“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

In times when there are changes, challenges, adversity, ambiguity, and unrest, it’s easy to get distracted, discouraged, or fearful. My leadership can falter, my effectiveness and contributions can diminish. Or, I can make a choice to navigate my path by holding a mindset that is positive, hopeful, encouraging, and joyful! This makes a tremendous difference in my journey as well as positively influencing those around me.

One of the intentions I committed to for 2016 was to live joyfully. This was an especially important intention this year as I walked through difficult, life altering times with close friends and family members. There were many times throughout the year where I found myself faltering under the weight of my circumstances. To stay the course of living joyfully, regardless of my circumstances, these are five key behaviors that I keep top of mind as I go through each day:

  1. Stay grounded in THE TRUTH – When I find myself moving away from my best self, I get back to the truth by taking some time to revisit the facts or get another’s perspective. My personal spiritual practices are also an integral part of this behavior and the others mentioned below.
  2. Choose a POSITIVE mindset – If I’m going to create a story, why not create one with a positive spin? Spend time with positive, optimistic people and always assume the best about others’ intent.
  3. Make meaningful CONNECTIONS with others – Take time and be present with the people who mean the most to me, don’t let the busyness of life crowd out conversations and connection. Be open to new relationships.
  4. Cultivate GRATITUDE each day – In the morning when I awake and in the evening before I sleep, acknowledge something for which or someone for whom I am grateful. Be aware throughout the day to show gratitude to others. Jesse Lyn Stoner recently posted about taking time to recognize what you appreciate.
  5. Have FUN – Remember to recreate, to play, to laugh – bring fun to work, to play, to conversations, and to have a light heart! Taking care of little ones or playing with my grand-dog helps!

These were posted at home and at work to remind me to maintain my focus to live joyfully. At the end of 2016, I asked for some feedback from those around me to see how I did and started thinking about my intention for 2017!

What challenges did you navigate in 2016? How did you do, what supported your success? What will you focus on in 2017 to strengthen your leadership?

And, in the spirit of cultivating gratitude, thanks to those of you who read, commented on, and shared our blogs in 2016!  Happy New Year!


Carla Ruiz

Carla Ruiz

Carla’s mission is to fuel growth and development by affirming strengths, challenging beliefs, and igniting potential through Values Based Leadership. She presents, facilitates, and coaches in a variety of leadership programs and with companies intentional about strengthening their culture. In her role as a Leadership Development Coach, she is passionate about increasing emotional intelligence, which she believes is the cornerstone of effective leadership.

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