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Record crowd attends chamber’s November ‘Food for Thought’ series

A record crowd attended last Thursday’s ‘Food for Thought’ series which was held at the Pawhuska Business Development Center. The event was sponsored by the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce and Helmer Oil and included a free lunch.

Bartlesville Strategy Center Trainers Tonya Foreman and Tara Gotwalt provided an entertaining, energetic program on “Managing Your Chaos.” The event was interspersed with fun, hands-on exercises and trivia that earned prizes for a few participants.

Foreman complimented the attendees saying, “You are beating Bartlesville on our ‘Food for Thought’ series. We applaud you for coming out and sharing this time with us.”

She also noted how the Pawhuska Business Development Center was fulfilling its purpose and introduced several incubator clients: John Redcorn of Blue Star Studio, Kyle Lane of Arrowhead Pipeline Services, and Candy Thomas of the Osage County Industrial Authority.

During the fast-paced program, participants received tips to help them identify if their life is in chaos, out of control, or if they seem to move from one crisis to another.

“While most people try to avoid drama, research shows that others have figured out how to trigger the body’s stress response – just for the rush,” explained Gotwalt.

“To find out if you are creating chaos in your everyday life, I invite you to take this 10-question True or False quiz.”

Once the quiz was completed, Gotwalt said answering five or more of the questions ‘True” meant they were addicted to chaos. She then garnered a few gasps when she asked the participants how they thought close friends or family members would answer these questions about them?

Using the acronym, CLEAR, Gotwalt shared five steps to eliminate or control chaos. “Collect” all your stuff into one place so you can deal with the obvious items and contain the rest. “Liberate” or remove unnecessary items and group similar items together. “Establish” or sort items you are keeping and find them a home in your workplace. “Assemble” all the pieces in an organized way, such as in labeled containers. “Review” on a regular basis to ensure your organizing systems are working for you.

Continuing, Gotwalt said, “Life is all about the small things. Sometimes our professional goals get meshed together with our personal goals.” She also talked about how laughter relaxes the entire body, boosts the immune system, and triggers endorphins that protect the heart. “A four-year old child will laugh an average of 315 times a day. Compare that to an adult who laughs an average of 3 times a day. As we get older, we lose our ability for spontaneous laughter. Patch Adams believed in laughter and the joy heals.

“When stress and chaos surround you, the first thing you should do is take a deep breath. The oxygen needs to hit the brain. The best time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. We call that movement without progress. Think of a child on a rocking horse. No matter how long the child rides that horse, he or she is in the same spot at the end. Just because you’re moving, doesn’t mean you are making progress. Once you learn to control your chaos, you will be able to move forward and get off that rocking horse and meet your goals. Figure out what is really important to you. Realize life is chaotic. You need to manage it yourself rather than expecting someone around you to manage it for you.

“Imagine an ideal day and what changes you need to make to achieve that type of day. This goes back to prioritizing. Do your choices reflect what you value the most? Did you know it takes 28 days to form a habit and 35 days to break one?”

The ‘Food for Thought’ series are held every other month and are designed to provide meaningful networking and professional development. “The New Year is a time when many of us get goals and resolutions, said Foreman. “Your goals and resolutions are crucial. Don’t let them fall by the wayside. On January 23, ‘Food for Thought’ will present six steps to achieving your dreams and living the life you love.”

Organizations wishing to sponsor an upcoming event are asked to contact the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce at 918-287-1208 or PBDC Coordinator Cindy Helmer at 918-287-3357.

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