Dr Jolene Church's Blog Page
A site dedicated to cultivating successful thinking
Are you feeling stuck and yearning for something more? It's time to embrace the transformative power within you to break free from the rut and create a life that is uniquely yours. Remember, you have the strength and courage to overcome any obstacle. Let me guide you on a journey to tap into your inner light, overcome the limitations holding you back, and rise above the rut.
Breaking free from the rut is a deeply personal and transformative journey, but you don't have to face it alone. Remember that you are a powerful, capable, and deserving individual. Embrace your inner light, trust the process, and rise above the rut to create a life that is a true reflection of your unique spirit.
3/11/2022 0 Comments
Success by Design – How to Achieve Exceptional Results through Micro-Management
January 1st – New Year’s Resolution
January 2nd – “Nothing can stop me.”
Fast forward – March 1st – stopped sticking to the plan.
March 31st – Resolution dropped.
Sound familiar? If so, you have probably heard something like this, “You didn’t set a realistic goal.”
That’s a bunch of hogwash!
Just because you did not follow through does not mean that the goal was unrealistic. If you wanted to lose 25 pounds but stopped working out and eating right, was losing 25 pounds unrealistic? No. What was unrealistic was how you went about achieving your goal.
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius.
Losing weight is WHAT you want to accomplish. That is your goal.
HOW you are going to accomplish what you want to achieve is in the STEPS. The steps you take are the most important component of your success and must be customized to design success into the process.
Success is designed by breaking things down into their simplest form. Each step that we take is a single decision and it is each decision that makes the difference between results and failure.
Results are a culmination of small, individual decisions. For example, you may believe that cutting out chocolate from your diet will help you eliminate your unwanted weight. There may be merit to what you have identified, but if you are a person who cannot dream of going a day, much less a week, month, or more without chocolate, how long do you think you can hold out?
This is where customizing the steps necessary to achieve your goals comes in.
Everything must be broken down into micro components, small decisions, which must be specific to us and designed on how we operate. If you cannot live without chocolate and know that you will cave, why not factor that in and customize a diet that includes chocolate? You know you will cave anyway, so why not just design in success and save yourself the inner-struggle.
Keep in mind that progress is progress. If you are going to cheat on your diet and give up because you cave-in and have chocolate, then your progress is brought to a halt.
If you add chocolate into what you can have, you can make other adjustments to accommodate caloric intake from chocolate. Our success boils down to every single decision that we make. This is where self-love plays a role.
When we break things down into manageable, micro decisions, losing weight, breaking a habit, starting a new habit, or completing a project at work, ANY goal, is simplified and we are much kinder to ourselves.
We need to first stop thinking of losing 25 pounds as “losing 25 pounds”, and start looking at every decision that makes up every individual step along the way. Actually putting thought into simple things like choosing not to add an extra scoop of sugar or creamer to your coffee to sitting on the couch for 20 minutes can change your goal achievement. Focus on the micro decisions.
Your power is in every micro decision because these contribute to success with the main goal.
Every decision we make impacts our achievement so it takes a higher level of consciousness, paying attention to what we are deciding to do; IMPACTING RESULTS.
If you already know that chocolate is a ‘must have’, acknowledge that understanding and make a conscious decision that chocolate can be a deal breaker. It is where the decision to stick to the diet or not becomes black and white. Being kind to yourself is acceptance of how you think about this, not trying to overpower it – at least initially.
Go ahead and choose to have a small morsel of chocolate following lunch, dinner, or both. I am not saying eat a Snickers with every meal but I am saying that the other small decisions will be much easier to make healthier choices if you do not ignore this big decision – “Do I have chocolate or not?” This is a struggle that when you begin to tackle by accepting as a deal breaker and including in your plan, eliminates the struggle.
The small amount of calories that are added can be adjusted elsewhere in another food or exercise choice – yes, another decision. Stop looking at all or nothing and instead micro-manage your decisions until healthier choices overtake the unhealthy ones.
The problem is that we focus on the wrong thing. Keep the end goal in sight, but focus on the individual decisions that are going to get you to the goal.
When we say, “I need to exercise,” it is like trying to eat an entire elephant at once. The steps are not laid out, and instead lumped together. “I need to exercise”, does not specify, HOW. What steps are necessary to exercise?
Well, first, you probably will have to choose what you are NOT going to do at that moment, and instead DO.
When you go to flop down on the couch and grab the remote, why not instead make a decision to grab your walking shoes?
You can then decide to walk out the door and around the block. How about after the first lap, you decide to do another.
Grabbing your walking shoes is a step in the right direction and IS progress!
Keep the progress going because progress begets progress. This is because we get a burst of dopamine, our body’s pleasure hormone, when we achieve.
Seriously, applaud yourself for lacing your sneakers. Goal achieved! That was an easy win, onto the next! Get your butt out the door. Now one-step at a time, get walking, cycling, or whatever exercise you decide (that darned decision thing keeps popping up).
This process is no different if you want to learn a foreign language, read a book a month, or study for a professional exam. You simply need to lay out the steps needed and DECIDE one micro decision at a time, what you are going to choose to do in place of another decision.
If you are studying for an exam and you know that you cannot focus for more than 10 minutes at a time, do not plan to study for more than 10 minutes. Stop, shift gears, do something else, and then come back for another burst. In 10 minutes, you have made 10 minutes more progress studying than you would if you never started.
If you lose 1 pound every 2 weeks by adjusting the micro decisions related to the steps that you take with your diet and exercise routine, (which also includes chocolate, because you can’t live without chocolate), than you are 1 pound closer to your goal. At that rate, at the end of a year, you will have successfully lost the 25 pounds through micro adjustments to your decisions – and you still ate chocolate!
The problem with sticking to our goals has little to do with having no willpower, but everything to do with the steps we take in achieving our goals. Specifically, we need to break down each step into its smallest form and consider each micro decision associated with each step, while being real about who we are.
Success is by design and you cannot design your success without factoring in YOU.
Design it, decide to do it, and relish in the success of it.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain.
Well, for a fleeting moment, I considered it! You know, that moment when the morning alarm goes off and the urge to push snooze, set another alarm, or just ignore it all together crosses your mind.
Oh, how I wanted to do any of the above!
Just 10 more minutes, 30 more minutes, or best yet, NO alarm! Glorious!
A question that I always get from friends, family, and clients is, “How do you find the time to do everything that you do?”
Well, contrary to popular belief, I have not mastered time travel (not even close) nor have I figured out how to add time to the day (again, bummer). But, I definitely can share with you how to maximize the time that you have so that you can feel more in control of your day, your time, and what you need to or desire to get done!
Last time I checked, there is, was, and always will be 24 hours in a day. I know this is going to come as a shocker, but you can’t make time and you can’t find it. What you can do is maximize the value that you assign to your time.
Jim Rohn put it this way, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you can’t get more time.”
Let me introduce this to you. If you value it, you will protect it.
I totally, could have hit the snooze this morning. I’ve done it before (lots). And I must admit, I LOVE the snooze button. I’ve also gotten pretty adept at resetting the alarm and falling right back to sleep too! In fact, I’d consider myself a pro!
Unfortunately, I knew that if I hit the button that I would not get back the time, and I would regret it.
Instead I chose to value that precious little “extra” time; that truly wasn’t extra at all.
You see, we tend to look at time as if it expands and contracts; that we can stretch out our day or that we can get or find extra time – but we can’t! But we CAN protect the limited time we have – and yes, our time is limited in so many ways!
Think about it. We only have 24 hours in a day. We have obligations that take our time. Heck, just living takes time. We have to eat, sleep, take care of ourselves, work, and the list goes on.
To make matters worse, we have limited time on this planet and there is no guarantee how long that will be. So we have to make the time that we do have, while we have it, count.
I know I have driven this point home enough – bear with me.
Our time is limited, precious, and a valuable commodity. You can’t get it back and you can’t make more of it – so how exactly do we maximize it?
By valuing it.
Just the same as managing a financial portfolio, maximizing your time is done by placing a high value on each item in your time portfolio and making careful decisions where investments are made.
I had to DECIDE that setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier would be valuable to me. I believed when I set the alarm last night that an “extra” 30 minutes in my day would help me knock a few things off my “to do” list before moving into the rest of my day. But DECIDING alone isn’t going to get you anywhere. Again, remember, I’m really good at “re-deciding” when the alarm goes off to reset the alarm.
How many of you have DECIDED to go on a diet and then a few days in DECIDED to eat something that wasn’t part of the plan? How about a New Year’s resolution? What happened to that decision? Did you hit snooze?
DECIDING is only Part I. DOING, ACTING, FOLLOWING THROUGH is the most important part because this is where value comes in.
By selecting the amount of time that you choose to invest in and then actually investing in that time, you will feel like a million bucks. You won’t regret “finding the time.” Instead, you will relish in the euphoric feeling of accomplishment. Heck! You just created time! Or, so it will seem to the mere mortals around you.
“How do you find all the extra time?” they will ask.
To which you can sound super philosophical and whip out a quote from William Penn, “Time is what we want most, but we use worst.”
Okay, you don’t have to give a flip response, but now that I have planted that brain worm (you are welcome), you can just smile and offer real wisdom. You might say something like this:
“I DECIDED and then followed through, investing in by protecting, specific portions of my time….and my investment keeps paying me dividends. I now feel like I have more time – even though I still have just 24 hours in a day. I’m maximizing the time that I have by valuing my limited commodity. I’m not creating more time, I’m just using what I have more wisely. And I FEEL GREAT!”
Now that you have an idea of how to place value on your time by protecting it, you can begin to see how you can get more done. Remember, just like saving money, it all adds up.
In my next article I will share with you my time management success formula. This is my proven approach to take advantage of peak brain performance time and optimize outcomes! Stay tuned!
12/29/2018 0 Comments
Patience is a Learned Habit
You’ve been working towards a dream, you’ve set goals and implemented your action plans, and then there is that crazy time – the wait. Waiting for that dream or goal to come to fruition can be so darned hard. Why is waiting so difficult? Because waiting is defined as the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens. It can be uncomfortable and that is where patience comes in.
For me, 2018 has been a wild ride, with so many crazy twists and turns; it has been exciting and exhausting at the same time, and I must admit that patience is the area in my life that I must continually force self-improvement. I’m a go, go, go-type of person so staying put when I know exactly where I want to go is really difficult.
There is something that I must remind myself, and that is that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. Be patient and remember that some things take time.
Another thing to understand is that patience creates results. Patience is not about doing nothing, it’s about constantly doing everything that you can as you wait.
No great thing is created suddenly.
Patience is an action that we take, which transforms wait-time into manifested desires. It’s a time where we exercise our power to create the results that we want. Patience is about being kind to yourself, even when circumstances are out of your control.
Being kind to oneself can be the toughest part of waiting for anything because we can allow ourselves to come up with so many negative “what-ifs” that we can drive ourselves crazy. Our thoughts go into auto-pilot as new thoughts are born from other thoughts like bunnies reproducing out of control. All of a sudden we realize that we are being overrun by thoughts that aren’t serving us.
When we introduce patience into our thinking patterns, we introduce thoughts of “It’s going to be okay, because I say it’s okay.” And let me let you in on a little secret, even if the circumstances aren’t okay, you can be okay – you get to decide that you are okay, despite circumstances.
Patience is a calming influence wherein you accept where you currently are as you actively prepare for the future state that you desire, and being okay in that place. Like everything, practice makes things much easier, and patience is no exception.
The first thought to introduce to practice patience is choosing happiness now. Your thought will sound something like this: “I am looking forward to what I desire, but I choose to not let happiness in this moment become a lost opportunity. I’m choosing to be happy now, right where I am.”
We can get so caught up in thinking of the future that we lose our joy today. Choose to be joyful to introduce patience – let me tell you, it makes the waiting period so much easier. Inviting in and exercising a joyful feeling will help to replace uncomfortable feelings of waiting.
The next thought to introduce to yourself to practice patience is that slowing down creates thorough results. In your joyful place, slowing your thoughts down by focusing on the details needed to bring forth results can actually create more time for you to manifest your desires.
Slowing down chaotic, auto-pilot thinking that tends to focus on what can go wrong and focusing instead on what you can control will allow you to develop well-thought out plans to execute. This will also allow you to think before you speak and think before you act.
Imagine patience as a knob that you are turning down the speed of the activities around you to chill mode. You have the control to slow things down, just by turning the knob. Patience is an act of self-care and love as it protects you from rushing ahead without thinking things through. It is a channel for peace and joy and it is 100% within your control.
These two new thoughts will help you to practice patience, but there is one critical piece that I have purposively left out for last, but it’s actually the beginning – and that is the connector – your breath. Patience begins with a breath. Slowly take in a deep breath and slowly and completely let it out. This is the initiation phase of patience as it is a conscious act of controlling that very thing that you need to sustain life – breath.
Once you have taken the initial cleansing breath in and out, with your second breath choose your new thought to be happy during the wait. Breathe in and out as you process this thought.
Finally, take in the third cleansing breath is your control panel breath – turn the knob down to chill – it’s time to slow down.
Patience is practiced. All things are difficult before they become easy. But think of it this way, you’ve been breathing all of your life; you have mastered that! Breathe in your new peace. Breathe in your control. Breathe in patience.
12/22/2018 0 Comments
Attracting What and WHOM You Desire
Have you ever met someone that was just so uber cool and they just had a vibe about them that you thought, “man, I wish I were that cool”? Is it that these people are cooler than average? Or could it be that their vibration is just more compatible with more people?
Simply put, everything is energy and vibrational energy is everywhere. These super cool people are really no different than you and I or the air we breathe – we are all energy! If you are picking up that uber cool vibe from someone else, that feeling comes from inside of you, from the energy that you are exuding. Like attracts like, especially when it comes to similar energies.
What you admire about that person and what attracts you to that person is the same energy that you have inside of you – you may not have the same manner of delivery as the uber cool person, but you still have that same vibe, it’s just at another level, but what they have is what you are naturally attracted to.
We are attracted to vibrations, not people. When we try to contradict this we typically end up disappointed or disenchanted.
Think of a person that you thought was incredibly attractive, or that you thought, “this is the one!” But once you went on a date or got to know this person, you just didn’t feel it, or they were a complete jerk. When we feel it, that it, is the vibrational energy that matches.
If you consistently attract jerks and losers into your life, you may be tone deaf, and need a bit of help tuning up. Think of a tuning fork. It puts out a tone and you adjust your instrument or voice to align with the tone. Our energies are the same.
You may be sending out the wrong tone or tuning out the tone all together, and thus attracting the jerk. To send out and attract better vibrations, we must do two things – 1) look inside and 2) receive feedback.
Take a Deeper Look
Looking inside to understand the vibrations that you are sending out is key to your healthy vibrational energy. Just because you are attracting jerks doesn’t mean that you are a jerk or sending out jerky vibes. What it means is that you and the energies of the jerk have something in common.
Feelings of low self-esteem, unworthiness, or fears are all negative energies, that quite likely, even the most cocky and arrogant jerk may harbor. If you are harboring these too, guess what? Like attracts like! This is why it is so important to re-engineer our thoughts away from thoughts that aren’t serving us, and to thoughts that make us feel good. I’m thinking of good vibrations! Hey, the Beach Boys were on to something!
A great meditation exercise is to quietly sit for 3-5 minutes on the floor (this helps ground your energy) in a cross-legged position with your eyes closed. To begin, take a few deep cleansing breaths. In through the nose, out through your mouth. From here, rather than emptying your mind completely, you are filling it with thoughts of good feelings about yourself. And if all you can think of are things like “I can’t even think of anything good to think,” simply think, “I’m actually sitting here filling myself up with good.” You just complemented yourself. Think as many positive thoughts about yourself, turning anything that you are working on to improve of yourself into a complement or affirmation (i.e. I’m working on becoming a pro at attracting what I want).
This exercise will increase your vibration. Why? Just think of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. When Eeyore talks, you can literally feel the energy slow. It’s a downer. When Tigger talks, WOOHOO! You have higher energy. Positive energy vibrates faster than negative, so by increasing the energy of your thoughts, you are increasing the vibrational energy that you put out, and you will attract different energy. Meditating and cogitating positive, good thoughts is a great energy booster!
Luck is not all about being in the right place at the right time – it’s all about energy and attracting like energy.
Gaining Insight from Others
Just like you know, who not to ask for an opinion on a good movie to see or restaurant suggestion, not everyone is equally-yoked to give you feedback about yourself. Feedback from someone close to you, however, is really important if you are tone deaf to the tuning fork for your energy. If you are tuning out, because of inner conflict, depression, self-depreciation, or low-self-esteem, someone close to you can tell you what they see about you.
Ask the person to be completely honest and ask how they see you on a scale of 1-10 in the areas of confidence, happiness, and courage – 1 equaling low and 10 equaling high. Ask why they scored you in each of these areas the way that they did. Pay particular attention from a 6 and below. This means that you are manifesting (acting out) lower energy characteristics. Anything below a 10 become your complementing thoughts during meditation and any 10s become your confidence thoughts of energy during meditation – these are your “I am” statements.
An I am statement is something that you believe about yourself. Typically, when someone rates you a 10 in an area, you will readily accept that belief. “I am super confident because so and so told me so and that feels good!”
The most important part is not to become defensive. Instead, take it in and think about how they view you. There may be something that they see that you don’t. Defensiveness is just looking for an excuse to not address what is being said. What they say is their perception. It’s true for them, but may not be true for you. Consider it, especially if it’s not a 10. They may have helped you identify an improvement area!
You need lots and lots of these good feelings to increase your energy and attract what you want.
And that uber cool person? Well, delivery is a totally different topic, but what you can immediately embrace is that what attracts you to that uber cool person is EXACTLY the energy that you desire and matches your natural energetic state! Awesome news right?! Who knows, to someone else you may be that uber cool person?
Keep working on those good vibrations! Namaste!
Doesn’t it seem like no matter how much you THINK that you have something planned out as to how it should work that something out of the blue pops up? Something totally random?
I mean think about it; You have a plan and you are laser focused on what it is that you want, and then all of a sudden an opportunity arises that you would have never imagined would happen. What do you do?
Sometimes the best moments are the moments that are unplanned, and they test our flexibility and challenge our faith and creativity in the realm of infinite possibilities.
Remaining open to the unplanned and flexible enough to become aware that sometimes as we are planning, we can’t see all the options and opportunities that exist. When we remain open and are willing to accept unexpected opportunities, crazy results can happen.
Success isn’t a result spontaneous combustion; You must set yourself on fire, igniting your passion to live the life that you desire and achieve the successful outcomes that you seek.
We curate our success through our dreams and our imagination. When we have a definitive path, and we firmly believe that is the ONLY way, we cut ourselves short from what . The best may indeed be yet to come, but if you don’t allow in options, through spontaneity and an open mind, you may walk right past the door that leads you to wonderment.
Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder.
What if you would have said yes, when you said no, or said no when you said yes? What if you had taken that chance? What if you had just said, “What they heck, why not?”
Spontaneity is the golden key to your creative mind. When was the last time that you did something for the first time? You have no clue what you are doing, and you learn and grow through experience along the way. You are curating new understanding of new paths and opportunities, with each and every new experience. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that yields the sheer awesomeness of the human spirit. If you are always trying to be ‘normal’ and always trying to ‘play it safe’, you will never know just how amazing you can be.
Live the life of your dreams – be spontaneous – dreams do come true.
Have you ever felt so excited over something that you thought that you were going to explode? A time where you had an overwhelming feeling of being ecstatic, happy, and joyful, and you just could hardly contain your excitement? It’s an energy that makes you feel like anything is possible and you are supercharged to make things happen!
Why is it that we can’t seem to sustain that level of excitement, that super-charge? And how do we tap in to it so that we can maintain its motivating and creative energy?
It all begins with a question – WHY?
Think about a time that you were super excited. Get a good solid picture in your head and ask yourself why were you excited about the situation in the first place? Where did the excitement come from?
Was it something that you longed for but never truly believed that it would come to fruition? Or perhaps, it was something that you had worked towards and it finally became your reality? The motivation for your excitement isn’t nearly as important as understanding more about what drives your excitement - understanding how you tick.
If you’re not excited about it, it’s not the right path – Abraham Hicks.
Some folks are naturally more pessimistic due to their environmental influences from the womb and beyond and other personality traits, whereas others seem to be marching down a happy path 99% of the time. Regardless, your natural inclination towards excitement, there are 5 steps that can help you generate your own excited energy so that you can increase your joy, motivation, and creative energy.
Expand upon your own sensitivity. Feelings are not taboo. Increase your self-awareness around the joy that you are experiencing from everything that you do. You may just need an attitude adjustment through gratitude and purpose.
When we understand how we currently feel about a project that we are working on or a goal, we can create better feelings if the ones that we are having aren’t serving us. We must become aware of these feelings so that we can change how we are thinking about our current situation.
If you are bored, but ultimately would be excited when you finish, think about how cool it’s going to be when you finish. Imagine that feeling. Be thankful that you are on this journey. Gratitude within the process can do incredible things for unleashing joy and creativity. With your excitement and gratitude toward your desired outcome in mind, begin to curate ideas that would take your project or goal to a whole greater level. Take it up a notch. How does that feel?
Just by shifting how you are viewing and feeling about that goal or project now will change your trajectory and your new feelings. Find excitement in the future and get excited today about what that excitement is going to feel like.
Ground your excited energy through bold, inspired action. Your new attitude is going to be the master key to your creative energy. But like any energy source, it needs grounding so as not to short out or cause damage. Take that new-found excitement as you think about your future excitement and begin curating ideas to speed up or enhance the process. Take bold and inspired action through your excitement. It’s contagious.
Ignore the temptation of the influence of praise and nay-sayers. It seems like you would definitely want to be hearing praise when you are working toward a goal and ignore the Debbie-downers, but actually both can be detrimental. If we believe that we need the energy of others to pump us up, we will equally believe that others can bring us down – not true! We get to decide how we feel, so reducing the significance of other’s opinions is important.
Sure, feedback can help us improve and grow, and it’s necessary, but our belief that others make us feel anything is a whole different story! We are in charge of our feelings, because we are in charge of the thoughts that cause the feelings in the first place. Understanding and embracing this concept will help you shift to more positive energy quicker than anything!
Understand your most creative time. Look, it’s hard for me to get excited before I’ve had a cup of coffee, and I’m a total morning person. I’m super creative early in the day. Understand your natural creative or energy cycle -when is your “power” time? It’s easiest to tap into how you are feeling towards something and re-ignite your excitement and to take bold and inspired actions when you are at your highest energy. Get to know it, and use it to your advantage. Didn’t you know that you have super powers?!
Clear the decks. Nothing can crush your mood, your energy, your motivation, and your creativity like clutter. Mental and physical clutter can block you from flowing in the energy that you need to be in to be performing optimally. If you have a bunch of small tasks that are a money on your back – get them done! I can guarantee you that just by getting those nagging tasks out of the way, you will already begin to feel better.
Worry is a form of mental clutter and we can equally deal with that, just like those nagging tasks. What are you worried about? Maybe it’s not finishing your project in time. Maybe it’s not having enough money to complete the project. Either way – you can choose to focus on a problem that isn’t a reality, or you can choose to focus on the reality – the project (or goal) is currently in process. Fear and worry are focuses on something that hasn’t transpired. Shifting our focus to what is transpiring, our current situation and reality of creating our future, puts us into solution mode; from this position we can make stuff happen, find motivation, ideas, and excitement!
Think of this – Some of the best moments of your life haven’t even happened yet. Don’t let the fear of failing be greater than the excitement of achieving. Stop worrying so much about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right.
You get to shift! Switch on excitement and unleash your full potential!
It’s THAT weekend – the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend where your neighbors are vying for the most holiday lights, the earliest and the best on the block. It’s THAT weekend that starts with Black Friday, which actually happens on Thursday, but you don’t notice because you are in a turkey-induced tryptophan haze. It’s a weekend with Small Business Saturday and Doorbuster Sunday, followed by Cyber Monday, Tuesday, and ONLY “X” number of days to get your holiday shopping completed. But what is this really? It’s decision time.
How you feel going into the holidays is completely within your control – and it starts with a decision.
How do you want to feel going through the holidays? Hectic, frazzled, and completed stressed out? Or would you rather choose feelings of control, appreciation, joy, and contentment? Well, good news, this is up to you.
We often buy into the hectic mix of the holiday “hustle and bustle,” and you can hustle your bustle all you want, but let’s take some control over this so that it feels better.
There comes a time where you have to decide whether it’s worth turning the page, or closing the book.
With the holidays come many things that disrupt our everyday flow and events- it's no wonder so many people are stressed out! Holiday parties, shopping, crafting, decorating, baking, cooking, card-writing, get-togethers, potlucks, and the list goes on. These add-on activities aren’t just here and there, they are everywhere, non-stop. Throw in the pressures of keeping up with the Jones’ light show, spending more money within a month than you spend all year, and the fact that every car advertiser makes you want to believe that you should have a shiny new luxury car with a big red bow sitting on your snowy driveway, and it can make for an overwhelming bunch of emotions- and chaos. But there is GOOD news!
In the midst of chaos, stillness resides in you.
How you think about the holidays, especially right now, at the onset, can shift your entire experience over the next month plus.
Layout a game plan. Going into the holidays with the big picture in mind and specific goals and objectives can greatly minimize feelings of stress and being overwhelmed. How do you want to feel is the most important question that you can ask, because from that we can lay out goals to achieve these feelings. It's much easier than saying, "I'm not." Instead you get to say "I'm choosing contentment and I'm doing that by doing this."
Budget everything. Budget your time, your gifts, and seasonal foods. Your thoughts determine how you will feel, so if you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by excess everything, decide not to be. Decide how this season is going to be for you. Take back your power and control.
If you don’t want to come out of the holidays 10 pounds heavier, thousands of dollars poorer, and sapped of all of your energy, there is a point where something has to give.
Decide now what can be minimized or left out. Do you have to mail Christmas cards to everyone you’ve ever known? Or maybe you just send to a few of your dearest family members or friends that you won’t be seeing.
Do you have to have the most impressive holiday lights? Or maybe just a few festive lights will suffice?
Do you need to buy everyone at the office a gift? How about baking a tray of cookies for the office?
Some things may be important to invest time in and others, not so much. Decide that no matter what you choose to fit into your schedule that you are doing so because you see the value in that activity. There are no victims of circumstance, there are only victims of poor choices. Choose wisely and with intent and purpose to feel empowered and in control of how you are going to feel about the outcome of these holidays.
This should be a time of joy, happiness, and peace on earth. All of these are within your power to have and achieve. The circumstances around you will keep on churning. The chaos will keep whirling, but your inner peace is just one thought away – and it starts with “I choose….”
Happiness is a choice that at times requires effort. Where will your efforts reside this holiday season? Be miserable, or motivated. Everything always begins with a choice. Make it yours.
Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. Do you want it? Then fight for it. Obstacles are put in our way to see if it’s really worth fighting for – and sometimes we create our own obstacles.
Have you ever wanted something so bad, but you just didn’t know how to go about getting it? You took some action. You started down the path, the best way that you could figure out, but then something happened – you just stopped.
Sometimes it’s a slow fizzle and other times it’s just a full-fledged, hard stop – but the important piece to keep in mind here is that there was something much deeper that caused what you wanted not to happen – and that was your thinking.
That seems really harsh, but everything that you desire starts and stops in your mind.
There are five steps to getting what you want.
Commit today to take the steps that you need to achieve the success that you desire. #makeithappen #yougotthis Now let's get focused, obliterate doubt and fear, and start achieving! Focus, my dears! You got this!
Do you remember what Saturday mornings were like as a kid? For some, it wasn’t so long ago, and for others of us, it was a bit ago. I remember getting up, hair a mess, maybe pouring a bowl of cereal and plopping down in front of some cartoons. By the time my mom got up to say, “Hey, go out and play,” I was fueled and awakened through humor.” She certainly didn’t have to kick me out the door. I was ready!
Going out to play, whether getting on my bike and riding pretty much all day, or riding over to a friend’s house, knocking on the door, “Can Vicki play?” was a typical Saturday morning scene. Playing all day was all that was on the agenda. Yes, food at some point was thrown in there, but it certainly didn’t rate that high, it was more of a necessary evil in the middle of playtime.
Fast forward to where we are in life and think about what Saturdays mean to you, and if you have a non-traditional Saturday/Sunday days off schedule, think about this as your off time. What has Saturday become?
Well, if you have kids, it may be a myriad of soccer practices or running here and there from various events and activities. Without kids, you may have so much to get done that you can’t during the work week, so your Saturday becomes a massive chore list.
Think about the Saturday kid illustration that I provided. Cereal, cartoons, and uninhibited playtime. How many of us would love to have the freedom to just be a kid again and not have to worry about the report that’s due on Monday, cleaning out the gutters, and doing the laundry?
Guess what? All of those things existed as a kid, and we did them, but we just didn’t allow our worry to destroy our playtime mindset. It seems like we still have the same ability to have Saturday playtime, but we need to relearn to how to live like this.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because stop playing.
So how do we get back to our inner child, despite our responsibilities doing this “adulting” thing? We re-engineer our thinking and rediscover the power that we have to shift our thoughts, feelings, and outlook on life.
Albert Einstein said, “ Play is the highest form of research.” And it is true! When we play, we invigorate our creativity, we re-energize, and we embrace our authentic self – the playful child who loves life.
Let’s look at my Saturday kid recipe for a successful Saturday.
1) I grabbed a bowl of cereal. Hey – that’s what we did! Could have been a better choice, but fueling up was just a natural thing to do – we just knew that you fuel up after rejuvenating the body with sleep. So this becomes the first step of retraining your mind – nourish your body.
Make sure that you don’t just grab anything (like I did with cereal) for ease and convenience, make a conscious effort to realize that in order to enjoy life, the moment, and playtime, you need to be well-nourished. Fuel up, consciously.
2) I watched cartoons. This is a seemingly mindless activity, sitting in front of the television, but it worked. We started our day with humor! Wouldn’t you feel better starting your day laughing instead of worrying about deadlines and all of the junk you have to get done? That’s what we did as a kid, and it’s the same recipe for success today.
However you get it, the funny column in the paper, YouTube funny spoofs or comedian videos, or the classic – cartoons (hey, you may actually begin to find Sponge Bob funny!), introduce humor into the start of your Saturday. Look, this is your play day. Even if you have a list of chores to accomplish, beginning with humor will shift your perspective and you will see your entire day in a new light.
3) My mom told me to go out to play. It wasn’t like I needed to be told, but it was this prompting that made me move away from the television and get moving! So our third element is movement, exercise, and fun. However you move, choose something that you enjoy, but do it and do it like you did as a kid, with everything you have in you. And you may have to be the one telling yourself, “Hey! Go out and play.” Make it your command. It’s expected of the Saturday child, so why not for you?
Add imagination and dreaming to the mix, just as you did as a kid. You weren’t just riding your bike, you were a mighty explorer! Allow your mind to dream and come alive. I’m telling you, that business proposal or work project will benefit from your allowing your mind and body to take on the Saturday success recipe.
All we need to know about how to live a successful life, we lived as children playing. The Saturday morning experience brings us to a balanced state because it creates alignment of our mind, body, energy, and our emotions.
When we start our day with fueling our bodies with nourishment, our mind with laughter, and exert our energy in play and discovery, we are unstoppable. We set ourselves up to take on anything. If you could be Superman or Wonder Woman in your mind as a kid, you certainly can be now - but you need to stop thinking that you are too busy to enjoy life – as you did then.
That chore list becomes so much easier when you are aligned. Remember, the gutters still had to be cleaned out and the leaves raked, and you made a game out of it – and when it was done? Playtime.
Reward yourself. Playtime is not superfluous. You knew it as a child, naturally, because you were closer to your inner truth as a child. A puppy or a kitten even know this. Playing is training for adulthood, but somehow we forget how to play.
So this week, regain the principles of the Saturday mindset. Nourish your body, fill your heart with laughter, and get out and move and play. Relearn to live again. Shift will happen!
11/4/2018 1 Comment
Illuminating the Path to Success
Have you ever tried to pull one over on your parent, your best friend, or your boss? You know, you didn’t think that they would understand or that they would be judgmental, so instead you choose to tell a lie. Sometimes these are big, huge, hairy, bold-faced lies, and other times they are, what we commonly refer to as, little white lies. Keep in mind that half a truth is often a great lie and the truth is like the sun.
Imagine walking outside of a dimly lit building on a particularly sunny day and think about just how intense the sun feels on your eyes. You can’t help but squint and wince as the brightness is almost painful to absorb through your senses. It’s a pretty intense feeling, right? Okay, hold that thought!
Our bodies are meant to be whole. When we cut ourselves, our blood cells rush to the wound to quickly start coagulating the blood and begin the healing process of making the wound disappear. Typically, within a week or so, you are good as new. Our mind is just as resilient – yet we understand so little about just how, on the inside, under the surface, our consciousness within our mind is trying to communicate and initiate wholeness and healing.
When we lie, whether to someone else, or to ourselves, this triggers an internal default to correction, because like entering data into a form that doesn’t belong, it’s an error and it cannot be computed correctly. It’s similar to our walking out into the sun and wincing. The brightness of the truth can be almost painful when we see it with our internal eye. When we see it in our external world It can be blinding – and that’s uncomfortable. Truth is like the sun; you can shut it out for a time, but it’s not going away. It still exists.
Fortunately, the truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie perpetuates endless pain, because of what happens when we lie within our subconscious. There is nothing about a little white lie that is innocent because it has the same effect as a big, hairy, audacious lie within.
We manifest what we cannot control. This is why criminal investigators say that eventually a criminal that has gotten away with a lie will slip up. Our truth will always come out. It’s the same as our blood, automatically rushing to the wound. You are automatically trying to self-correct by manifested action, comments, or involuntary facial expressions or movements. This is how your mother could always tell when you were lying! Your body was tattling on you. And you thought she had magical mom powers!
Lying to yourself, truly cannot be accomplished, and so this is an area that must be reckoned with. You may think you are getting away with it, but I’m telling you, it’s going to come out! This is also true when someone makes a statement about you, a situation, or life in general that isn’t particularly true, but guess what? Your auditory system or visual system took note of that. We are so darned efficient!
Our subconscious stores away untruths all the time. They don’t fit anywhere, because they are not true to our truth, or to universal truths. This is why it is incredibly important to dislodge untruths that are stored away and re-engineering your thinking – re-writing the sentences in your thoughts so that they serve you better and support your truth. When we do this, we can make progress toward our goals and be free from limited or destructive thinking.
A client of mine made a statement, “I’m not improving financially.” After some inquiry we realized the lie that he was telling himself was limiting his creativity and ability to free himself to make more money. His truth was that he has consistently improved his financial situation, year after year, but he’s not where he’d like to be, YET! Just this subtle shift in what he told himself was the key for him to unlock his ability to move forward.
We often get stuck on the wrong thoughts. The sentence in our brain is wrong, driving a negative feeling. These limit our actions because we get stuck in a spin cycle and we limit our own actions.
While stuck in spin, my client only could see his 9-5 job on repeat, never getting ahead. He saw, “I’m going to need to replace this job with another income source, but I don’t know how to get there” – and therefore he was stuck – not sure how to get out.
The state of your life is a direct reflection of a state of your mind – Dr. Wayne Dyer
As we begin to illuminate our inner truth, the path to our success is also illuminated. For my client, just realizing that dissatisfaction with a current state does not define him, rather it serves as a driver to set goals and an action plan.
Your path to the truth starts with a simple question: Is it true? This is a yes or no question with no qualifiers or explanations. Yes or no. Can you say this, without a doubt is true?
In my client’s example, is it true that you are not improving financially? At first, he said yes. Without a doubt he also believed this to be true. So, I asked, “Are you in the same place you were 5 years ago, or are you better?”
Me: “Do you have a roof over your head and enough food?”
Him: “Yes, but I’m living paycheck to paycheck.”
Me: “So in reality, it’s not a true statement that you are not improving financially, because you stated that you are doing better than you were, which is progress. The truth seems to be that you are living paycheck to paycheck and that is no okay with you. Is this correct?”
Me: “So how does it feel when you tell yourself that I’m not improving financially?”
Him: “Not good. I feel terrible.”
Me: “Then let’s go with the statement that you felt was truer. That you have continually improved your financial situation year after year and that you want to achieve a level of financial freedom to not live paycheck to paycheck. Now we can develop goals to get you there.”
Him: “That is perfect. And I feel like I can do it this way. I just couldn’t see my way out of it before.”
Me: "That’s because you were stuck on the fact that you make a certain amount per hour at your current job. You started focusing on your current state and the lie you were telling yourself, so the path was dark. How can you get somewhere when you tell yourself that you can’t or that you are a failure? 'I’m not improving financially.' I am statements are powerful and when it conflicts with your inner truth, your default mechanism is saying, 'Send out feeling like crud, because this statement isn’t true.' Once we let in the truth, we now can see that we have a way to resolve this and feel much better in the process."
It can be difficult to peel back the layers of the onion, and yes, it can bring you to tears, but the truth will set you free. It all starts with breaking down the boundaries in your thinking, and is the path to finally living the life of your dreams. And that begins with a choice to uncover your hidden truths. Start now.
Begin by asking yourself what you want. Follow that up with what's holding you back? Start asking for the truth and allow honesty and humility in. If pain or dissatisfaction exist, there is a hidden truth. Let's find it. Let's get you to your successful mindset!
Isn’t it crazy how when you want something so bad, yet no matter how committed you are, you just can’t seem to get past a certain point?
Often we get stuck on a plateau and we can’t seem to get traction. No matter how hard we try, it just seems that what we want to accomplish is getting farther and farther away, and we just can't seem to be able to see around that darned barrier.
What if I told you the answer you are looking for just might be with you right now?
Yes, it’s true. The answers that you are looking for to unlock the answer of how to get from Point A to Point B may be much closer than you think. It just may be that you are looking at it all wrong. It may be that you are looking at the situation like an obstacle and not a challenge.
Three great quotes come to mind:
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
~ Jimmy Dean
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Only when my eyes have adjusted to the dark can I witness the splendor of the moon and the stars. Only when I have sat in hopeless loss can I appreciate every blessing.
~ Angela Yuriko Smith
What is an obstacle? Well, the dictionary defines an obstacle as “a think that blocks one’s way or prevents or hinders progress.”
So what is a challenge? What’s great is the definition as a noun or as a verb provide some delightful good news!
As a noun, a challenge is “an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof.
As a verb, a challenge is to “dispute the truth or validity of.”
Let’s think about this and how we look at that hump we just can’t seem to make it over. Are we perceiving an obstacle or a challenge?
Everything starts with a thought. It is our interpretation of the situation that creates the sentence in our brain – out thought (i.e.- This is an obstacle, or this is a challenge).
When we are stuck, it typically is because we are holding on to a belief that may not be true, but we are convinced that it is. Or, worse yet, there may be a hidden belief that is derailing our progress from a subconscious level.
It seems like we should be able to use either word, obstacle, challenge, they both are problem, right?
Here we go with another definition! A problem is a matter or a situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.
Obstacles are barriers that block and hinder us. Challenges, which are problems are meant to be dealt with and overcome!
So when we look at our challenges for what they are – meant to be dealt with, overcome, and solved, then our plateaus are not unsurmountable. Our challenges become puzzles. Where is the missing piece? What is the missing thought?
When “I don’t have enough time to work out” becomes, “I have SOME time to work out, even though it’s not the amount of time that I THINK is the only acceptable amount of time”, I begin to deal with the challenge of time. I find a valuable piece of the puzzle.
When “I don’t have enough clients” becomes “because I don’t have enough clients I have more time to dedicate to generating interest or developing leads” then I begin to deal with the challenge of client volume. Again, I find a valuable piece of the thinking puzzle and I can start developing "truer" beliefs (remember we are going to dispute the truth or validity of our thought - "I don't have enough clients."
The truer statement is that you haven't enough clients because you haven't been doing the right things to get those clients - now you can solve this problem!
We tend to look at everything as all or nothing, but this is just a perspective. How you are looking at the problem is a big piece of the picture because YOU may be turning your situation or circumstance into an obstacle by building a barrier thought. This usually looks like –
“It must be done this way.”
“It’s only going to happen this way.”
“This is what I need to do.”
"I've tried everything!"
If you had it all figured out, then it wouldn’t be an issue, right? Instead, the sentence in our mind is making a challenge into an obstacle.
This means that when you don’t have enough clients, your challenge becomes, what actions and activities will help resolve this problem? What are you NOT doing now? You have the time, you don’t have enough clients - so let's get to work problem-solving!
If it’s a lack of hours in the day to accomplish all you need to do, your challenge, “I don’t have enough time to do everything” is tackled by looking at how you can gain traction and gain footing on the item that you would have dropped (because you don't have enough time).
Something is better than nothing. Progress is better than stagnation. Remember, slow progress is better than no progress.
With that in mind, back to the client example, if today you have 50 clients and have a goal to have 300, wouldn’t even 1 new client be progress? This example can be used for losing weight, fitness goals, education, quitting smoking, you name it! Small progress is still progress. It’s not all or nothing.
Think of it this way – you may not be where you want to be, but if you decide to deal with and overcome your challenges by changing your perspective and your thinking, the minute you decide this, you won’t be where you used to be- and that’s progress! That’s success!
Challenges are meant to be taken on and overcome - it's just a game - it's just a puzzle. Shift your perspective and shift will happen. Success is in the challenge!
10/21/2018 0 Comments
Do You Want Super Powers? Sleep on It!
A dear friend of mine, said something that reminded me today of a very important element to a success-filled life. As we strive to achieve our goals and push ourselves each day, there is something that is so basic but significant to our power and strength yet many of us take its significance for granted.
Have you ever experienced this scene?
Afternoon: Dying to rest.
Night: Can’t sleep.
Rest! It is that success factor that many of us overlook or see as a necessary evil. It’s anything but evil, it is a gift – a VERY precious gift! Cherish it.
When we begin valuing our rest to our success, we gain an understanding that by valuing its rejuvenating properties, we invest in our success. In other words, invest in rest to invest in your success.
Look, rest is as important as hard work, but we need to understand that whether you view your sleep time as a rapid charge or a trickle charge, understanding that you need this time to step away from the distractions and influences of your awakened state to keep your mind, spirit, and body in alignment for optimal performance mode is key.
If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. Life can be exhausting. Chasing your dream, living your dream, or even just contemplating and thinking of your dream can be exhausting, but it’s never worth quitting. Instead, hitting the snooze button and powering down your conscious mind is imperative to your achieving your goals.
Think about how well you think when you are exhausted. Not so great right? Well that is something that we often recognize, and we make comments like, “I’m just tired right now. I can’t think straight.” Your inner knowledge is speaking here buddy – don’t just play it lip service – take action!
So, what can we do to value our rest time? Make it a habit! And how do we make a habit? We repeat it over and over, day in and day out, until it becomes a natural part of what we do.
One of the most significant changes that you can make when it comes to your rest is changing how you view this time. Whether this is a rapid charge during the day, or a trickle charge at night, your attitude toward this time is key. Take it seriously and invest in this – great rest time has been shown to enhance your cognitive abilities, problem-solving, creativity, mood, and yes, your overall health. This is an investment worth making in you – ESPECIALLY if you have particularly significant achievement that you are shooting for!
First, covet your rest time. Make whatever time that is your rejuvenation time reserved, just for rest. That means strip away the electronics or any other distractors, such as television or phone alerts for messages and social media at bedtime. And if it is a 10-minute time that you are putting your head down on your desk. Close the door and hang a sign on your door, do not interrupt. Protect and enforce this time – no interruptions!
Second, make your rest time special. I just said strip away electronics, but there is an exception to this, and this is because there are so many wonderful smartphone apps out there that can enhance your sleep and help you experience a more restful and deep sleep.
One thing that I use regularly is high vibrational frequency music designed for sleep. You can go to YouTube and search for this sleeping music, just type in high vibrational frequency music and you can find these videos ranging from 1 hour to 9-hour play time. I turn mine on low and then turn my phone upside down on the nightstand so that I don’t have any light. The super subtle music helps your mind slip into a rest state as you become freed from distractions of your day, or planning the next day in your head.
Another way to make your rest time special is to look forward to it like a hot date! If you were going on a date, you would prepare in advance and put some thought and energy into it. Do that with your sleep! Go get yourself some crazy comfy pillows or sheets and blankets. Get a diffuser with lavender or other essential oils that softly scent the air with wonderful smells. Make it special! If you look at your sleep space as utilitarian, you are missing out on its awesome contribution to your life. Treat your bed like it’s your hot date! Love it!
This leads me into our third recommendation for making an investment into your rest time. Appreciate your rest as the gift it is. Our bodies weren’t designed to run 24/7 without rest. Rest is a part of our natural system. I realize that sometimes we have more stuff to do than day, but it’s still going to be there, but you won’t be if you keep burning yourself out! Sleep is not a waste of time, it’s a gift. If we remember this each day as we stop and rest and sleep, we will begin to experience greater joy as we gain more clarity and focus.
Don’t mistake this gift as a waste of time – it’s time that you are investing to be more awesome! Make the most of the time that you do get to rest and sleep. Value it, make it special, and appreciate the details.
Winding down isn’t always easy, so by putting into practice visualization to take you into rest, you can accomplish two things, you practice placing the thoughts that you want in your mind and you distract your distracting mind so that you can rest.
What to think about? Visualize what you desire and you living it. Remind yourself what you are grateful for. Keep these thoughts active back and forth, what you desire and what you are grateful for as you fall into the wonderful sounds of silence, a fan, your high frequency music, or whatever super special relaxation tool works best for you.
Your sleep is your super power tool – Invest in it. Own it. Use it. Cherish it. ENJOY IT!
Are you doing what you love? Are you exactly where you want to be?
Change can be scary. For many, change is so scary that they find a place that they can be comfortable, sometimes so comfortable, that they miss out on fulfilling their deepest desires.
This becomes the excuse zone.
These are just a few things we might hear come out of the excuse zone:
“I make six figures.”
“I make a good living.”
“I’m being responsible.”
“I do this really well.”
“I like my job.”
These all sound like plausible reasons to stay put, but what if they are your safety net in the excuse zone? What if the excuse zone limits all of these statements? What if six-figures is just the tip of the iceberg? What if you could excel, with passion, and love what you do?
Is the story in your brain absolutely true? Would it be true if you were guaranteed that your deepest desire could come true? Or is it only true for right now, as what you have accepted as your truth?
If I told you that by this Friday, you would have $50 million in your bank account, no strings attached, and it was guaranteed and for you to use on anything you desire – tell me, would the statement still be true for doing exactly what you do today?
If the answer is yes, congrats! You are in the flow and following your passion. Passion turns work into success.
If the answer is no, especially if you say that you would quit your job, we’ve got some exploring to do to optimize your life.
Our safety net feels good. We know that we aren’t going to fail. We are making good money, doing well in our jobs, have the respect of others, but at the end of the day if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried anything. This is especially true when we are comfortable and by all measures of others and the world doing well – but not living our truth.
Now, this doesn’t mean that today you need to quit your job and drop the safety net. There often is a way to get in the flow and live your purpose from your current experience.
When you are making good money, but not necessarily happy in your current position (the job that you would quit if you won the lottery), you have more financial resources – but believe it or not, it can actually be harder to shift to your purpose than for a broke person trying to make the shift. The excuse are much more plausible for someone doing well – at least they sound good and seem to make sense.
If your why is not big enough, your excuses will be.
Why do you do what you do? To support your family? Because it’s the only thing you know?
When we can be truthful about our ‘why’ we can move mountains.
Our motives are fed by beliefs. These include what we believe is possible and deep-seated beliefs of our value – and both may be rooted by someone else’s belief.
If you had $50 million in the bank, what is it that you would like to do? After you think of your initial purchases. If there was a business that you would love to start or something that you would like to do, what would it be?
Perhaps you’d like to feed the hungry or you’d like to build race cars. WHY?!
…and does what you would love to be able to do, if you had $50 million, differ from what you are doing today? If so, WHY?! – Did any of the excuse zone excuses come up? Remember, if your why isn’t big enough, your excuses will be!
When your ‘why’ does not align with your truth, you are out of the flow – and you can be doing pretty darned good out of the flow, but dissatisfied. Where do you think mid-life crisis comes from? You haven’t been living the life that you have dreamed of. You haven’t been living a fulfilling life, because it has been out of the flow, not based in passion, but out of necessity… and some do necessity REALLY well!
I have many multi-million-dollar clients that have done extremely well, but they are completely unhappy and dissatisfied. They make money well. That doesn’t mean that they are doing what they desire to be doing. That doesn’t mean that their passion is ignited, or they are in the flow.
Here are some steps that you can take to help you begin to gain clarity on your purpose and why:
It is so easy to begin thinking super-critical thoughts- these are based on unconscious beliefs. These conversations in your head have no place (at this point) in your definitions.
Think with your heart and be fully honest, no matter how your what and why sound. Even if it seems like a silly ‘what’ or it sounds like a cheesy ‘why’ – above all else, keep it real and keep it honest.
If it was literal, and you are seeking freedom, ask yourself what activities can you think of that help you to feel free? Is there any activity that you could do today that would help you feel free? If physically unable – are you able to sit quietly and imagine yourself doing this activity in your mind? Perspective – think without limits and judgement of your current situation.
Headwork in visualizing and planning is NOT senseless daydreaming. People like Elon Musk do this regularly. How do you come up with a vision to go to Mars without putting a lot of thought into this and thinking about the details of people and organizations that he might need to learn about and get to know?
This is just the beginning of finding clarity and living the life of your dreams, but there has to be a beginning if you ever want to cross the finish line – and we all are going to cross a finish line. The question is, will your finish line be that of the rat race or the finish line to the life that you have always dreamed of?
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s what you are thinking.
Commitment is what transforms a hope into reality.
Think about a time that you wanted to do something, and you hesitated. What was in that pause? What stopped you from going all in and believing in what you want – and more importantly you?
Questioning, “Should I?” can become a derailing question. To get past the derailment of the pause, we must become focused on what we want so that we can go all in.
The better question when opportunity arises is, “Do I want this?” There is no time for “Yes, but…. (usually followed by, “I’m not sure how.”), but instead, a simple Yes or No.
If yes, it’s time to go all in! If no, move on and look forward, never second guessing the decision.
It takes being all in to be successful at anything.
Look at life as if it were a game of poker, when you are confident and ready to receive and win, you are all in, and when you don’t see yourself winning, you fold.
You have to decide, yes, this is the hand, and you put your chips on the table and bet on yourself.
When a surfer decides to catch that killer wave, its time to be all in. One hesitation, and the moment is gone to ride that perfect wave.
Paddle hard in preparation as you see the wave swelling, and say yes, I’m riding this wave out.
What if the wave turns out to be a dud? What if the hand that is dealt is not a winner? Are you going to go over and over in your head for the next week, month, year, or decade how “if you wouldn’t have”? How is that going to move you forward?
Likewise, we can’t sort of decide to catch the wave or make that bet. We must commit and that all starts in our head. “I’m going all in.”
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something you accept no excuses; only results” ~ Kenneth Blanchard.
Deciding to go all in starts with saying yes, despite not knowing how. There may be skills that you build along the path to ready you when opportunity arises, and then there may be skills that you gain along the way of building that dream.
If you want to learn to surf, you are ready to go all in with every promising wave. You position yourself on the board as you begin to paddle into the flow, and then what? All in time!
As you make your way onto the wave, you jump to your feet – and then kersplash! You are down. Then what? You ready yourself for the next opportunity to go all in! When you commit, you keep at it until you are finally successful, gaining additional knowledge and skill along the way.
Instead of “Should I?” ask yourself “Do I want it?”. If you want it, it’s time to go all in.
If you are ready to make real change, it’s time to change your thinking to get different results. Going all in is a commitment to yourself, a belief in you, and what you want.
Your attitude determines your direction. It’s time to get what you want. It’s time to GO ALL IN! #letsdothis #makeithappen
Someone totally did you wrong. All you want to do is pay them back so that they can suffer some sort of discomfort as you have had to suffer with the injustice that you have experienced.
You know it’s wrong and mean, but you can help it. It consumes you.
I mean, they really did you wrong! How dare they get away with that?!
You can’t focus, and revenge seems to be the only answer.
The toxicity of what you are feeling, that negative energy is all consuming. The energy that you spend trying to get revenge can be better spent creating an amazing life, but you feel trapped.
You don’t die from the snakebite, you die from the venom that continually surges through your veins.
The anti-venom is forgiveness.
Forgive and forget about the past. Your ego is going to try to suck you back and attach you to your past so that you can’t take steps forward to enjoying today and having an awesome future. It’s time to remember you and your successful mindset.
By delegating your power away in anger, hurt, and revenge, you drain your energy to create the life that you want.
People who create their own drama reap their own karma.
The word karma means action. It’s the actions that we take that attract like action. If you are full of toxic venom, what are you going to exude and attract? Pretty simple - venom.
If you squeeze an orange, would you expect anything other than orange juice to come out? Do you think that you are going to get chocolate milk out of an orange? I know that would be pretty darn cool, but the answer is no. You are going to get orange juice, because that is what the orange is filled with.
It seems like an overly simple thing to say, just forgive the person, but what you will produce is anything less than simple, and the power that you gain is immeasurable.
Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong, because it is a choice to stay powerful and present and not get dragged into the garbage of the past – a period of time you can’t do a darned thing about. It’s done! You can’t change it.
So how do we go about truly forgiving so that we can step into our successful thinking?
It’s as easy as 1-2-3
Decide that you aren’t going to get stuck in what’s already happened. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. Choose to move on, focusing not on past pain, but on being joyful in the moment and creating a beautiful future that is free from toxicity and negative karma.
Make forgiveness a part of your daily ritual. Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude. Just like brushing your teeth or showering, forgiveness should be a part of what you do daily. I like to incorporate this into my nightly affirmations and prayers. I express my gratitude for the things that I have and will have in my life. I impress upon my subconscious mind that I am forgiving of myself and others – not allowing myself to drum up anything that someone has done in the past – keeping my thoughts current and forward focused. I state that I am a beacon of love and that I attract to myself that same love and forgiveness.
Shift from blame to understanding. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. We become trapped in the mucky mire of negative energy when we hold on to resentment and anger. We become imprisoned within our own thinking. Let it go and you will have unlocked the cell door to where you were trapped inside your own head, creating negative emotions through your thoughts.
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.
Forgiveness is another chance to make a new beginning. There is nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, and a grace in forgiveness that brings your back into positive alignment with your success.
Forgiveness is the best act of love that you will ever give to yourself. Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.
It is my wish that this week, you will bless yourself with the choice to forgive so that you may have an abundance of peace, joy, and love so that you can completely kick butt on whatever it is that you want to achieve. Now go be awesome!
9/13/2018 0 Comments
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Tomorrow Needs You visit www.NAMI.org or www.twloha.com
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do nearly anything to get it? Your thought being that by having that one thing that you would be happy? You are not alone.
The quest for happiness is the topic of much literature, films, blogs, and the essence of the spiritual journey for many.
What if I told you that humility and happiness go hand in hand and that happiness is not a destination, but a choice that starts through humility?
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Irvine, California provides three helpful tips to remain humble:
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels” Saint Augustine.
Happiness starts with a choice to look at what is and question who is in control – your successful thoughts or your ego? Your ego robs you of joy, demanding that you deserve more and pointing out your suffering and affliction.
Your thoughts are actually the key to driving your happiness because it is in your thoughts that you can dispel the lies of your ego. When your ego decides to tell you how much more you deserve, ask yourself, is it true that I deserve more than the next person?
If all are created equal, does anyone truly deserve more than another? I am not saying that you should not have desires and dreams. What I am saying is that your ego has a sneaky way of robbing your joy and happiness by twisting your thoughts and beliefs that happiness is based on you being worthier than another.
When we invite humility into our thinking we can challenge ego and find happiness that is already inside. Humility calms the chaos. Rather than being in conflict with others, we are in unity and see that it is not “what I deserve,” instead it is “my desire”.
What is humility? One definition is the “freedom from control of the competitive reflex.”
A dear friend of mine and I like to spar on the concept of “friendly competition.” My position is that there is no friendliness associated with a desire to overtake another. My friend’s position is that through competition it challenges us to push our limits. If one person in the end is left feeling inadequate, where is the friendship? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating “participation trophies” for all so that everyone can feel good.
What I am saying is that when we compete against others our humility goes out the window. What we need to be doing is competing with ourselves. Pushing our own limits, not measuring them against others. Ask yourself, is it true that I will be happy if I beat my brother at the game? Or is it my choice to be happy because I have the ability to be in the game and challenge myself to do great?
Instead of competing against others, stay in your space and out of their Kool-Aid! Your space is your business, their Kool-Aid is their business. Challenge yourself to be a better version of you. A great way to do this is to know that through humility you have more control over the chaos of being in everyone’s business.
Humility is a space of emotional neutrality and a space that we can exercise service, which builds our humility muscles. In this space we gain insight that we are not above or below others, instead, we are hand in hand. In this space you will find that rather than creating chaos through competition (having to be better), that by encouraging their achievement and helping them succeed in areas that they need a helping hand, you will feel peace. Through service, we humble ourselves to get out of the “me, me, me, I need to be superior” thinking and into unity and understanding of how happiness is cultivated through peace in our thinking.
Let me just tell you, sometimes being humble hurts. Sometimes going up against the ego reveals things to us that aren’t so pretty, but it’s necessary if you want to find peace and happiness that resides within.
“He who finds joy within himself discovers that his body is charged with an electric current and life energy that is not from food, but from God” Paramahansa Yogananda.
We each have a river of joy and happiness running through us – finding it does not mean finding something outside of ourselves, or stepping over others to do so. Rather, humility is the key that will unlock the door to the happiness within.
Humility is the wisdom of accepting the truth that what your ego is telling you is wrong. Strength comes from telling your ego to take a hike, that “I choose happy.”
Go after that thing that you desire, with all your heart. Just make sure that you add a heaping helping of humility so that you understand that success does not equal happiness, but happiness equals success.
Have a blessed week. Namaste.
8/19/2018 0 Comments
Love is Never Lost in Having Loved
Two days ago, a loved one of mine passed. At first I thought that I had lost something. It became clear to me this morning that instead, I am a greater person because of the piece of this person that will always be a part of me. It became evident, just as the parables of the Bible or any other spiritual doctrine, our lives are about learning and growing through love, through the stories developed throughout our life exchanges as others become a part of our experience.
A parable is defined as 1) a story, usually short and fictitious that illustrates a moral attitude or religious principle 2) something (such as a news story or a series of real events) likened to a parable in providing an instructive example or lesson.
Just as Jesus walked the earth and illustrated how to live and love, that is exactly what each of us are meant to do. I can’t say that I lost a loved one this week, because I did not. I gained so much more as I think of the parable of this person’s life and its meaning in my own and in the lives that this amazing person touched.
I’ve always explained to those that I counsel that are grieving that the person that they are grieving is not gone, but remain alive within us. I explain that they are grieving the separation from the physical – our loved ones, friends, family, and people that we care about are always with us because they live on within us, in our memories, in our heart, and in our soul. The beautiful memories that we share, the wonderful things that they brought to our lives, they live on because we have learned though their parable how to be an even better version of ourselves.
The instructive example of those that we interact with is part of our learning and growing experience. A person never dies – they live on through our love for them. As we reflect on the beauty of those that have passed, it is important to understand their purpose in our lives, no matter how brief, because we have been blessed with a gift from God – that person is our gift and we must realize that the physical component only served a portion of the purpose as the illustration and their story was developed and performed. We get to choose how to live the legacy that they shared with us because they loved us so much.
Yes, I miss the physical element, but I know that there is more of me now, even more complete, because I was honored to have this person grace and bless my life with love. There is even more of me now to give, share, and love others.
May this message comfort those who struggle with loss. Understand, you haven’t lost – you are so much more for having loved who you grieve. Grieving is a natural part of healing. Sadness is okay, just remember that it not detract you from this being a time of reflection so that you can understand the purpose and meaning of your dear ones.
“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart” ~ Helen Keller
I wish you a beautiful and peace-filled week. Namaste.
8/10/2018 0 Comments
Coaching Employee Performance
A relationship without trust is like a car without gas, you can stay in it all you want, but it won’t get you anywhere.
The relationship that we have with our employees, and the quality of that relationship is like any other relationship. The more time, energy, and effort that we put into building a meaningful relationship, built on mutual respect and trust, the better the results. As leaders we are in a unique position to drive employee performance by shaping and changing attitudes in our employees about the work they do and their unique contribution.
A 2006 Personnel Psychology report revealed that, “Although coaching can facilitate employee development and performance, the stark reality is that managers often differ substantially in their inclination to coach their subordinates.”
Effective coaching is proven to contribute to higher employee engagement. Engaged employees have a higher emotional commitment to the organization and its goals, reducing costs from lost productivity in areas of organizational turn-overs, call-outs, and lack of motivation.
“ A brand is what a business does, reputation is what people remember” ~ Ted Rubin.
As leaders, how our employees feel about their workplace affects the reputation and brand of the organization.
You don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business.
Much hoopla has been spouted over the past decade about employee engagement as engaged, connected, and happy employees have been noted to contribute to the bottom line. It doesn’t matter whether you are a non-profit, large corporation, mom and pop operation, or local government, happy employees drive results and help organizations challenged with more work than employees to get stuff done.
So how do we help our employees become happy? A 2014 study at George Mason University examined two factors that they found contributed to employee engagement, connectedness and gratitude. Both factors contributed to levels of absenteeism, which indicates that when managers can increase connectedness by increasing the gratitude that employees receive, they show up and don’t just take up space.
Coaching employee performance through driving hope, job fulfillment, and happiness can help organizations achieve the results they want. When employees feel that someone cares and has their back, they give more and give more joyfully. Happy employees translate to happy customers.
Steps that you can take to coach employee performance:
1)Give Them Something to Look Forward To – Employee Development Planning
Develop a game plan for your employees. Most organizations do a poor job at developing action plans for their employees. During the annual performance review process, goals are usually developed by the manager and then those goals are never followed-up on. Equally as bad, poor goals are developed or no goals. The result, no growth plan is made for the employee.
Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing then you will hit it every time.”
Every employee should have a development plan and this plan should include success partners. Employees should be a part of the planning process and they should let the manager know what their vision is for their future. What are their career goals with the organization?
The manager is responsible for developing an action plan with the employee. The plan should cover 1) career goals; 2) education/training needs/desires; 3) strengths that can be leveraged to accomplish goals; and 4) actions that the manager will commit to in helping the employee successfully achieve their goals.
Partnering with employees shifts the manager relationship from one of a watch-dog, judging past performance, to a co-pilot in the success of current and future employee performance. This shift alone can dramatically shift employee attitudes toward the organization and their manager.
2)Gratitude to Change Attitude – Tell Your Employees that You Appreciate Them
Business optimization expert, Ken Blanchard teaches, “Catch them doing something right.” I tell my clients, praise often and be genuinely appreciative of your employee’s efforts, even when things don’t go as planned.
If you have ever missed the mark then you know how good it feels when someone gives you a “chin up” pep talk. Likely, when a ball team loses a game, the conversation turns to what the team learned from losing and how they will turn it around next time. It feels good to have someone appreciate that you tried. Your employees will appreciate you more, the more you appreciate them.
Driving employee attitudes through gratitude is a highly effective way to increase engagement, loyalty, and performance. When someone appreciates you, then you don’t mind going that extra mile. Much research exists around employee attitudes when leaders express their appreciation for employee efforts versus those leaders that try to drive results through domination and fear of reprisal.
3)Solicit Input – Seek Employee Ideas to Improve Performance
You’d be surprised how silly little things can both upset employees to the point of sabotaging your business or make them happy to the point of going above and beyond to create an exceptional employee experience. Asking your employees for input and having them be a part of the solution can prove to be an effective way to drive positive performance results. The key is that you ask, listen, and come up with solutions together.
When I coach clients, the client comes up with the solution, I listen, and ask lots of questions. I coach the answers from my clients. Employees are the best source of answers because they are actually doing the work and can commit to making change. Coaching your employees means that you actually have to have conversations and listen.
Don’t simply survey staff. If you aren’t willing to do hear what your employees have to say, calmly and objectively, and do what needs to be done to correct painful areas for employees, then don’t bother asking. Think of it this way, if you had fell short in a personal relationship and asked your friend or spouse how they feel and if there is anything that you could do to remedy the shortfall, and then you do nothing with the information – what happens? Hurt feelings and the situation usually worsens.
If you aren’t willing to actually do something about it and show your employees that you care, that you have their back, and that you are partners in achieving organizational goals, then you won’t see the results that you desire.
Effective coaching includes a high level of emotional intelligence on the part of the manager/leader. Feelings of employees are developed from the thoughts that they have based on their experience. If you want them to act better, your role is to help drive better employee feelings through your supportive efforts.
Happiness has a domino effect. Aim to be the start.
Are you experiencing a block in productivity, creativity, or getting traction in achieving your goal? Often we have physical signs all around us (clutter) of unresolved inner issues in our thinking.
Clearing the clutter in your physical space will go a long way toward clearing the clutter in your mind and relationships. ~ Peter Walsh
Clutter is a physical manifestation of stuck energy. The word clutter is derived from clotter, which means to coagulate. The log-jam in your thinking is transferred into coagulated quanta in your physical world.
Clutter is representative of indecision. Once you make the decision to make decisions and take action you can free the log-jam and unclog your thinking and your outer world; this begins with breaking down your current thinking, unthinking, and practicing new thoughts.
If you want to change your world, start with this simple exercise:
Unthinking starts with getting to the root of the clutter. It’s not as simple as looking at the trash in your car and saying to yourself, “I’m lazy and it’s just easy to leave the trash in my car.” It’s about the underlying feeling about your messy desk, house, or car.
When you walk into your office and can’t find a thing, how does it make you feel? When you offer a friend from work a ride home and you must move a mountain of trash from the front seat before they can get in, as you make excuses, how do you feel?
If you are like most, clutter doesn’t feel good, the stuck energy makes you feel like you are up to your knees in tar. So how do you break loose from the tar? Let’s focus on understanding the feeling.
Is the feeling in your gut embarrassment, disappointment, or frustration when you focus on the feeling surrounding your clutter? Let’s choose embarrassment. What is the thought that you have prescribed to that feeling?
One of my clients stated, “I feel out of control when my desk is a mess.”
I explained to him that his thought, “I feel out of control,” behind his feeling of embarrassment over his messy desk is simply a sentence in his mind that he has the power to change.
His sentence to himself, “I feel out of control when my desk is a mess,” just needed to be rewritten. His current thinking required re-thinking to come up with a better sentence, so that we could change his thinking, his energy, and his resulting actions.
After some exploration we came up with something to give him back some control. His new sentence became two very strong statements. “I have the ability to re-organize my desk so that I can find what I need. By re-organizing and cleaning my desk, I will have the ability to change the feeling that I have every time I open my office door.”
The strength in the new statements (new thinking) changed the energy for my client so that he was able to de-clutter his desk, throwing away items that he no longer needed and creating a space for everything that deserved a special place.
Now, what if he didn’t believe these new sentences? Simple, they would keep him stuck. Editing thinking requires that we re-write the thought into something that can be accepted by the brain. It “feels” believable. Finding the right wording is important to make if “feel” believable so that you will own the new thought and take action to support it.
Often we don’t realize that our thoughts are just sentences that can be rewritten at any time, re-writing the trajectory of our current path. We have far more control than we realize. By become our own thoughts editor we are able to change how we feel and the associated energy. By correcting our thinking and energy, we can unclog what has us stuck. We gain traction through the actions from our new productive thinking.
You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose! ~ Dr. Seuss
All power is in the awareness of your power. Look around you- what is it that you see or are not seeing that you would like to see? How do you feel about that? Let’s get this rethinking started.
“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln.
The mind is an amazing system, designed to be highly efficient. The phrase “practice makes perfect” is directly linked to the power of our mind to be as efficient as possible. To illustrate this, think of when you learned to drive a car or ride a bike. At first, you had to think about every move that you made. After some time and lots of practice, what once involved a ton of conscious thinking became natural. This is extremely evident after arriving at home and not even remembering the drive!
Although our natural efficiency-focused mind is a blessing, (you don’t have to think to breath or the myriad of other bodily functions or automatic tasks throughout the day ) it can also create conflict for us, especially when we are in auto-pilot in areas we’d like different results.
Think about all the things that you can do at one time. For example, simultaneously my heart is beating, my blood is pumping, breathing, thinking of what to write, typing, and watching what is going on around me. There are so many auto-processes happening at once in our bodies – it is a highly efficient machine! What happens however when your brain learns things too efficiently that don’t serve you?
Habits, anything that you do over an over, or things that bring you comfort or pleasure can be learned and accepted by the mind rather quickly.
The reason that things that bring pleasure and comfort are so readily accepted by your mind is that our brains identify pain and discomfort with something that should be avoided. We are meant to be whole and free from disease and injury. Our bodies have natural healing mechanisms, your immune system for one, that goes to work to attack invaders and anything that contradicts wellness. If eating fatty foods that taste yummy bring you comfort, your mind will quickly accept that this is good. You have cravings in part because of chemicals from sugar or fats, but in great part from the pleasure they bring and the acceptance and desire within our minds to not feel pain.
Habits form because you practice them. Overeating, procrastination, smoking, lying, sloppiness, these are all practiced acts. If it’s easy for your mind to learn, the quicker and deeper the habit sets in. If you have to make yourself get up an hour early to go to the gym, that takes much greater effort than sleeping in. Hitting the snooze is an easy habit to form. The brain loves easy! The less work it needs to do to accomplish a task – job done! Efficient!
Congratulations, if you repeatedly have negative thoughts, insecurities, and fears, you may have a habit to break. Don’t worry, many of us do. I say congratulations because exercising control over your thinking will help you take back your amazing power within.
The conditioning of our minds through environmental influences such as family, friends, work, and school over the course of our lives leaves us with quite a bit of unproductive thinking – but the good news is – you have the power to change that!
We are what we repeated think about because this will lead to what we repeatedly do. Again, efficiency!
What do you want your brain to be efficient at? Negative thinking or positive thinking? Wouldn’t you rather automatically make good food choices, dating choices, choices that get you ahead, or ones that you regret and beat yourself up over?
If you allow your thoughts to run around unsupervised in your brain, on auto-pilot, it is the equivalent of a toddler running around the house with kitchen knives- dangerous. Supervising your thoughts and choosing to eliminate the ones that harm you is the first step to retraining your brain.
Retraining your brain takes repetition and perseverance. Your breakthrough will usually follow the greatest displeasure. When repeating your new habit and new thoughts, keep this in mind - the more you feel like giving up, the closer you are to a breakthrough into your new thinking. A breakthrough is a moment in time when the impossible becomes the possible.
It doesn’t matter how your day, your week, your month, your year, or your life started, right now is the time to decide how you want to be, what thoughts you want to have, what believes that you want to hold, and what actions you want to become automatic.
Decide to think today in a way that will better serve your tomorrow. You can choose, on purpose, to not focus on not feeling well, your boring job, or your miserable relationship. Instead practice thoughts that you can accept as a new belief (the key is that you feed thoughts into your brain that you believe). For example, if your job is boring or you are upset because you have been passed over for a job, focus on the task (yep, the boring one) that you have mastered. The new thought becomes, “I’m a master at my job. I am a valuable employee.” This thought will help you to see your positive skills and traits as you put together a resume for a new position. If you don’t feel like you can get ahead, your new thought is, “I’m not a quitter. I know that my breakthrough will only come if I keep trying.”
Practice throughout your day, every day, replacement thoughts for the ones that do not serve you.
You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. Ride the tides on purpose and effectively. Today, right now, you are in control. You get to choose what you will be incredibly efficient at – choose the thoughts that will make you feel who you are- incredible.
People often say, “That made me feel terrible,” or “He or she made me feel terrible.” I’m here to say that it is impossible for anyone or anything to make you feel anything, unless you choose to feel that way.
Feelings are based on thoughts. Think of your thoughts like sentences in the brain. When you feel a certain way, it is because you have developed a descriptive sentence – “He made me feel terrible.” In reality, you chose to feel terrible by telling yourself that what someone else did was prescriptive of how you were to feel. This is like giving away your power to someone else.
Don’t delegate your power over how you feel. Assume your rightful ownership. How you feel and the sentences that you write are up to you.
Someone does something mean, selfish, or unkind, but that doesn’t make you feel anything. It is the thought behind what they have said or done that you assign meaning to. It is this thought that will drive your actions and your behavior.
“But you don’t understand how bad they treated me.”
It doesn’t matter. This is simply a circumstance. A circumstance is what exists or is perceived, but it is not the end all be all – your thoughts are.
Your thoughts are the beginning which determine your end result, so why not choose thoughts that serve you better?
“They were so rude.”
Okay, so that was the circumstance. Your thoughts determine how you feel and your actions will follow. If you believe that someone was rude, how do you act? Do you treat them kindly or do you snap back in defense? If you chose the latter, why? Will it change how you feel? Not likely. It’s very likely that you will go on angry and irritated, replaying the scene in your mind; but does it get you anywhere?
Motivational speaker and author Wayne Dyer would use the illustration of an orange. During a presentation he would hold up an orange and say, “If I squeeze this orange, what would come out?” He recalls a little girl, matter-of-factly stating, “Orange juice. Duh!”
He would then explain that what comes out is what’s inside, yes, orange juice. We wouldn’t expect grape juice or apple juice from an orange. Only what is inside can come out. Our emotions drive our actions based on the thoughts that we are having. If we choose to harbor ill feelings and anger, what’s inside? Ill feelings and anger – what comes out? Ill feelings and anger.
Look, you can’t change other people. That’s their job. You can’t stop an alcoholic from drinking unless that person makes the choice and has that thought, just as you can’t stop rudeness unless that person decides to think differently – their juice is just coming out! Are your words going to magically change their juice?
We try so hard to control what we can’t control, when what we can control is where true power and peace reside!
We choose to feel terrible based on others, when truly we can choose to not be fazed. We can choose to learn from the experience. If a person cuts you off on the freeway, what is you getting upset going to do? The circumstance of them cutting you off does not automatically make you do or feel anything, unless you choose for it to do so.
“But I think it automatically,” you say?
Then it’s time to supervise your thoughts and actually think on purpose and not by default or on auto-pilot if you want to get to thoughts that serve you better - Better juice starts with better fruit.
Instead of getting angry when someone cuts you off, recognize how you instantly feel – you might feel angry – acknowledge that feeling and develop a new sentence in your brain. I don’t like when people cut me off, I’m not going to drive like that. See how you shifted the power to something that you can do something about? This takes practice because of well-worn neuro-pathways in the brain, but through repetitively thinking productive thoughts, on purpose, you can retrain your brain to think better.
We can make conscious decisions, better decisions, if we monitor our thoughts and take control and ownership of how we feel at any moment. Wouldn’t it feel better to feel in control and how you want? Only you can make this happen.
Have you been struggling with the same old issues at work, home, or in your relationship?
Nothing goes away until you learn the lesson that you were meant to learn.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “going around the same ol’ mountain?” Life can be somewhat like the movie Groundhog’s Day, and like Bill Murray in the movie, until you learn what you need to learn, you will be stuck in repeat. Day in and day out, “I’ve got you babe.” Well, “You’ve got you babe.”
Why is it that we get stuck in the repeat cycle? Because sometimes the lessons are re-introduced in another way so that we might have a new perspective and different thinking. It’s like taking a re-test where the questions are re-phrased or the multiple-choice answers are in a different order.
Getting stuck in life’s lesson can be frustrating. You may find yourself asking, “How do I keep ending up here?”
Quite simply, the thinking that got you there in the first place didn’t change.
Until you realize what in your thinking is remaining the same, you will keep waking up to the same ol’ tune.
How do you get out of Groundhog’s Day?
First, let’s determine what is happening. What is the repeat? Are you broke? Depressed? Self-sabotage? You can never seem to get to the next step?
Whatever the circumstance, let’s agree that right now is where your power is. Right now you can choose to get to the bottom of this and break the repeat cycle.
No matter where you have been or what you have gone through, that was then, this is now. Even if right now you are penniless because of what happened then, right now you are penniless with a new outlook. Let’s hand you back the reigns on life’s ride, the power is yours to steer your future.
Whatever your circumstance, you feel a certain way about that circumstance. Say you have been ill and you feel beat down. You remember when you could conquer the world, and now you feel like a defeated lump.
Okay, so you feel that way. That is a choice to feel that way. What’s I’d like to ask is, “How is that serving you?”
If you don’t like the feeling that you are having, let’s dish up a new one. Let’s stay with the sick example, because we could easily replace sick overweight, procrastination, and any number of things.
Let’s explore this feeling of being beat down from having been sick or being in the process of overcoming an illness or condition. Let’s face it, not feeling well sucks, but if you are going to beat this thing, you need to change your thinking.
Like anything in life, you will have some good days and some bad days, but those are defined by the thoughts that you prescribe to them. If you are a recovering alcoholic or coming back from a debilitating illness or accident, your thinking is what will change everything for you.
I’m not talking about just thinking positive thoughts, although they don’t hurt. I’m talking about your choice of feelings.
If you feel discouraged, what is the thought behind that feeling? Instead of focusing on what you used to be or have, let’s instead have you focus on what you are doing. “I am overcoming. I am healing. I am working toward being whole again. I am working on getting healthy.”
‘I am’ is powerful. It’s powerful because it is in the present tense and it is right now. It’s not focusing on what “I was” or what “I used to,” it’s here and now and it’s where you have great power.
When you are sick you feel anything but powerful. When you lose your job, you feel anything but powerful. When you sabotaged your diet, once again, you feel anything but powerful. Stop spinning around chasing your tail. Heads is up.
I great illustration of being stuck in spin and exercising heads up is like that of a bodysurfer being caught underneath an ocean wave. If you have ever experienced this, you know just how terrifying it can be to be trapped in the swirling wave, unsure of which way is up and which is down. To get out, you have to get your head up above the wave. You have to find the light and get your head above the water.
When we allow ourselves to feel trapped in our circumstances, our thinking becomes like the swirling wave. We can’t think outside of the swirl.
When we realize that our circumstance is something outside of our control, but we can control how we feel in that circumstance by changing our thoughts about the circumstance, we see a light and our head pops up.
Hope is a light and it is ALWAYS in your control and power to have hope because it’s a feeling attached to a thought. Nobody can change your thinking. Nobody can make you feel anything. That is your choice. People can do things, but you control your thoughts.
Going around the same ol’ mountain can change when you decide to change it. Once you determine how you feel about where you are, and you explore the thought driving this feeling, you can ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
Again, with our sickness example, “What can I learn from this?” It may be as simple as, what makes you feel better? When you get more rest? When you eat certain foods?
You can change how you think about your illness if you shift your thinking to a learning mindset. “I know when I do this, I feel better. I choose to do this. I am going to keep finding new ways to feel better and better.”
“When I cheat on my diet, I feel like crud.” Pretty self-defeating thinking, wouldn’t you say? Instead, I love the way I feel when I see my pants getting looser. I feel powerful knowing that I am a beautiful being that can change my thinking and change my life. I don’t need to keep going around this mountain.”
Once we learn to break the shackles of thinking the same way, Groundhog’s Day becomes a thing of the past.
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.