Thursday, February 6, 2020
Blanchard Leaderchat podcast yesterday where the host was interviewing Jen Sincero, author of You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
During the interview she shared the quote above and it just struck me as so true and yet many of us spend a lot of time worrying.
We worry about a host of things in our lives, most of which once we tackle the issue turn out to not be as big an issue or insurmountable problem as our imagination let them become.
Our minds are always working, always thinking. And instinctively our brains evolved to be on the lookout for danger. Primitive man had to fight to survive and had to always be aware of the dangers that might harm or kill them. Yes, we have evolved in many ways but there is a part of our brains that still focuses on finding danger (trying to keep us safe). Unfortunately this results in our thoughts drifting to the negative –we worry that this or that may or may not happen.
It also oftentimes keeps us from trying new things, from going after new experiences or new opportunities. We worry about what could go wrong.
What the mind believes is what plays out in your life. Feel you are not worthy of a deep relationship and you’ll never form one. Feel that you will look foolish if you chase your dream and you will never start moving forward.
Worry zaps your focus on what is possible and uses up valuable time and energy that you could use to pursue the success in all areas that you are more than capable of achieving.
It’s time to become aware and take control of the conversation running in your head. What are the messages you are telling yourself and what are you worrying about over and over. You have to take control and change the dialogue. You have to begin new conversations with yourself.
Re-frame the conversation and change the wording to be possible and about possibilities. Literally repeat your new phrase over and over in your mind several times each day. It may sound silly at first but if you will commit to it, you will find the negative thoughts get quieter and the positive thoughts become louder.
As the positive thoughts increase your actions will change and you will become more aware of the opportunities all around you. Your success is within your reach, it’s just clouded by worry and fear.
Work on stopping the worrying. Pray for more of the good that is already in your life. Pray for ways to help others in this world.
You were brought into this world with more gifts to offer than you will ever truly know. You #1 task is to find ways to share all your greatness with everyone around you.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Much like running a marathon, achieving true success is a long term endeavor. And like any long term event, managing and maintaining a sustained energy level is key.
A google search for personal energy management yields over 2.1 Billion sources. That Billions with a B, yet most people spend very little time, if any, managing their energy levels.
Energy management, and energy awareness, is the real key to productivity rather than the generally accepted view that proper time management results in productivity gains.
Almost any productivity book you pick up has a chapter or chapters with effective time management tips, methods and techniques. Whole books have been dedicated to the subject. And yes, while improvements to your scheduling, to your methods of prioritizing and organizing your day and workload will yield some improvement, it is the managing of your energy levels that will yield the best results.
Every person has a natural ebb and flow to their personal energy levels. You know if you are a morning person or a night owl for example.
But the subject of energy management is much more involved than simply knowing if you are a morning person or night owl. Energy management is exactly that – Managing your energy throughout your day. You need to understand what events help boost your energy and which events drain your energy. Plus, you need to look at your overall lifestyle habits to determine how you might be able to improve your overall energy level.
Events that boost your energy are those that you love to do. What parts of your work day do you look forward to tackling? Perhaps you love getting ready for and meeting with your team. Perhaps you love walking through the distribution center and saying hello to your front line employees. Maybe it’s sales meetings with prospective clients. You need to think about, and possibly even monitor/make notes on your schedule for a week or two to determine which tasks really get you pumped and energized. Once you have identified your energizing tasks try to incorporate more of those activities into your day.
Events that drain your energy are those that you do not enjoy and that do not match up with your natural gifts and abilities. Filling out expense reports or other paperwork might drive you crazy. Conducting pricing comparisons or other research into your competition might drain your batteries. Once you can identify what tasks are draining your batteries you need to see if you can delegate any of those tasks to someone else (you may be delegating a task that energizes the other person’s batteries), or find ways to streamline (save time) each of your energy draining events.
Your lifestyle greatly influences your energy levels as well. Smoking, over eating, excessive drinking, lack of exercise or lack of sleep (to name a few), all reduce your basic energy level as well as reducing your ability to focus and manage your emotional state. Improvements to any one of these factors will yield improvement in energy and performance both in the workplace and at home.
You need to design and incorporate rituals into your daily routine that build and renew energy.
Set a regular time for going to bed and stop looking at screens about 30 minutes prior to prepare your body to sleep for example. Using a mediation app to relax and fall asleep might help as well.
Eat several smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day instead of one or two larger meals to help level out your metabolism and help maintain adequate energy all day long. This also helps to maintain a stabilized level of glucose which helps in weight loss and energy gain.
A daily exercise ritual helps build strength, improves cardiovascular health, weight loss and boosts energy. You may prefer exercise in the morning before heading to work, you might like a mid-day workout, or you might find after work to be best for you. The key is to establish a routine and stick with it. You will not see results day one, or day ten for that matter. But if you stick with it, over time you will see results you will like.
We are all working longer and oftentimes more pressure filled hours. You cannot operate at your best without adequate energy reserves and without having rituals built in to help restore the energy you are burning off throughout your work day.
Time management is great. But the key to sustained productivity is energy management. That little shift in mindset, and then your follow through, can dramatically improve your overall performance and satisfaction both at work and with your home life.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
But this post is not about what you are feeding your body.
It is about what you are feeding your mind.
Have you spent any time reflecting on the “daily diet” you provide your mind?
Just as the body responds positively or negatively to the foods you consume and the fitness habits you may or may not have, the mind responds to the information you feed into it.
Your mood, attitude and outlook on life are all influenced at a high level by the amount and type of information your mind takes in and processes.
If you are feeding it only negative information (think 24/7 news) and reality TV shows (set-up to produce conflict) how can you possibly expect your attitude and outlook to be positive.
You need to make sure (and this takes work) to feed your mind positive information.
Fortunately in this digital world you have as much access to positive information as you do negative. The difference is the negative is forced out to you in order to gain ratings and/or readership. You have to search for the positive. I am not trying to pick on TV or magazines – I understand the competitive nature of their respective businesses. It’s just that I see very few positive and uplifting messages through these media outlets.
If you would limit your TV and news time to 1 hour a day, and your social media time to just 1 hour a day and instead listen to positive and informative podcasts or TED talks, and/or read inspirational, instructional, or skills development books you would experience a profound shift in your outlook on life, your attitude and your overall energy level.
Emotions manifest themselves in your body. Negative emotions can tighten muscles (think stomach aches or other cramps) and can stress your whole body (think lack of energy and headaches). A mind fed a poor and negative diet simply lets negative emotions run rampant. It has no reason to do otherwise – most of the information it is receiving is negative.
Feed your mind a positive diet and it has information to draw upon and can push your emotions towards a happier state. You have more energy with less aches and pains.
Your mind is powerful. But that power is affected by information.
It is your responsibility to feed it for optimal performance.
I am challenging you right now to make a commitment to yourself to limit the time you spend on TV news and social media; An hour or less each per day.
And I challenge you to find alternate “food” sources for your mind; Podcasts, Ted Talks, and the local library for example. What have you always wanted to know more about? Which of the five success elements do you want to focus on first?
Take two weeks and really focus on “feeding your mind” right; Positive, uplifting and skill/thoughts developmental information (in video, audio or written form).
I already know that once you change your brain-food habits, you’ll never go back. Your zest for life will increase and you will find that you are moving faster and faster towards whatever success levels you have for yourself. Positive feeds positive. Success feeds success.
Just try it.
You’ll be glad you did.
Friday, January 24, 2020
You will never plow a field if you only turn it over in your mind. - Irish Proverb
How much time have you wasted thinking or dreaming about something?
Thinking is good only to a point. If the thoughts are helping you formulate and write down a plan of action than they are certainly worthwhile.
If you continue to just think and think, and plan and plan without taking action you are certainly not moving yourself any closer to your goals.
You will never be able to plan every detail and be aware of every challenge ahead of time. At some point you have to jump in and trust that you will figure things out as you move forward.
You will encounter challenges. You will make mistakes. But mistakes are how we learn and without action nothing gets accomplished.
Stop saying someday. Stop the endless planning and dreaming.
Make today the day you take the first step.
You can do it.
You just have to stop procrastinating, face your fear and get started.
It’s pretty simple really. You need to plan out your day and your activities and then follow your plan.
We all get 24 hours in each and every day and if we are serious about reaching our success goals in any of the five elements of success you have to use the time wisely.
Have you thought about what you want to accomplish with your life? Have you defined what success in each of the five elements looks like to you? Have you written these specific goals down on paper?
If you are reading this blog I have to assume you want more out of your life. You want to bring all the awesomeness that lies within you out to share with the world.
You want to feed and fill your mind with positive energy and information you can use to push yourself forward and help others along the way.
You want deep, meaningful and loving relationships.
You want to be physically healthy and strong with all the stamina you need to enjoy a wide variety of activities.
You want to understand how to control your finances and invest your money wisely for the future.
You want to be able to give back, both intellectually and financially to organizations of your choosing to expand your reach and help as many other people as you can.
That’s a lot of wants. But for a well-balanced successful life you need to develop yourself and your capabilities in every success element.
How does that relate to living an intentional life?
Living with intention means that you are taking both control and responsibility for what you are doing at every moment. Living with intention means that each and every day you have specific goals you are working on and are scheduling your time to make it all happen.
It’s not coming home from work, eating dinner and sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn and a beer. It’s not ending the week, the month and the year in the same place, with the same struggles and frustrations.
Intentionality is ownership. You own your life. You are responsible for the path you are on and where you end up in life. Yes, things get thrown in your way that you did not plan for; events happen that were unforeseen and often unavoidable. BUT – living with intention means you then choose how to respond to these events. You decide how to adjust your schedule and plan in the short term so that you still meet your long term objectives.
You own your attitude. Each and every day. Are you intentionally choosing a specific attitude or do you let the events of your morning determine the rest of your day? Do you let your attitude and energy level spiral downward after a tough meeting at work or after some unsettling news comes your way? It’s always your choice. You can choose a positive attitude or a negative attitude. The decision is yours and yours alone.
Are you intentional about the information you feed into your mind? Are you watching 24 hour news channels which focus mostly on fear and emotion to keep you watching? How much time are you wasting reading through social media posts? Of course you need some news and of course you are going to look at social media (we are social animals after all). But do you intentionally decide how much time you will spend on those activities? What about improving your skills or developing new ones? The more skills you have, the more options you will have for dealing with the inevitable bumps in the road of life. And the more skills you have, the more desirable you will be are in the marketplace and the more options for employment you will have.
Do you have written goals? Daily, weekly or annually? Do you intentionally plan time for activities on a daily basis that will move you closer to those goals? You cannot reach success without intention. You must take control and take action.
Action = Movement. Consistent movement over time gets you to your goals.
You have the abilities within you to reach every level of success you desire. But you have to be intentional in thought and in action in order to reach those heights.
My wish for you, as always, is for you to live a balanced and successful life full of joy and that you help those around you in any way you can while traveling through this thing we call life.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Until you take that first step, take that first action, you are simply in a holding pattern.
Life is too rich with opportunities and experiences to simply be stuck in a holding pattern. You simply cannot wait until you have every single detail thought out before moving forward. You will never move if you are waiting for that to happen.
It is perfectly OK to start with small steps. Even small steps move you forward.
Once you start taking those small steps you’ll find yourself more comfortable than you thought and your steps and actions will become larger.
Talking about something does not make it happen. Results happen when action is taken.
Challenge yourself to take some action.
Action reduces fear. When you actually get moving you’ll find most of your fears fall away on their own; they were all in your head and dissipate rapidly when moved into the light of activity.
You achieve true success by taking action. You can’t talk yourself into success.
But you can work your way into whatever levels of success you desire.
Action = Results. Learn as you go and your results will get better and better.
Be a student of your life. Learn from your experience and keep marching forward. You have so much to share with the world around you.
So stop talking and start doing – today.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
But are you teachable?
Are you open to being shown something new or being shown a better way?
Being open to learning requires a bit of humility and the admittance that you do not know it all.
True Success requires that you be a lifetime learner. You have to always be on the lookout for and open to new information, new ways of looking at things and new ways of doing things.
The world around us is changing faster than ever and will only be speeding up.
The level of success you achieve in each of the five successelements depends greatly upon your ability and willingness to try and learn new ideas and methods.
Remember when you were young and you learned your multiplication tables. You were proud of yourself and wanted to show your parents or guardians what you knew. There was excitement in having mastered the challenge.
Same holds true today. There is excitement in mastery.
And the good news is there is always more and more to master.
That means the challenge and the excitement need never cease.
Be open to learning. Become a lifetime learner.
As the saying goes: “The more you know, the more you grow”
Make sure you are ready to grow fully into the person you are meant to be. Become all that you can be and share yourself with the world. You benefit and we benefit.
That’s a win-win if I ever heard one.
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Your thoughts really do influence your actions and in that way somewhat control your destiny.
The startling truth is that your brain tries to reinforce the thoughts running through your head. That internal dialogue continues down a negative track if not intentionally changed.
To become truly successful you need to understand that thoughts become your reality. You have to think like a successful person before you will ever become one.
Take the Success Element HEART for example. If your thoughts are negative about relationships, if you always think the worst of other people or if you always think that you are unworthy of lasting friendships or love, then it would be very difficult to actually find a deep friendship or love. Your thoughts become your actions, and believe me your actions are letting everyone know that you are not a person with whom to form a lasting relationship.
Conversely, if you think and feel you are worthy, and you see the best in other people, forming strong and lasting relationships natural happens. Your actions, your demeanor and your words let all those around you feel your warmth and positivity.
This works the same for every one of the other four Success Elements. Your thoughts direct your actions and your actions make things happen. Not overnight, but things will happen for you.
Be aware of your inner dialogue and make sure you consciously step in and take control. Do not allow negativity to get a foothold. Like untended weeds in a garden, negativity can quickly overtake every area of your life.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Just like every company around the world, we all have a brand.
For a company, the brand represents the expected experience with the company and its products.
For an individual, your brand represents the expectation others have of you. The type of person you are and just how they expect you to interact with those around you.
Brand = Reputation.
Have you spent time thinking about your brand? Have you thought about how you are perceived in the world?
It’s not at all self-centered to think about developing the best brand possible. Successful people have learned to protect their brand, and work hard to make sure they stay focused on being their best possible self.
It starts with your values. What are your top 5 values? Spend some time and list this out. Review the list and then ask yourself this question – “Where in my life does that value show up?” I would also ask family or close friends if they agree with your list. If not, listen closely to why.
If you are not consistently “living” that value I would tell you need to adjust your list until the top 5 are an accurate representation of your true values (The values you live on a day to day basis). You know your list is accurate when those around you agree with your list. Your values show up in the actions you take on a daily basis, and those around you see it every day.
Not happy with your list or the list that your family or friends have for you. Your brand needs some work.
Your brand precedes you. Opinions about you are formed before people even meet you face to face. This happens in the workplace and in your community.
The best brands are authentic. You can’t fake it for long. Trying to live a life of fake values will not work and everyone will quickly pick up on it. Your brand becomes tainted and not well regarded. You become not well regarded.
Companies do not leave their brand to chance. You should not either. The more authentic you are, the more people will gravitate towards you. Honesty and straightforwardness are like magnets. The more authentic your brand, the more people you attract, and as you build more contacts you will find opportunities to achieve even more success.
Once the ball gets rolling and you keep authentic to your brand, the richer life becomes .
True Success does indeed begin within. Your brand is part of that within. Take the time to define, develop, and protect it.