By Mary Lee Gannon

You know you want a better job, relationship with loved ones, home, group of friends — the list goes on. Yet you are wise enough to realize that those are just trappings of fulfillment. “Getting” doesn’t bring joy. A peaceful perspective where you make room for curiosity and compassion and edge out judgment and perfectionism is where you want to be. You long for a state of mind where acceptance is king and expectations and resentment are banished from your kingdom to a place where forgiveness prevails and control has no value — a place where your career and personal goals are aligned with your authentic self and whoosh into your life like a breeze of freshly cut grass.

So why can’t you get there?

Do you see your future pretty much like the present +/- 10%? Have you dummied down your goals? Do you lack the energy to organize your life and set new goals for fear of that the next trying challenge is just around the corner?

Procrastination is simply you not thinking fulfillment is possible. You don’t know what to reach for and why do it anyway since it never comes.

What future rewards do you put on sale when you give up or procrastinate? The immediate payoff might be that you aren’t disappointed. At first. That works for a while. The long-term effect of procrastination is stagnation and little chance for a better life.

Is putting your future rewards on sale to hide from a perceived disappointment a fair trade? Who would you be if you set your fear aside?

Squeeze in between

What I continue to realize in my clients, in what I read, in the research is that you may not be able to control your emotions but you can control your thoughts which then affects your behavior and choices. The brain is like a muscle. The decision to have a clear intention and purpose is how to begin a mindful journey to joy in the moment — accepting what is without judgment.

There is a difference between feeling and emotion and acting on it. When you are mindful you squeeze in between the two to create a space where you take a deep breath and say, “Okay, maybe there’s another way.”

Don’t be the reactionary leader. Create a moment of silence. Listen to the silence. There is power in the pause. Have no expectations or judgment. Accept what is. Slow yourself down enough to notice your own breath. Notice sounds, what you smell, flavors and feel of every moment — even if the ones that scare you. Don’t run from fear. Notice it. It is not real. It is you practicing failure in advance. Lean into it — risk vulnerability. Say, “I’m afraid and I am still ok.” Therein lays the magic of wisdom bubbling up in front of you.

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Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and corporate CEO who helps busy leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere to be more effective, earn more, be more calm and enjoy connected relationships with the people who matter while it still matters. Watch her FREE Master Class training on Three Things to Transform Your Life and Career Right Now at