February is American Heart Month, the month of Valentine’s Day Celebrations and a great time to talk about something we often don’t talk about – Love.

What does love have to do with it? With what?  Hmm, with work, play, relationships, pretty much with everything!

I am a “T”, a “Thinker” in Meyers-Briggs and am quite logical, analytical and “tough minded” in my work. Colleagues have often heard me say, “This is too woo-woo or too touchy-feely”! So why this topic of love for my first article in 2015?  Because as I have matured and learned, I have grown to believe that experiencing love and passion can mean the difference between a fulfilling life and one that is disappointing. Between being a wonderful leader, co-worker, friend, coach, teacher, parent, etc., and not being so wonderful.  I am not talking romance, I am talking love.

If we love what we do, love what we have and love those in our life – we will enjoy that sweet spot of true contentment.  And as I have shared in past articles, we also know our cognitive abilities suffer when we are experiencing emotional difficulties. So, isn’t it logical, dare we say critical, for humans to feel love in their work places, schools and homes? Can we experience more love and therefore love others more?  Yes, I think we can!

Tips to help you experience more love every day:

  1. Take an inventory of a minimum of 10 things you love in your life. List them, and really embrace what you have that is “lovely” in your life. It will put you into a more positive, “toward” mindset.  Post the list in a visible location and review it often.
  2. Be a love role model – Pay attention to the emotions you’re expressing to others every day.  Especially if you are a leader, your mood and actions impact and create a whole culture for a team. Happy employees = happy customers, right?  I can honestly say I love my clients and that helps frame my approach to adding value in their lives and in my work.
  3. Determine to love as an act of the will, not an emotion – Try intentionally deciding early in your morning that you will love others throughout the day. “I will love the guy who just cut me off in traffic by smiling and by not using another gesture.” “I will love the person in line at the grocery store who still writes checks and can’t find a pen in her purse.” “I will love my employee and truly listen to their challenges with this project”. You get the idea. We can intentionally focus on loving and maybe even praying for others during those challenging interactions.
  4. Focus on the good in a person that you find challenging to be around – I try to think about what they do bring to the table that is positive. If you really look, you can find at least one “lovely” thing about another person. Really, you can.
  5. Do more of what you love in your work – This brings energy, passion and creates a very positive and fulfilling cycle.  Can you delegate what you don’t love? Can you get someone to help you with work you don’t enjoy? Can you talk with your boss about doing more of what you love to do?  I recently hired a new bookkeeper because I would rather earn more money to pay someone to do that task I hate to do. More coaching/less bookkeeping is my mantra for 2015!
  6. Analyze how much of your time is spent doing what you love – I often use a “Wheel of Life” in my coaching. An explanation and template can be found here. What percent of time are you spending on things most important to you? If you are out of balance, create goals and actions to ensure you are doing what you love and what is most fulfilling to you.
  7. Surround yourself with lovely things – It can be as small as the fragrance of the lavender candle I have burning right now in my office. Is it music? Pictures? Special lighting? Flowers? Wine? Dogs? Cats? What cheers you and helps you to love and enjoy what you are doing?
  8. Love life, embrace it with passion – I believe that if it is your heart’s desire, you truly can experience love every day.