Self-Compassion, And All That Jazz: Learning to Excel With Your Natural Rhythm

Self-Compassion, Success, Jazz, and Your Natural Rhythm

Self-compassion is just like music. In self-compassion, your heart finds a way to express and nurture its needs by fully committing to the ongoing conversation that takes place between your internal biorhythms, and the rhythm of the day. Just like great jazz musicians, you need to be aware of your particular needs and strengths, and express them openly, honestly, and passionately in response to life as it is occurring in real time to truly be successful.

One of the main reasons people do not achieve the success or well-being they desire is that they try too hard to mimic other people, who have found success.  They dress the same way.  They work the same hours.  They eat the same food.  The drink the same drinks.  They even listen to the same music.  They follow this person’s goals and work habits, and do their best to re-enact them.  This process is grueling and deeply unsatisfying, when it does not yield results.  It is hard to surrender your identity for an outcome that never comes to light.

Do not get me wrong.  You can learn from successful people.  The Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the Michael Jordans, and the Tony Robbins of this world do have tricks and traits that will aid you.  However, one of the secrets to becoming a success is finding the passion, the environment, the behaviors, and the routines that allow you uniquely to function optimally. 

There are five areas that you need to square away, if you are going to score big with success.  They are: Sleep, Hours of Optimal Work, Optimal Work Environment, Passion, and The Best Method of Recording And Tracking Your Goals.

Sleep And Hours Of Optimal Work

We all know that sleep is important to converting the things you have learned today into long-term memory, to allow yourself to consolidate the ideas you have generated during the day, and to allow your brain and body time to recover, so you can perform the next day. 

What you might not know is that the effectiveness of your sleep schedule depends on your biorhythm.  If you are someone who gets tired early, and does well in the morning, then you should make use of that schedule.  If you are someone, who does not tire until late at night, and is more awake in the afternoon you should follow that schedule.

I know you have heard the saying early to bed early to rise a million times, but the truth is that if you are someone, who functions better later, and you are cutting out optimal work hours, and then are waking up too tired to be effective in the afternoon, where you usually shine, you will probably be reducing the quality of your work by 25 if not 50 percent. 

If you are going to be successful, the quality of your work matters.  If your job prevents you from adjusting your schedule in this way, see if you can schedule in some naps to recapture your optimal afternoon energy.  If you do your best work in the morning, go to bed early.  Just do not brag about it.  Nobody cares how much you have gotten done before 5am.

Optimal Work Environment

You need to find a work environment that organizes you, helps stimulate ideas, and provides the right level of distraction.  Again, you are probably shaking your head.  Are you kidding me?  I need some distraction.  Well, yes.  You do not need monsters hula hooping to popular 80’s music, but you do need enough stimuli to keep the environment from being so serene that it induces sleep.  

Some people do well with moderate to high levels of distraction, such as having other people around, while listening to music.  Other people need fewer distractions.  Personally, I need a quieter space with simple distractions like a warm alarm clock light from Phillips, and a white noise machine.

Additionally, your work environment needs to give you easy access to important resources.  Your goal is to be performing in the zone, and the only way to generate, and keep this kind of focus is to require as few interruptions to this momentum as possible.  The most blatant and easiest interruption to avoid is searching for resources that you need to complete a project that you already possess.


Have you ever heard the phrase, “You cannot get blood from a stone?”  In this case, without passion, you are the stone and blood is passion.  Do not try to manufacture passion.  That comes off as false and weird.  Instead, dedicate time to finding what you are passionate about or if you are locked into your job, then find a part of it that you can be passionate about. 

I once worked at Burger King.  It was not as glamorous as it sounds.  I loved my co-workers, and the customers, so I used that as a jumping off point to come up with fun ways to work, and inspired ways to interact with customers.  It only took me a week to get my first raise, and that bought me quite a few more donuts.  Mmmm donuts. 

People try to make passion complicated, but it is not.  Think about something that you know you like that has nothing to do with work.  This will take the stress off you. Then, figure out what it is that you like so much about that thing.  Look for these qualities in an aspect of your job. Boom goes the dynamite! Helloooooo passion.

The Best Method For Recording And Tracking Your Goals

Asking patients this question is one of the highlights of my day.  They give vacant expressions, and begin to stare off into the top of my forehead like they are waiting for a cuckoo bird to pop out, and give it to them.  If there is a cuckoo bird in there, he sure is stingy with his time.  I have never met him, but hey I am open.  Dear Mr. Cuckoo bird, if you are in there, knock three times so I know you are real.  Nope.  Nothing.  At least, we tried.

I know that coming up with a way to record and track your goals does not sound glamorous, and makes you think of all of that homework that your dog ate.  The thing is YOU STILL NEED IT.  So make it fun, and easy.  Do not make some super long list of items.  Come on, you are at least part lazy.  There is no way you are filling out some crazy, long list.  Instead, write down a few bullets in a really cool looking note pad that is small enough to carry around with you. 

If you think you can do it on your phone, be my guest, but I would wager that you might get sidetracked with cool phone games, Facebook, and pictures of your friends on the beach even though it is the middle of winter, and so on. 

You can also record these goals, which is really helpful if you have voice-to-text software.  Then, you can be your normal, lazy self and still become the goal master.  Just out of the kindness of your heart, if you become the self-declared goal master, please provide us with a stellar recording of you shouting, “I AM THE GOAL MASTER!”

Killing The Game With Kindness

We just made you successful in less than 5 minutes of reading.  How about giving it up for us?  Teamwork makes the dream work.  These entries are for you.  They are for your happiness, for your well-being, and for your sheer freaking awesomeness.  Take the time to be kind to yourself, and include these areas in your life, so that you can achieve the kind of success that you have always deserved.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 127.  In The Books.