happy even if you’re not that good (see me and my surfing attitude). So sing in the shower (I do on the regular) and live your life becoming.

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  • Last week I shared an article about GenX women feeling a new kind of mid life crisis and there were a lot of comments throughout the interwebs that focused  that there weren’t any solutions in the piece. TBH I don’t think anyone has the answers and the ability to commiserate that there are others in the same conundrum is helpful in itself. Finding solutions in a broad sense seems a little manufactured because everyone’s circumstances are slightly different although we may share the same kinds of feelings. With that context, I’m sharing what millennial women are feeling with their professional careers. Slightly different in attitude, it’s still a conversation about how feminism has evolved throughout the years and how women should consider the many facets of life instead of having the only goal of being successful in your career. Especially now, when women are still making less than our male counterparts and are still facing a multitude of challenges that exist from the time women started in the workforce, placing all your value on your career can lead to a lower evaluation of self. Finding happiness is having the perspective to find joy outside of one’s career and also placing less emphasis of its importance in one’s self-worth. Ambition isn’t a dirty word and it should also include having interests outside of one’s career.

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  • There was an article about how a group of friends purchased a plot of land in a dilapidated area of Texas and created their own version of senior living. That sounds like a terrific way to retire. I may switch out Texas for another state or another part of the world and therefore my golden years will be spent with people who are already friends who I can count on to be a support system for each another. What about if you’re single without children? Building a society of singletons is just as grand and I would want them in my senior living center too! I’m married without children and my closest girlfriends are either single or married without kids. Just having friends who are already your support system living close by in a neighboring area will alleviate loneliness and continue to strengthen the bonds that brought these friendships forth. We wouldn’t be living alone and would have one another to fortify our health and happiness. Family can also be those who you choose to bring into the fold. I like it.

That’s it for this week – see you next Tuesday, same bat channel 🙂 Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t yet subscribed, I hope you’ll do so today!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v41

Happy Tuesday! We’ve had a bit of a heat wave the last few days in DC with a return of humidity & as a result, the AC has been turned back on. Being this warm doesn’t get me in the mood to switch out my closet so I’m keeping the knee high boots and sweaters wrapped up until the temperatures take a dip. I’m ready for the onset of Autumn!

In the meantime, we can get to Tuesday Truths!

  • I started using a hashtag for moments when I am #livinahappylife and I try to remind myself that life isn’t perfect while making the most of what I’m trying to accomplish for that day. Growing up as an only child, I had the company of adults and my imagination and since my dad passed away when I was a teenager, I quickly learned how to be resilient.  My mom raised me as a single parent and she provided life examples in how to succeed. It was with experience and a deeper understanding of myself that I recognized what elements I need in life to be happy. It took me a while but I think I have a combination that can take me for the long haul. If you’re looking for ways to bring happiness to your life, then take a gander at these tips so you can create positive habits for yourself.

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  • If you’re a Gen X woman like me, this article may resonate with you. I’m still really processing it myself and although I don’t have the same circumstances as the women who are featured in the article, I understand the rage and concern. I sometimes marvel that I’ve gotten this far in life because I really didn’t have a plan for myself. I knew where I wanted to work and in what field and I certainly didn’t have a plan when it came to having children. Being a mother was never a priority so I sometimes wonder if I will ever regret that decision later in life. I don’t currently so I doubt that I will but you never know. I have joked about having a quarter life crisis when I was in my early-mid 20s and as I really move into the middle age phase of my life, I want my evolution to be centered on how I can continue to challenge myself professionally and maintain a sense of contentment in how life has turned out.

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  • So much of life is showing up. I have a friend who was a national deputy finance director of a major committee and recognizes that they got the job because not only were they talented, they also showed up and was consistent. It matters even more in your personal life. Taking stock of friendships who are there to check in on you even when they’re busy and keeping those connections alive are the friendships where I have the most investment. As I’ve gotten older, my social network has stretched to include a lot of people from different facets of my life. I’m not necessarily open to making new friends for the sake of making friends and it’s important to me to use time wisely by being with people and doing things that make a difference. Enjoying the company of a loved one, learning new things and sharing in experiences that make a significant impact on the people that matter are priorities in my life.

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  • I have always felt that regardless if you live in a small town or a big city, you can always feel lonely. It’s the connection to people that can bring your social network to fruition. If you aren’t engaging with others, it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny studio in Manhattan or live on Main Street. Being a part of clubs or activities that allows you to socialize and have interaction creates bonds and relationships. It’s equally important to have a similar kind of setting at your work place. Individuals are so much more than their professional narratives. Those individuals who may have a more challenging time sharing may need an extra nudge to open up about themselves. You can combat loneliness in your work place by making an effort to get your teams more involved in knowing more about one another. A shared mission and shared bond creates a professional environment where people truly feel like a team. If you’re looking for ways to build a more collaborative work environment, check out this article where they also encourage socializing outside of work.

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  • I read an article about an AAPI woman who immigrated to the United States 22 years ago and decided to run for the city council. She got push back from voters who were appalled that a “foreign born” citizen was running for public office. If you’re feeling steam coming out of your ears then I feel you and if you’re not enraged, then you should stop reading my blog. The AAPI woman candidate has put an emphasis on diversity on her campaign and some voters are freaked out. #blesstheirhearts This is CRAY! Corporations have come to the table recognizing that diversity and inclusion are important to their success. They will not succeed if they don’t embrace the idea that people from different backgrounds will bring perspectives and experiences that can not be brought forth when you have a homogeneous workforce. Regardless of whether the impetus is the bottom line or actual progress, I hope that it brings everlasting change to the way people think about those who come from under-represented segments of society. So don’t be afraid to be intersectional and multi-dimensional at your work. I didn’t engage my AAPI roots until much later in life and people should be allowed to make choices in how they choose to engage. Those of us who recognize that society is changing will continue to move the needle so that inclusion and diversity are addressed and people are respected.

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  • My podcast choices are based on professional development, Paris/French related, cooking topics and a myriad of other eclectic subjects. So seeing this list of 16 black voiced podcasts  widens my perspective and takes me out of my bubble. If you’re looking for options beyond Serial and This American Life, check it out!

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  • This year has challenged every fiber of my being to remember the idealism that once resided in my soul. People have turned politics and that of public service into a stereotype of corruption and an episode of “House of Cards” & “Veep”. Twenty years ago I returned home to DC to start a political careerand since it was pre West Wing, I hardly had a clue of what I was doing or where I was going when it came to having a professional career in politics. When I started getting burnt out from the stress, I took time away from the industry and I found my idealism once again. I have since learned a few things to keep myself sane and this year is another lesson in resilience. As with all things in life, there are nefarious characters who will test your integrity and that’s when you have to remember that you can’t allow cynicism to win the day. Even when friends who were in the industry return for a visit, our conversations are concentrated in the world that we live in and how we can make it better. The federal government isn’t leaving anytime soon and your energy will remind us why we wanted to get into this business in the 1st place.

Thanks for reading/sharing and please sign up to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v40

We’re in a new QTR and getting ready for the end of the year. It’s also a good time to reassess goals and strategize any kind of course correction. Over the weekend, I got a chance to talk with a group about basic fundraising and with the women who are participants of the WeLead program through American University’s Women in Politics Institute and with both groups, I reiterated that going through the process helps you to set your goals and move the needle. You can always modify your plans because nothing is written in stone so if you really want to track your progress, write it down! It’s not necessary for you to share your plans or you can choose to shout it from the rooftops. Putting these goals on paper allows you to see what steps you need to take to move forward and you get to celebrate every time you make progress, regardless of how big or small the step.

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • One of the questions I received while speaking at the WeLead program dealt with my self-care. Instead of really addressing what I do for myself, I talked more about what happens with my staff so that they recognize that they need to do it for themselves and for people who work on their team. I would rather teach by example so when people leave for their next opportunity, they will demonstrate the same kinds of habits that they experienced as a staffer in their new role as a manager. These habits shouldn’t limit itself to work. We’ve talked about expressing thanks and living with more gratitude/kindness. These steps can help you in establishing that kind of culture at least in your professional life and hopefully, it can be felt personally as well.

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  • Along with publicly thanking my team, I also work with them individually and privately on their professional development. We try to meet quarterly so that we can assess where they are on their goals as well as what I may catch as a potential bad habit (which we want to nip sooner rather than later). We initially talk about strengths and weaknesses and develop ways that they can neutralize whatever weaknesses were identified. As we continue to work together, I can provide feedback on what’s working. These can be tough conversations because who wants to point out other people’s flaws? What helps is that you’re both working together towards action items that can show improvement. Here are ideas when you need to give feedback to your staff.

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  • My office is a training ground for emerging leaders (I am like a proud mother hen!) because I have a slew of former staffers and interns who are making their way in their specific fields and ROCKING it. I like to think that their time with me helped to form them as professionals, not only in their work performance but also with how they work with their teams. Becoming a manager in politics does not come with a manual. When I recently worked with the DNC on a training, there was a session basically discussing how to be a good manager. This included performance reviews, working with people who may be much more older and more seasoned than you, and building relationships that are far flung when you have offices stretching miles across a state. All of these issues are important when you lead a team. Building cohesiveness while providing structure and discipline. All of these points aren’t necessarily taught in a campaign atmosphere because we’re focused on meeting deadlines and goals. What people don’t realize is that if you don’t set the tone immediately as a manager, all of your goals and deadlines won’t matter if your team is back stabbing and lacks the motivation to get through more challenging situations. So guess what? New managers need support and the ability to learn how to be good managers – that means take the time to train them and connect them to others who have the experience to help them navigate a tough situation. If you need help, read this article to figure out what to ask for so that you can get the skills you need.

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  • When you’re thinking about where you are in your career, you should also spend the time with where you are in life. Are you aligned with your purpose in life? Pretty deep question to ponder and it’s one that can provide you with fulfillment. The Japanese concept of ikigai doesn’t need to be grand. It needs to be specific to you and believe it or not, it doesn’t have to do with work or with income.

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  • One of the questions from the WeLead participants dealt with advice to our younger selves and one of the panelists talked about not being enamored with someone else’s job title. I can wholeheartedly agree with this concept. Placing value on your worth is about your ability and skill. Job titles are free and kicking ass everyday in whatever position you hold is about valuing yourself. Competition is healthy when it motivates you to say that you are working towards a goal or reaching an achievement. Compete with yourself to gain more skills and to be more qualified than you were last year. The jobs that you take in life don’t define who you are so don’t let others use that as a way to create doubt about your abilities.

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Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v39

We’re in the final stretch of the QTR so get your money in for all of the political causes you believe in so that we can have the highest tally on September 30th. As much as I appreciate support on October 1st, it’s a little painful that it can’t count for the 3rd QTR. The flip side is that that contribution starts off the 4th QTR count. Fundraising never ends!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Much thanks to Tanya Tarr for featuring me in her negotiation article about resilience. If you’re getting started in fundraising, you can read more about Tanya’s experience about staying in the saddle even after getting several no’s and how as she continued forward, her asks got bigger and the results got better! I’ve always felt that creating your own luck is essential to getting to your goals and as a result, you learn how to be resilient.

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  • Building teams to execute a project can be challenging and when you’re working in a small organization, there aren’t that many opportunities to mix up the staff to spur creativity. You do have the ability to change up the environment and to motivate your team through incentives to reward them for a job well done. Here are ways that can help you build a better team or at the very least, encourage your team members to feel that the work really is a team effort. I’ve talked about how I’ve taken my team to a weekly staff lunch of their choice. It’s also important to acknowledge each team member for their accomplishments in a public way and I also show my gratitude by purchasing gift cards or something from the road when I’m traveling to thank them. As much as I like being in the office to get work done, it’s important to not always have a static setting when you’re trying to innovate. So step away from a familiar setting to get new ideas flowing.

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  • I mentor quite a few women who are in the beginning stages of their careers and provide career advice for women who maybe hitting their stride in their chosen profession and are likely maybe a decade younger then me. Having these conversations are fulfilling because I hope that by sharing my experiences, I’m helping them navigate their own career path. The benefit for me is that their questions also highlights for me the current trends affecting professionals of their experience and age. When you think about establishing a relationship with a mentor, there will be expectations from both sides so setting boundaries is important and recognizing what you want out of the relationship.

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  • I’m all about sharing a platform for women and women of color. My sisters in the tech industry (where I have some experience being that I have fundraised in that industry since the mid 1990s from venture capitalists for political campaigns and organizations) are fighting against the stereotypes of AAPI women who work in this field. Big props to Tina Lee, a dear friend who heads up a nonprofit to train moms how to code and to re-engage in the work force. AAPI women continue to make strides to be valued for our intelligence and technical ability and I’m looking forward to hearing more success stories of their progress.

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  • When I started in politics, I moved from field to fundraising and at the time, I didn’t know that many people of color who did fundraising. I also was working in a very specific area within the Democratic Party: moderate Democrats so an area that leaned more heavily into the business community and more Southern. Which meant that I spent a lot of time with Caucasian people, both elected officials and donors. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the AAPI community and it wasn’t until I started working with AAPI candidates and elected officials did I start to learn about the AAPI narrative. By then I was an established fundraiser and had already spent time training people with the philosophy that regardless of your ethnic background, your abilities transcends your race. You’re a good communications director, fundraiser, campaign manager and you also happen to be “fill in the blank”. Provide the training so that people from all backgrounds can have the technical skills to advance in their careers. Marry that with opportunity and hopefully you will have a pipeline that creates a diverse work force within the progressive movement. In that context, it irks me to no end when organizations talk about having people of color working in their organizations and they aren’t in leadership positions or they are relegated to only engaging with their constituency. I’m a good fundraiser and I have the cultural competency to talk with my natural constituency and that shouldn’t limit me to only talking to my constituency. I ain’t got time for tokenism and neither should you. Take a good hard look within and around you. We’re not perfect and making changes so that we don’t fall into that trap for show will make for a better relationship for all of us.

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  • I’ve been watching MSNBC for a while and although it’s not Wednesday, I’ve got #WCW vibes for Joy Reid. Most of the time when I’m perusing my twitter feed, I’m screaming “YAASSS!” when reading her comments. She was recently profiled in Vogue.com and it was cool to see that the article pointed out that with tv as her medium, she uses the opportunity to create a full package of herself.

Thanks for reading/sharing and hope to see you next week! Drop me a line if you want to have a particular subject matter shared.

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v38

It’s another district work period for the House so I’m playing catch up and getting ready for BSM. For those new to the blog, “Hi!” and BSM is my mood at the end of the QTR because I’m BUSY. GETTIN’. MONEY.

So let’s get straight to it with Tuesday Truths!

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  • I’m a fundraiser so I spend a lot of time networking for my clients so that I can have a varied group of people who are interested in supporting the work that my clients do in politics and in non-profits. Could I ever learn to love that aspect of my work? The key to networking is better understanding the flow of information and how you can be a resource. You never know who you may meet that will have shared interests with you. It’s an invaluable way to meet influential people who may thank you later on for being helpful to them.

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  • Don’t get sucked into other people’s instagrammable moments and forget to live your life. People are starting to get depressed looking at other people’s lives and thinking that they’re not successful enough. Please don’t measure yourself to others because you’ll set yourself up for failure. It’s totally normal to strive to attain a life that’s similar to someone you admire. Also recognize your accomplishments along the way. You control your level of success and most importantly, its meaning to you. Here are 5 signs when you can tell if you’re successful (even when you don’t think you are!).

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  • I have a lot of people who call me to talk about running for office. I always ask them if they’ve had a chance to talk with people who are not a part of our echo chamber and if they’ve discussed their public policy proposals, let alone listened to voters who identify with another set of beliefs. It’s a lot harder than you think to convince someone that your ideas are better when they already hold onto a set of beliefs. Data doesn’t necessary help your case because facts don’t change people’s minds. Learn how you can give people the scenario to give themselves an out so that they can change their way of thinking.

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  • I’m often asked to speak on panels about politics and being an entrepreneur so I basically figured out my schtick, however to keep things fresh, I always need to see who else is speaking so that I can be aware of their accomplishments and figure out the type of audience the panel is addressing. Although I’ve done public speaking for a long time, I still get butterflies talking in front of people. Instead of allowing those emotions to get the best of me, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I’m not an imposter. You’re more likely to be comfortable when you’re more yourself so think of your time as an opportunity to have a conversation and to connect with your audience. Want more tips? Check it out here!

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  • Did you hear that there’s going to be a new iPhone released in a few weeks/months? I saw some hoopla and what really caught my attention was the Twitter flack people gave to an article about how they covered Apple executive, Angela Ahrendts’ attire when she took to the stage to talk about the launch. Ms. Ahrendts is the former CEO of Burberry and currently heads up the retail division of Apple. She’s also the only woman executive in senior leadership for Apple and is the highest paid woman in tech. I’m all about making sure that women leaders are listened to when they speak about their product lines or their accomplishments. Above all else the subject material is the highlight. How they present themselves only amplifies the narrative. Women in positions of power have used their wardrobe choices for visual affect and although the author of the article may not have a direct line to why exactly Ms. Ahrendts decided to wear what she wore on the day of the launch, there is much speculation to her decision. I do think people who are in positions of authority project an image and adhere to that image to maintain the brand. Its only recently that people have seen a less than polished version of me on social media because if you were to ask people what they think of my fashion choices, most people would say “put together” or “dressed up”. It’s my attempt to be more accessible as I start evolving my brand.

Thanks for reading/sharing and I really appreciate your notes when you let me know that something really resonated. See you next week!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v37

We’re back to regular programming with a full work week! Hope that you’re finding your rhythm after the summer break. The weather is starting to get cooler and that puts me in a good mood. I’m finding joy in the little things in life because when life keeps coming at you, finding the happiness in the small joys can do a lot to lift your spirits.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • If you’ve been reading the blog, you would know that I’m a big believer in making your own luck. You might feel like you don’t know how to start making change and all it takes are small and consistent steps to get you where you want to go. There are times when I’m a hot mess and when I get to that stage, I re-assess where I’m heading. Do I feel out of sorts because I haven’t written things down? Am I acknowledging that there’s a plan and if not, what am I doing to put together one? This chart can help you get started, however you can choose to ignore some of the fashion related tips (or all of them!) although it may help you if you want to have more focus on your wardrobe along with the rest of your work life.

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  • As a self described ambivert, I know when the introvert and extrovert parts of my personality are out of whack. When I’m at conferences or bigger events, I usually am connecting with people who I already know and get introduced to people who are a part of other people’s networks. During these times, I try to stay engaged and not allow my brain to wander. Finding ways to connect can be challenging and if you treat it in a way that allows you to be authentic, you’ll be able to find people who are working towards similar goals. If you’re looking for ways to prepare yourself for those days when you need to be more “on” then you may find these tips helpful.

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  • Being self aware is critical to being a good manager/leader and it also works towards your brand. You can have internal reflection as well as external awareness to help you take notice of how you view yourself vs how others see you. Taking a temperature from your network can give you a better sense of that internal/external alignment. Doing this can open your eyes to more objectivity and you can do the work, if necessary, to correct any negative behavior.

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  • Studies show that getting enough sleep per night over time can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and you can reap daily benefits of better concentration, enhanced creativity, and good mood vibes (who doesn’t want more of that?!). As I’ve gotten older, I can feel the difference in my performance when I don’t get enough sleep. I feel sluggish and my brain seems to work in the slowest drive possible. Here are do’s and don’ts for a better night’s rest.

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  • I hope you’re taking steps to keep your mental health in tip top shape. I’ve mentioned in the blog that I’m just mentally exhausted which leads me to physical exhaustion because I lost my pick up and go. The energy that I once had no longer exists and I’m slowly digging myself out of the hole so that I can return to a more positive place. If you’re looking for an assist, here are 7 mental health apps that may give you a boost.

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  • The 10 essential ways to plan a successful day was once my life. I have fallen off the wagon HARD and it’s been such a process to get myself into a routine that I actually enjoy. There are obstacles and challenges that continue to mentally block me from getting to a better place and I’ve given myself the space to say that I will return to a routine when I’m up to it. When I was in a good rhythm these things were important for me to get organized and to feel a sense of accomplishment when I ended my day. What works for you?

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  • Everyone knows that I’m all for creating opportunities for diversity and women, especially from communities of color. It doesn’t matter the industry, women are lacking in senior level positions throughout and when you talk about winemakers in the Champagne region of France, you’re talking about a handful of women when there are close to 5,000 winemakers total. Lindsey Tramuta recently wrote an article for Food & Wine on The Women Working to Bring Diversity to Champagne and it’s an interesting read, not only for the history but also for what women winemakers are doing to improve the situation. So the next time you have some French bubbles, think about whose making it!

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v36

It’s back to school and back to having Congress in session (at least for the next 2 weeks until they go back to a district work period!). I’ve got my call sheets and a new pack of sharpies and pens and highlighters and notebooks and and and….can you tell that I’m a little excited about the back to work part? In all honesty, I enjoyed the last few weeks of cooler temperatures and the change of scenery. I was always the kid that enjoyed the days leading up to back to school (all of the frenzy to get my new backpack and school supplies) and later when I was in college, I was an Orientation Leader who helped the Freshmen get acclimated to Tulane. It feels like a new day so whenever “back to school” starts, we can readjust any previous attitudes to a more positive one. Who needs January 1st to have resolutions when you have the ability to revamp your goals and ideas of what you want to do in life just as the seasons change. Evolution is constant so take advantage of the time to add or subtract your goals and most importantly, take stock of who you want to be.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Lately I’ve been reflecting on my career goals and where I want to go next. I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction and have taken steps to not take projects that would be incongruent with my goals. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less patient and have found that I’m unwilling to do things that I once did when I started out. It’s not that I deem the work less than me. It’s more of I’ve already done this in my life and want to do new things. So if you’re searching for who you’re meant to be and how to harness your passion(s), then look no further because who else but Ms. Oprah can give you an exercise to work it out! Find out what you’re great at and what you can do to keep you moving forward while being successful. So if that didn’t help you, you can also try this version in finding your purpose. Life is too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy. It may mean that you may have less financial resources or a less comfortable standard of living. It also means that you might be happier with your life where you know that your work is aligned with your values.

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  • Sometimes life can be overwhelming and for the most part, I don’t let it get to me. Most of the time, my friends/colleagues think that I always have my shiz together and yes, it’s mostly true however, life isn’t perfect and I will feel that things can be a little out of control. I’ve said in the past and continue to say it now, that I’m a procrastinator and I know it. Which means I have to take measures that will allow me to curb that bad habit. I try to schedule as much as possible knowing that I need to cushion time for me to get things done. People think that I’m a hardass when I decline invitations to hang out because I’m writing or whatever I do on any given day that I’ve set a schedule. Yes, I’m missing out on fun but I don’t have FOMO because I know the consequences of me pushing off a deadline. It’s not good for me and trust me, I’m more about creating less pain for myself in the long term then having more fun in the short term. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be spontaneous. It just means that I won’t let my procrastinating behavior take over the goody two shoes side of me. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a breath and get focused. You’ll get it done once you create an action plan.

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  • If you’re returning from vacation, I hope you’ve had a stress free period of your life. No one ever really knows whats happening in people’s lives so if you’re outwardly exhibiting a kickass life but am inwardly waging war, please know that there are ways to make life less chaotic. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and the little things in life can make a big difference. Here are ways that you can practice self care in 15 minutes or less.

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v35

Not quite back to regular programming since Congress has another week of recess/district work period so we’re still easing our way back to reality. It was lovely to get out of DC and the crazy that constantly tells you that life is not normal. I got to visit with family and relish in nature’s beauty. I feel a little more energized and am looking forward to the rest of the year. Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I’m back to thinking about productivity and how I can best use my time. As we careen to the end of the calendar year, I’m always looking for ways to really maximize my efficiency to do more. I’ve used two of the apps that was listed in this article (Trello & Rescuetime) and they’ve certainly helped to free my mind of clutter so that I can keep my to do lists in one place without having to mentally worry about it. Do you have any other tools to add?

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  • When you’re stepping into a leadership role that is attached to a myriad of problems that were created prior to you start working for an organization, how you manage expectations as well as how you effectively work with the existing infrastructure can help to build trust so that you can have positive results. Transparency is also equally important so that people aren’t waiting for other shoe to drop. Having a plan on how you plan to make changes and when will help people understand how these changes will improve the organization.

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Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v34 VACATION EDITION

Photo credit via

I’m out of DC & am super happy about it. My brain is still in motion because white supremacy doesn’t stop for anyone so having conversations with white folks continues to be an educational process for everyone. It’s a test of my patience and helps me to articulate my argument other than “stop being a racist” so that can be exhausting.

As a result, this week’s Tuesday Truths is dedicated to self care and how to keep yourself in peak mental health.

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  • Here are 4 changes that you can make so that you can live a healthier life. I’m so into the power sleeping. I’ve noticed a marked difference in my attitude and overall thought processes when I’ve gotten enough sleep. My least favorite is breakfast. It’s my least favorite meal yet I know that I have to eat so that I can have a productive day.

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  • I have to admit, I’m a big compartmentalizer (is that even a word?) so I tend to put my emotions in check about all sorts of things so when I’m overly tired, my emotions tend to fray and I get a bit more frazzled. I’ve had my share of time talking to my therapist and I’ve recognized that a lot of emotions are static, depending on what negative moment I experienced and didn’t really address. My mother used to tell me that she didn’t want to see me cry because she didn’t want to see me unhappy. I love my mom and that mental pressure to be happy all the time only made me hide from my negative emotions. I’ve come to realize that it’s OK to be vulnerable and that I’m giving myself the space to be self-compassionate.

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  • One of the things that I miss during these times is the warmth of my friends. So many of my closest friends aren’t physically close. With time differences and the trials of daily life, my tribe sustains itself with much scheduled coordination. In fact, I was able to visit with a dear friend 15 hours after she gave birth while I was on a work trip. Friendships are meant to be nurtured and at the same time, it is a matter of give and take. You can be yourself with your flaws while trying to face life’s challenges and your friends will ask for nothing in return. These deep ties further cement our memories and create joy for all of us.

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  • Want a better weekend? Studies show that having eudaimonic happiness over the weekend will lead to a better quality of life. We’ve become more isolated in recent years and so the idea of socializing needs to be re-introduced into our lives. That means actual human interaction and not by a digital platform. Lately, I’ve been having people over for dinner and we’ve set limits on what we can discuss (no work!) which forces all of us to talk about hobbies and topics of interest. I need more play into my life so who wants to hang out and just have fun with me?

I hope you have a chance to take a breather and living your best life. Thanks for reading/sharing & I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v33 SPECIAL EDITION: Charlottesville

I hope you’ve had a chance to process what happened over the weekend and have given yourself space to be with people who love you and care about your well being. Life should not be lived in a continual place of fighting for self preservation. Everyday people of color, immigrants from all backgrounds, those who aren’t male/straight/abled bodied are fighting for equity and to be VALUED. You would think that in 2017 this kind of racism, sexism & straight forward hatred wouldn’t exist.

Yet it does and we must continue to stand with one another. Even from within the progressive movement, we remind one another to give space to those who don’t look like us. I’m reminded as an AAPI woman to look to those who aren’t like me to also be in the story and to highlight their work/accomplishments. We are not perfect and we strive to be better. It requires all of us to call out our friends and to be conscious of correcting mistakes. We can’t avoid our history and we must take action to protect one another.

A friend shared her story of being spit on & verbally abused while traveling in a full subway car in a large metropolitan city. This is unacceptable. We can’t be afraid to stand with one another and myself being half white, I look to my white allies/partners/accomplices to be brave. I understand that that it takes courage to stand up when the circumstances can be dangerous or putting yourself in bodily harm. You can be a part of the solution by having those difficult and awkward AF conversations with the people in your lives who don’t consider themselves racist but yet demonstrate that they are racists. Senator Boxer recalls a time in her youth when her mother made her confront a friend who she knew did something wrong. Its our fear of confrontation and what it can bring that causes us to let things slide. In our head and in our heart, we know it’s wrong and standing up for what’s right can make a difference. How do you go about having these conversations if you’re white? By meeting people halfway and not attacking them. This level of racism didn’t happen overnight so having one conversation isn’t going to eradicate this mentality. The responsibility can’t be on only communities of color to have these conversations.

I applaud the parents who are teaching their children about the weekend events and how society can rear its ugly head. Those conversations are helping to create adults more aware of the injustices in the world who are ready to face it as well as combat it. Raising resilient children who are self-confident and empathetic to others is already challenging. Add in this kind of environment and it makes me say an additional prayer. Fortunately, there are resources where you can find books/articles that can teach young people and adults how to have conversations about race, gender, class so much thanks to my colleague, Amber Goodwin for organizing it.

As little people get older, especially young girls who are maturing in adulthood, I’m glad to see that Teen Vogue is leading the way in using its platforms to have a discussion on racism. Earlier in the weekend, they devoted their twitter account to discuss Charlottesville and racism instead of live tweeting the Teen Choice awards. They used this time to also share where people could donate or show their support of the counter protestors and Black students returning to UVA. They also have an article on their website on how to help. Being a teenager is already hard so having media outlets talking about these tough issues to this demographic deserves all the props.

Please be kind to yourself. This year has been brutal and it continues to wear us down mentally, physically, & emotionally. Be with your tribe, talk with a professional about your feelings, process your emotions and gather your strength. There will be times when it will seem too much and that’s when you need the support of friends and loved ones to tell you that we will prevail. I recognize that there are challenges from within my community and any rage that I feel needs to be channeled into productive outlets. To alleviate the stress, use these relaxation techniques from the Mayo Clinic.

Thank you for reading/sharing and feel free to drop me a note in the comments section!

— Madalene