START BEFORE YOU’RE READY!


Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt starts a sprint
Photo Courtesy:wallpaper222.com

As I write this I can almost hear you the very same day you silently proclaimed “I’m gonna Do this…Oh, men I just have to do it! Then a nagging voice drills it over down on your cochlea saying “Oh dear, you just can’t do this now because you don’t have the entire puzzle in place…do you have the top notch publisher ready for this? Do you have the audience to deliver your podcasts to? Do you have any subscribers? Do you have the finances to get this over?” Then all over sudden your dream commences to distill…day by day…it has been 10 years now. Today I’m writing to encourage you to call that dream back to live from the grave!

Recently I rested by Time on an invaluable gem of wisdom by Steven Pressfield entitled “Do The Work and I couldn’t Imagine how true it is to affirm that simplicity is the mother nature of excellence. In this Artwork, Steven Pressfield affirms and I Quote:

“Don’t prepare. Begin.

Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.

The enemy is Resistance.

The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.

Start before you’re ready.”

The enemy is our chattering brain.

You ever get inspired—super clear on a creative vision? And then that little voice in your head takes over the airwaves and tells you all the reasons you’re not ready/it’s not a good idea/blah to the blah blah blah?

Ignore that voice.

Get started.

As Pressfield says, start before you are ready.

Ready, fire, aim.

Once we’ve taken that first shot, we can see how close we are to our target. But if we just sit there *thinking* about shooting, we’ll never know.

Don’t prepare. Begin.

Now!

P.S. Pressfield is the one who turned me on to Patricia Ryan Madson’s brilliant  “Improv Wisdom”. She’s all about letting go over the over-preparation and just showing up as well. Here’s how she puts it: “Just show up. This principle is deceptively simple: Just show up. Where we are makes a difference. Move your body toward your dreams—to where they’re happening—the gym, the office, the yoga class, your kitchen, the improv class, the garage, a cruise ship, the word processor, the construction site, the senior center, the theater. You know where. Be there physically…

It’s surprising how powerful the third maxim is. How often we avoid showing up for the things we need to do in life. Procrastination, laziness, fears—it’s easy to find a reason for not going. The ‘just’ in this maxim reminds us that showing up is already enough. Woody Allen quipped that it is ‘eighty percent of success.’ Prerequisites such as motivation, desire, and warm, fuzzy feelings aren’t necessary. It is a con to imagine you must have these to get going. Improvisers know this. If they had to wait for inspiration or a good idea, few scenes would ever begin. Players step onto the stage because that is where things are happening. They just show up. Then the magic begins.”

P.P.S. Remember this W.H. Murray gem that Pressfield shares: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance the draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’ Begin it now.”

It’s the Time to Expand your Comfort Zone and do your Thing.

What’s your Thing This Week? It’s Waiting on You To Do It!

Begin before you're ready

“The only precious stone left to mine within the hearts of humanity is to nurture the ability to see the Truth in a world where we have lost the sight of that in many ways”

–Vincent Wambua

***********************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE (<<<<—-click the link!)

Follow me on:Twitter (<<<<—click the link!)

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

Advertisements

HOW TO MAKE MEANING


Staring the stars

Photo Courtesy: gavinthemjkid.deviantart.com

Recently I addressed the tenets of living each day with purpose and meaning. Through the two classical gems of wisdom The Message of a Master  and  Man’s Search for Meaning,  the two authors unpack incredible wisdom on how to reprogram your life and narrow it to focus (check out our growing collection  Here ). The last 48 hours I bumped into Eric Maisel’s book  Rethinking DepressionEric unravels a “shortcut” to making each day flood and thrive with meaning. (I deliberately placed the term shortcut in italics)

Eric affirms and I quote “… something like a method or set of principles does flow from the existential ideal. It sounds like the following: You weigh your actions against a vision you have of the person you would like to be, the person it would make you proudest to be; you take action; you learn from your experience to what extent you guessed right; and you make use of what you’ve learned as you weigh your next decision. We can give this a shorthand name: the principle of personal pride. You use the principle of personal pride to make your meaning. This may be the beautiful, imperfect, harrowing way — the way of making meaning.”

Joseph Camphell

You want a shortcut to making meaning?

Here it is:

  1. Imagine who you would like to be—the person it would make you proudest to be.
  2. Act like that person.
  3. Repeat.

Yes, that’s a very challenging standard. Yes, we will often fall short of it. But by returning to this ideal again and again we make meaning and, in the process, we create our most authentically awesome lives.

So, let’s get on that.

What would the person you would most like to be do in this moment?

Let’s make ourselves proud!

The meaning of life

*************************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

HOW ARE YOUR ULTRADIAN RHYTHMS?


Making Waves

Recently I featured the book Toughness Training for Sports by James E. Loehr (check out more of this gem in my E-Books). I’ve gone a stretch to check on his latest  Toughness Training For Life where Loehr unpacks awesome wisdom concerning the concept of making waves (check notes on the Toughness Training for sports). 

James affirms and I quote “Biological rhythms called ultradians pulse through us every 90 to 120 minutes; circadians pulse every 24 hours. Rossi believes that continuously overriding the body’s naturally occurring Australian and circadian cycles of stress and rest can lead to a host of serious physical and emotional problems.

These problems include everything from chronic fatigue to weakening the immune system, and from depression to poor performance…

Ultradian and circadian researchers refer to the habit of ignoring the body’s need for rest and recovery as endurance stress. Breaking cycles of stress every 90 to 120 minutes with 15 to 20 minutes of recovery fits the body’s natural needs best, Rossi reports. According to Rossi, these 15- to 20-minute rest breaks restore proper ultradian rhythms and, in so doing, are critical to physical and psychological rejuvenation and long-term health.”

We all know about our 24-hour circadian rhythms.

But what about ULTRADIAN rhythms?

Science says: Our energy levels naturally pulse every 90 to 120 minutes. If we ignore these rhythms (+ our 24-hour circadians!) and constantly override them, we’re unnecessarily exposing ourselves to what researchers call “endurance stress” and we’re likely to experience the consequences in the form of chronic fatigue, depression and reduced performance. Eek.

The solution?

Pretty simple: Make waves (!!) by training recovery via 15- to 20-minute breaks every 90 to 120 minutes!!

Work for 90-12o minutes then go for a walk, do a little work out, take a nap, meditate.

Whatever you do, oscillate! Train recovery.

Here’s to optimizing our ultradian rhythms!

************************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

HOW’S YOUR PROMISE-KEEPING RATIO?


promises

Photo Courtesy: blueprintpractice.com

We pretty love making promises! “I will…I shall…no big deal, I’ll show up in your birthday party…I’ll surely make it to the airport to bid you goodbye Next Tuesday…I’ll follow you on tweeter…” The promises are endless and we do this everyday…promises with no credits 🙂

Recently I checked on Tim Sanders book Today We Are Rich and couldn’t Imagine the harm we’re diving into by making a wrong promise-keeping ratio each day,often, at times, as though nothing wrong is cruising 🙂

Tim Affirms tha“Of all the values Billye holds, integrity is tops. “That’s all you’ve got in the end,” she told me once. She’s right, too. If you don’t respect yourself, you cannot maintain your confidence, regardless of how well you follow all the other principles in this book. Nothing will inform you as a person more than your actions, specifically your promise-keeping ratio during your life. It defines you as either a truth teller or a liar.”

How’s your promise-keeping ratio?

Following through on our commitments is *huge.*

The quickest way to stress ourselves out and erode the trust of those around us is to make a lot of promises you never fulfill.

promises

Stephen Covey’s Habit #1 in his classic The 7 Habit’s of Highly Effective People is to “Be Proactive.” The most powerful indicator of whether you’re being proactive?

Per Covey: “The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.”

So, let’s get REALLY aware of the commitments we’re making and ONLY make commitments we intend to honor.

Then, as Tim points out, we want to remember Norman Vincent Peale’s wisdom that“promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.”

Next time you make a promise see if you can carry it out at once.

P.S. Are there any promises you’ve made that you need to go carry out? Go ahead and rock that. Take care of that screaming baby. We’ll be here when you get back. 🙂

promises

***************************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

A TRIBUTE TO DR. MYLES MUNROE


Dr Myles Munroe & Ruth Monroe

The Late Dr Myles Munroe & Ruth Monroe

Does it ever cross your mind how much you meant to each of us,

How you slipped away is still a puzzle to most of us,

Though Your great deeds still inspire and mesmerize us,

A beautiful soul you are,

I know you’re still there, as you always were…

A Strong charismatic enigma you were and still are,

A brilliant astounding star!

A perfect reflection the best humane gown,

That we all need to wear to ascend to such a crown,

I know days have elapsed and everyone out there is calming down…

Almost forgetting that you made a difference here on earth, but not me..

But a few clicks away to Amazon and your brilliant ideas just amazes me,

This is the best legacy we can bestow and be,

Downloading our potential, doesn’t anyone see?

You remind me a lot about my life and how I can easily slip off the slimy rock of life..

…and dive into the unknown…

Exemplified a mirror of an awesome marriage with Ruth Your dear wife,

….not only words but this was publicly shown…

All is well, as we prepare to do our best and extend the mark…

Day by day we’re here determined to build and finish this arc…

And shine and bloom the light within with spark,

Your last and words and visit here in Kenya was such a sensation,

Ask Jeff Koinange, Rev. Kathy Kiuna,  and Oh, something below to add to this section,

 Review Sheila Mwanyigha on their encounter with him on NTV station,

It’s an honor to shine through the list of Colonnetti Gustavo,

You fought a good fight. Bravo!

*END*

Myles Munroe’s Message shortly before his Death!

********************************************************************************************

Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone 🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click, Here

THE FINAL RESOLUTION


The Final Resolution

Photo Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org

Sometimes the going brews sour,

Feeling like you’re pressed on a tiny corner right now?

Or some vague feeling- void of power?

It’s not yet to spell the final vow,

We all are–

Sometimes we see clutter winds on the deserts,

Almost giving up when we gaze at the deep scar,

Aspirations almost breaking to life but abruptly diverts,

But we still cling to the moment as a star,

The automobile overturns and all is lost,

And the world seems against us,

Suddenly the livelihood products prices triple the cost,

And the deep sun rays scorch our skin and cuts—

Everyone we thought would abide vanishes out of sight,

We are left alone and unguarded to fight our own ghosts,

Yes–stuck in our plight!

All we can do is gaze at the sky and utter feeble words to the heavenly hosts,

And that’s what we all need to know,

The distance between our problems and the solutions,

Is the distance between the knee and the floor,

To me it doesn’t matter whether it’s a retribution,

Or gasping in a tag-of-war,

But prayer is the final resolution.

*END*

Music Credit: Tamela Mann – “Take Me To The King”

As always Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone🙂

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click, Here

BUILD HAPPINESS & CONFIDENCE – AND BE YOU!


Believe in yourself

Photo Courtesy: theprettygirlrevolution.com

Happiness and Confidence are essential elements to our well being since they activate or affirm our potential and lead us to the divine path and assignment that we were born to accomplish. One of the most keystone discoveries I ever made in my life is that the two elements are intertwined. Build and affirm them and happy effective living 🙂

HAPPINESS AND CONFIDENCE

Oh Yes! I Couldn’t agree more and Happy Friday filled with breakthroughs, blessings and divine encounters 🙂

Music Credit: R. Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly

As always Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone:)

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE

Follow me on:Twitter

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click, Here

THE LAB OF LIFE


the lab of life

Photo courtesy: moleculeralabs.com

I’ve been thinking of penning down this letter,

I hope this finds you bold and leave you greater,

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that all life is Experiment  and later,

 Affirmed that the more experiments the better,

You claim that you need to hike Everest but you won’t until you purchase that sweater,

That experiment can still be run void of that pipetter,

I may need to wear a lab coat all day,

To affirm this gem all the way,

We are all experimenters in the lab of life,

Whether it’s a joy ride or a strife,

It’s all fun since experiments never fail!

We’re all safe in the sail,

Since it’s all about collecting data,

Regardless of whether it’s alpha, gamma or beta,

Come on let’s take this all easy,

None of frustrations even when we’re all busy,

No suicide cases – simply drop the knife,

And let’s test the lab of life 🙂

*END*

 If you liked this post you may also like my post,“The excellence manifesto”.

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click here.

Continue reading

TAME THAT PROFESSIONAL SPYING SPIRIT!


DISCLAIMER: Get ready for an emotional sprint. Take it easy, nothing personal. Enjoy!

tame that spying spirit

A man is peeping through the blinds with a magnifying glass.

Strange leaves and weeds inside my cage,

I’m not trying to be sensational or skeptical but I can always gauge,

And I can always sense,

Some flowers have been plucked off my garden,

And few stones piled up all over sudden,

You say you never saw that too? I beg your pardon,

But whatever goes beyond the limits,

Kindly tame that professional spying spirit.

Wait, my personal dairy is missing,

But when I ask you scold me and shout at me hissing,

That you know nothing of it,

Despite peeping you reading it,

For heavens sake I’m ain’t a criminal,

So why you this mystical,

Everything all around you is quizzical,

But I’ve learnt how t mind my business,

I never screen everything about your witless,

Or even bother myself with your indifference, slickness,stiffness or even your richness,

So why all the bother,

I know that your blood is hitting a 100 degrees or hotter,

But don’t worry I’ve gallons of water,

I can always repay all this with kindness,

Love is always priceless,

And henceforth springs joy and fondness which is timeless,

I could go on and on to a world with no limits,

But kindly tame that professional Spying Spirit.

Something must be damn wrong with my life,

That’s what you always say in a strife,

Then off you go to diffuse more rife,

And you often think I don’t know,

What you’ve just sow,

Or perhaps I’ve no idea what’s happening,

To backbite me ain’t fair and it’s saddening,

Why not confront me and i’ll unravel the stuff I’m battling,

Than wake up at the middle of the night,

When I least expected that you could bite,

Then Indulge me into some plight,

Then switch off the light,

It’s all fun to be a self made detective,

Then pose your opinions to everyone else to compare their perspective,

Irrespective of whether they’re subjective,

Do you believe that I’m skeptical

Or Irrational?

Am ain’t fanatical but I can assure you that nothing is fractional,

Everyone has their life to live,

But on that note I skip,

Or rather let me just sieve,

Do you have the courage to make a change in your own life first,

…before you try to make a change everywhere else?

I’m just amazed by the springing wells,

And the wild word that the night tells,

And the vast glittering shells,

All that with deafening bells,

Too many words that I could just say 5 words in a snippet,

And blow away the ticket,

I wouldn’t waste a day to just sit there and think of all this – not just a minute,

It’s all simple – Tame That professional  spying spirit!

**END**

If you liked this post you may also like my post“8 Reasons you should evaluate the two levels of friends in your life”.

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click here.

The floor is all yours, share your experiences and effective solutions to tame peeping toms 🙂 

Feel free to share on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

archaeological dig

CLIPPING OFF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG


archaeological dig

Photo courtesy: wisegeek.com

It’s a common emotional strategy,

It encompasses screening the past and we end up stuck in that melody,

Over-analyzing everything,

Trying to figure out the most imperative means that we landed to be kings,

In what we do now,

Yes- it’s life and it’s happening , so do we break the bow?

Save me the naughty looks,

And all the vast information you’ve mined from books,

It’s about chasing the reasons we do what we do today,

And not chipping in the effort of transforming this someday,

But if we spend all our time looking back,

And focusing our energies on what we lack,

That doesn’t mean that when we figure this out,

When we factor out the roots of the drought,

That this will change our lives,

Or fine tune our drives,

We need to screen, evaluate and alter what we do at the moment,

Yes – to forget about the omens,

Rather than going back to an archaeological dig,

Peak our tents and begin to sing,

We can always identify stuff that ain’t working,

Rather that spending our days smirking,

Sounds better?

Then click reblog or send me a letter.

 If you liked this post you may also like my post,“The excellence manifesto”.

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click here.

Question: Are you fighting with “archaeological digs”? And if yes, what one thing can you do now to create a more colorful future? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

one act of kindness

SINGLE ACTS OF KINDNESS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE


estranged street child

Estranged street child

I think about the young generations and they say they want to make it,

While politicians around them think of money and how to get it,

I think of students who talk of grade A and how to net it,

While others have the vision but they don’t know how to implement it,

I know of talented dancers who know how to toast it,

I mean, whatever potential you have – deploy it!

Each day i see kids in the street,

With absolutely nothing to eat,

Only a pulsating feeble heart beat,

To own their basic needs they have to con or cheat,

They’ve got no where to seat,

We watch them,

Beat them,

Insult them,

Evade them,

It’s a sad reality you know?

Some times they have to offer sex in exchange of one meagre meal – Oh no!

Because they’ve got no farms to sow,

Or anywhere to go,

We have to instill change,

And nourish some sense,

Then from here we can always gauge,

How far we need to go to unlock our virtues from its cage,

I mean if we could change the world of tomorrow,

By cultivating self discipline however narrow,

And love each other just like the dove and the sparrow,

Street children could forget to borrow,

And avoid sorrow,

Then the other continents could follow,

Nelson Mandela invented a cheap way to sort out this sanction,

But subdividing the entire fraction,

And emphasizing on fundamentals of education,

The entire ripple commences with you and me,

And soon it will be evident for everyone else to see,

And charge in faster than Bruce Lee,

Remember, education is a tough war on a global scale,

I hear death is pale,

But i’d rather hear both sides of the tale,

But then again life moves pretty fast than a whale,

If you don’t stop and look around once in a while,

You could miss it as you wail 😦 😦

P.S: If you liked this post you may also like my post,“An open letter to my invisible friends”

Question: what do you think needs to be done to alleviate street children menace? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

HAPPINESS LEECHE


happiness leeche

Photo courtesy: deviantart.com

It’s a warm breath,

I can sense it,

Right at my left ear,

A seething pain at my bruise that you’ve just tear,

You clog my eyes every morning with your nauseating moods,

And spoil my blissful Sunday noons,

You pinch my nose when I’m asleep,

And disarrange my study table as I peep,

What wrong did I commit to deserve this,

Last year on winter you scattered my thesis,

And said none of it will amount to anything,

I remember you did weird gimmicks on June or something,

You chased my spouse all year just to throw dust and sand to it,

I’m still watching,

I’m still weeping,

And many are the days we attend birthdays together,

And incredible ostentatious conferences which seem so glamorous that they could last forever,

We always weep when we lose a loved one,

You escort me to meditate and hike sometimes past midnight at one,

Yet—

You hit my face when I least expect it,

You always do this all the time and place a sticker to cover it,

What wrong did I commit to deserve this – happiness leeche,

Yesterday at noon you threw my new iPad to the ocean,

And burnt my best suit,

And exclaimed how odd they look,

Pulling my album photos which I’m proudly captioned in them,

And threw them off the plane,

You love to see me weep,

Yet you claim to be my best friend,

What wrong did I commit to deserve this — happiness leeche,

I have learnt to live with you,

Everyone says I should cast you off my lane,

But I always linger,

Perhaps to scoop some honey,

Or some crested tainted money,

Ha! Thank God that I know you!

I know who you are,

The happiness leeche,

Always busy to seek,

And suck the best out of me,

You say this makes you “cool”,

Like a winter breeze in Miami beach,

All seated in your leather half-coat suit,

Holding a mild salmon and organic avenue juice in your right hand,

And a gun in your collar,

And placidly posing at the blazing solar,

I see you approaching my coach,

You then smile as wildly as you always do,

Today I bet I’m calling it the shots and I’ll deliberately sue,

Schunk!

That bullet has split my heart,

And a pool of blood is springing where I’ve just sat,

Energy is permeating away my brain waves,

I’m eyeing the heavens to the God who saves,

I’m writing this from heavens,

Death toll has risen to three  billion point seven,

You no longer live with us or with them,

You will forever live in the sea,

Yes, the sea of malice and hate,

Living all alone with no mate,

It’s all your world – happiness leeche,

But can I make a pledge?

Would you mind leave alone the human race?

Is it too deep to step?

Or too sweet to pave?

Happiness leeche,

I’m addressing you,

Perhaps we surrender the best ewe,

To quench your thirst,

But please leave us alone if you must,

We need some silence in here,

We need to dust off the ancient dead flies,

Roaming our caskets,

And the unidirectional insults piled up in our baskets,

And clean our cities from midnight cries,

And pause the deep sighs,

I can see that you now live in the caves,

And at dusk you’re riding the ocean waves,

I seek tranquility at the sea,

I seek restoration at the T.v screens not only for that we can see,

and feel,

But also what we can sense and feel,

I love my human race,

And I’m launching a peaceful demonstration from the heavens in case,

Yes, in case you missed this,

Happiness leeche.

If you liked this post you may also like my post, “8 Reasons you should evaluate the two levels of friends in your life”.

Question: Do you have friends in your life who simply suck the happiness out of you? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF THE PANIC BUTTON


Do not press

Photo Courtesy: gunsoficarus.com

Everything spiraling around,

Global Networking,

Stepping on deep waters,

Launching the next skyrocketing dream?

Take your finger off the panic button.

It’s a risky hobby,

Training all night,

Lifting heavy weights,

It’s strenuous, 

It’s bigger than life,

No one has ever attempted it,

It’s scary,

But guess what?

It never matters,

Take your finger off the panic Button.

I see you all the time,

Walking past the edge,

Screaming at midnight,

Perhaps seeking approval,

Or empathy,

Or a life map,

But I tell you what?

Build up that self efficacy,

And simply take your finger off the panic button.

It’s impractical,

Never works,

Perhaps it requires new sets of ingredients to craft,

Marbles from the moon,

South African diamonds,

Oil gallows from the middle east,

New discovered gems from Peru,

Insert any name,

Does anyone care?

Fill in the air tickets,

Sign the deals,

Tap the nutriments,

Get the experiment working,

And the end of it all,

You’ll discover one ancient truth,

That nothing else matters,

Simply take your finger off the panic button.

If you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy my post,“5 Ways to unearth the missing key to success”.

Question: Which life strategies have you evaded that you need to charge on? Do you feel that void of fear that you would have achieved some of these prime goals? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

friends having a great time

8 REASONS YOU SHOULD EVALUATE THE TWO LEVELS OF FRIENDS IN YOUR LIFE


Yesterday at dusk I was literally engrossed in thought and an idea came in mind like a ripple. I never miss opportunities to tap on “me-moments” as these and so I quickly picked my diary and scribbled pretty awesome ideas I would like to share with you today.

friends having a great time

friends having a great time

It dawned on me that there are two levels of friends in our lives. 

  • Level 1: The friend in us. This friend is loyal and the best we can ever have. Its plain true too that how we relate to the friend within us dictates how we treat and co-relate with those around us.  Too often we are extremely busy seeking approval from those around us that we fail to notice that permission to love those around us emanates from within. As I reflected on this level, I had a recap of memories of my past. I penned down the worst events that ever happened in my life whether at work, school, home or anywhere else I’ve ever been in the past. I made this list then picked my personal journal which had my overall feelings, reactions and so forth as recorded in that particular day. I made a keen comparison and made a correlation which proved that what happened around me was actually a replica of the fury which was blazing within me. 

I shifted my focus on that and reflected on the difference between being alone and being lonely. I made a little table and made notes on occasions I  felt that I was lonely versus when I felt alone. I was astonished that the part I wrote alone was full with sparkling life changing events and the bit of being lonely was simply almost empty. I made a correlation to this too and found out that loneliness is not absence of company, this could also imply absence of purpose.

Coincidentally part of my hobbies involve meditation. Meditation as a prime “self care” habit involves much of my future aspirations, goals and so forth (check a note on that soon), but then again I treasure being alone. I can spend an entire day just having a great conversation with myself. I call this anyone’s “two you’s”. As I wrote earlier on the “5 levels of self talk that can change your life”,what you say to yourself matters,not only to you but also to the rest of us who care about you. Sometimes its not about the hurricanes and the storms around you. At an individual range, what are you whispering to yourself? Do you spend your day just criticizing who you are and draining your energies on demotivating self talk?

This reminds me of one of my favorite keystone sources of counsel when I’m stressed or having a tricky day. I launch a serious dialogue with myself and virtually jump into a hopping timed machine and travel forward in time and converse with my one hundred and ten year old version of myself. I try to relate what my one hundred and ten year old version would say to my today version of myself and what wisdom would this version impart to me concerning my challenges. This may sound weird or absurd but its thrilling and so real that I couldn’t believe that the ideas I obtained from such self trajectory episodes were the very best I’ve ever had.

I will expound on this by having Vincent  I (Version I) which i’ll presume as my today’s version and Vincent II (Version II) as my 110 year old version of myself. I’ll set this in stage as the two versions conversing and having a great day:

Vincent I: Hey Vincent

Vincent II: Yes my Hero Vincent, how have you been?

Vincent I: I’ve been well, but Oh man, I’m having a challenging day today…

Vincent II: Oh really? I’m sorry to hear that, whats the issue?

Vincent I: I’m having a tricky moment trying to balance my life strategies, priorities and so forth…

Vincent II: But that’s blank, whats the question?

Vincent I: Whats the one thing that I can do right now to put my life into focus and literally put much leisure into my work and ultimately have more efficiency?

Vincent II: Oh, great question, you need to start with the basics. On the point of trying to balance your life strategies, you need to ask yourself this: whats the number one thing that if you did it and completed it would have the greatest impact in your life right now? Identify this and always do this first and  anything else other than that consider it a distraction.

Vincent I: I didn’t understand a dime of what you said 😦

Vincent II: What do you consider as the top most priority right now that if you did it you’ll feel happier and blissful? 🙂

Vincent I: Perhaps read for my exams which are just around the bend, few weeks time

Vincent II: Good! Simply pick your diary and make a proper chronological schedule on the key units which seem tricky to you right now. Make a serious commitment to handle this subjects at least an hour or so each day. 

Vincent I: Wow! Great insight! I’ll try this after this discussion. How about prioritizing my activities as a keystone strategy? 

———-discussion abruptly interrupted by a phone call—–(but you got the picture 😉 —

Yeah, that’s it! This can be a life changer if you try it too! Imagine you’re jumping into a hopping timed machine and today version of you hanging out with the 110 year old version of you. What will the 110 year old version of you say to this today version of you? What wisdom will they impart to you? Arm yourself with a diary and pen down any ideas you download from such a counsel. 

At an individual levelThe ideas I harvest and virtually download from such counsels I pen them down then move from theory to practice with that life catalyzing event.

  • Level 2: The friends around us. This may encompasses our classmates, school mates, spouses and so forth. Most people complain that those around them never create time to be with them. In my postI’ve seen it alli highlight that I’ve  seen vast relationships break up. We often tend to think that those around us never value us anymore. We then thrown in the towel and file a divorce or end that relationship which could have sprang to the best marriage ever. But could it be that we never loved ourselves in the first place and hence the environment is simply a reflection of our inner selves? A lot of time we blame people and situations. In my life this is how I do it: if I have someone that I invite into a relationship and that person betrays me, I don’t blame this person, I blame myself. Why? Because I gave them permission to be in a relationship. And so it means its not the person because people reflect who you are and so when you change, the people around you change. Most times we try to change things and people and not change ourselves but the moment we change, everything in heaven and earth begins to conspire to accommodate your change

Again, watch this, loneliness is not the absence of people but absence of purpose and when you find your purpose in life, the right people come. 

This is imperative since your current state could be a reflection of those you spend your time with. This is a day that you’ll never own again, and that means you can not allow anyone or anything to control your time that is not important to your purpose in life. As I quoted inThe excellence manifesto”, your time is your life and what you buy with your time, that’s your life! So anyone or anything that is consuming your time its simply consuming your life. The worst bit is that we have lost control. We never care any longer of who we meet and why we meet them in the first place.

“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.” 

— Jim Morrison (1943 – 1971)

Paul wrote in Colossians 4:5 that we should always “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” NKJV. Paul is simply saying that when you meet people, kick in wisdom and reason first! Analyse whether they make sense. A lot of your so called friends want to call you on a date to waste your day on stuff that aint important. When you deal with people, Paul says take stock and protect your time. Perhaps its time to make an inventory of your friends and associations.

Here is a quick exercise: I would like you to challenge you to pull the drill: spend the next 20 minutes after reading this blog by just making a list of all the people you’re associated with, all the associations you’re associated with, all the places you’re associated with and see how many of those are leading you to your vision. You’ll be shocked who’s wasting your time! Anything that happens should be in association with where you’re heading in life. There are friends you will have to drop tonight to make it to your dream and there are new friends you’ll have to associate with to make it to your destiny. 

As I wind up this blog post, I leave you with this word with my heart beating with great passion: You have been wasting enough time! Its over, do something, get back on track!  Control your future by creating a plan to head to your destined path which is inclusive of taking stock of your associations. This encompasses taking stock of how you take care your self image and self talk. 

A quick recap on the fundamental tenets highlighted in this blog include:

  1. The friend in us is the most loyal and the best we can ever have. We need to evaluate how we relate with ourselves. 
  2. What you say to yourself matters and hence your perceptions and correlations to your world is a reflection of this personal talk. 
  3. Imagine hanging out with the 110 year old version of you. What will the 110 year old version of you say to this today version of you? What wisdom will they impart to you? Arm yourself with a diary and pen down any ideas you download from such a counsel. 
  4. People reflect who you are and so when you change, the people around you change.
  5. The moment we change, everything in heaven and earth begins to conspire to accommodate your change. 
  6. Loneliness is not the absence of people but absence of purpose and when you find your purpose in life, the right people come. 
  7. When you meet people, kick in wisdom and reason first! Analyse whether they make sense.
  8. Anything that happens should be in association with where you’re heading in life. Control your future by creating a plan to head to your destined path which is inclusive of taking stock of your associations.

If you liked this post you may also like my post,“You can begin again and craft a brand new future”.

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click here.

Question: Whats more important to you between your destiny and your friends? Do you concur that associating with some caliber of friends can derail you from achieving your destiny? Why or why not? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

open letter to my invisible friends

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY INVISIBLE FRIENDS


open letter to my invisible friends

Photo Courtesy: noisecontrol.com

Hello,

It’s an astounding moment in time that I would like to pen down this open letter to you. I will try to confine myself to the main aspects throbbing my heart to let you know these tenets, though I’ve vast aspects to whisper to your heart. But before then, have you noticed that we’re living in a pretty noisy world? Have you noticed the vast noisy glares from accelerating automobiles to the deafening aircraft pandemonium bombarding our attention every other moment? What could be the long term effects of such an unwelcome intrusion to our lives?

These are some of the vast questions and concerns which have clogged my conscience lately.

This may sound weird but I  surely need my silent space,

It’s an evolving world,

Revolution and evolution confusion is brewing up,

Looting has been customized,

New gadgets flowing in,

And more attractive technology widgets to install,

Wait, have you read the “Forbes”, “Business Week magazine” and the “Vanity Fair”?

I’ve three thousand recent movies I haven’t watched yet,

And my passion and dreams are screaming at me,

But still I need some silence,

To contemplate,

Or perhaps meditate,

Or could there be some magical herb out there?

To curtail all these distractions?

Or perhaps to simply cut them off the equation,

But all in all, I need some silence.

As above so below,

The heavens must be whispering flimsy invaluable counsel,

While we’re so distracted by our tweets,

And vast notifications, friends and family,

Yeah, I do concur-

That all these matter,

But all in all, I need some silence,

And here’s why:

I need to take this brief discussion to a different new level all together, friend. I have a serious question. If you had purchased a prime Ferrari automobile with clear specifications of the fundamental requirements recommended for it’s ultimate efficiency, would you furnish it with less quality oil and diesel products? Would you risk losing it’s lifetime robustness and speed by simply ignoring manufacturer’s instructions? You probably won’t.

Similarly, if you need to attain and maintain a healthy body, strict filtering of what is ingested in both your body and your entire being is not an exception. The worst bit is that we tend to ignore what roams around us. We also tend to overlook and generalize what we ingest, not only via our mouth but also via our senses right through to our consciousness. It’s time to embrace health at vast distinct dimensions. We need sensory health. Health gives us the zeal we need to move forward in our count down to success. The best news of all times is that it’s never too late to make a difference and we can always begin againThe better part of this assertion is that we operate not with instincts but with decisions.

There’s a lot of noise in our world today and if we need to reconnect with our higher selves, we need to ingest a “healthy diet”. It’s incredible to note that were not just consuming edible foods, we’re also consuming sensory foods, our volition and a collective consciousness of those around us – our world.

The sensory foods in reference are unbelievably ever here with us. Think of what you’ve consumed via your senses in the last 72 hours. Here is a quick cross check:

  1. Think of what you’ve consumed via your senses in the form of conversations with your friends, colleagues and family.
  2. Think of the movies you watched
  3. Think of the magazines you’ve read
  4. Think of games you’ve played
  5. Think of websites you’ve visited and T.V shows you might have watched

All these are sensory foods and we all need to be mindful that we’re consuming these “foods”. Now that you know what you’ve been consuming for years, weeks, months or few hours before this moment, make a quick reflection, check in and see if what you’ve been consuming is helping you by encouraging and nourishing your soul or it is simply draining you and innervating your soul.

I still recall movies I watched at a tender age of 11 years. I vividly recall not only the characters in those movies, but also the words they uttered and actions they executed. I know you too tend to think of these “sensory foods”  after a while, weeks, months and years later. It’s the subconscious self playing it’s role since your mind is chewing these sensory foods every single moment, whether you’re consciously aware of this or not.

To reconnect with your higher self and tap unto your ultimate potential, you need to take stock of your life and deliberately and consciously decide to consume more “healthier sensory foods”.

Because you need the toned body and vitality flowing through you, it’s pertinent to subdue what you ingest not only into your consciousness but also to your entire being as well…and Yes, you are what you eat!

This short article is actually not a reference point but a guide to allow you to exercise your freedom of choice.

There’s always a starting point in every matter under heaven, that’s an understatement 🙂 Today could be your turning point to a healthy noisy free world.

It’s time to take stock. Perhaps you may consider writing back to me in case you indeed need more guidance on this.  Take care and have the best of the times,

Regards,

Vincent Wambua

*If you liked this post you may also like my post,“The excellence manifesto”.

*If you are looking for empowerment related material click here.

begin again

YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN AND CRAFT A BRAND NEW FUTURE!


Sometimes we fail or stumble and our efforts to continue with our lifetime projects wanes. It’s like all of a sudden an hail rocks our heads unexpectedly forcing our dreams and plans to stick in a rut. 
begin again

Photo courtesy: hummert.com

I have had my share of painful experiences in the past too, but I simply disciplined myself, shook the dust and moved on. We all know the pain of losing – not only a project, a prime goal or a loved one but also a passion. Sometimes the heat is so vigorous that we even lose meaning to live another day. Painful nerve wrecking memories keep on replaying in our subconscious minds. We recall the painful ordeals and those who hurt us. Sometimes we even cast a stone of blame on them. We commence blame games, criticizing and gossiping. We feel that other people or circumstances are responsible for our experiences. We feel powerless.

The worst bit is that we ruminate on these negative thoughts over and over. We tend to forget that we have the power to control our experiences from now and still we can begin again and change the course of our lives. I’ve met pals who narrate their past ordeals and encounters such as divorce, separation or death of their spouses. Others have even penned down how these circumstances have shaped their current ideal lives. But most of these encounters have a missing link. They omit the version of the story of how they have charged towards these encounters to take charge of their destinies. They forget that the power is still within- the power to begin again.

People who worship the past will remain in it. We all need to forget the past and forge forward in life…and that includes erasing negative pasts too. The course of your life and the result’s you’ll achieve on your path to countdown to your destiny largely depends on what you do today – at the present moment. What you do now dictates what’s your future experiences will be.

Magical experiences begin to unfold when we realize that we are no longer victims but creators of our lives. Where you are now and your current experiences can somehow be traced to something you did or said in the past. Though some experiences may seem to have spiraled out of control, today you can still let go and take control of your life.

Cast off the blames and recall that you are no longer a victim but a creator of your own experiences. A victim in this case can be defined as a passive individual who thinks and feels that their outside world is the cause of their emotions and experiences.

Despite your painful encounters in the past, the only viable path to move on and create a better world within you and around you is to find a way to be proactive rather than being a reactive being. Take control of your life and sit at the drivers seat. From then on you can navigate towards your dream and your vision. This is a perfect approach in creating the things you want to see in your life instead of reacting to things happening around you.

Learn to let go of the past. Why would you ever replay a terrible memory again and again? Its like streaming a terrible movie and watching it over and over again. Today God has given you another day of LIFE, not to look back and stick there, but to thank him for the lessons learnt. Deploy these memories as a navigation map with warning signs of what mistakes to evade in future.And if the past derails you big time, remember that , God takes all of that and conforms it into the program and keeps your purpose in LIFE going…in other words, your mistakes are NOT more powerful than your purpose!

“Let go of the past. We cannot change the past but we can affect the future by what we do now. All you need is to get started. You can begin again”

-Vincent Wambua

Perhaps in the past you’ve been hanging out with friends or colleagues who have always bogged you down by making you feel insignificant. Well, significance is a great deal I’m preparing to handle with you soon but for now to touch on this , I can say this: most people depend on the external environment to feel important and when this recognition is denied or withdrawn from them, they now launch a pity party mood and depression sets in. The most key thing to note is this, as long as you’re in control of what happens on the inside of you, what happens outside of you ain’t anything to bother about, facts never matter at all! Sometimes you’re around people who don’t like you, that’s OKAY! As I always say, so long as you like-YOU,what’s inside of YOU will bring you through!

Now listen, there are people who begin crafting their significance by looking at the meaning and believing that it has to involve something that is big – doing it ostentatious all the time. But many of the most important contributions ever made in history were made by people who simply had enough courage to act. It didn’t matter and it doesn’t matter even now if what you’re doing seems to be, “by mans knowledge and understanding” as a parameter equated as “huge” or “small”, what really matters is that you have enough courage to do it! Do you have the courage to discover new possibilities? Do you believe that you have the potential to do it? If the answer is “Yes!” Then you have the ability to become significant, all you need is to get started!

Perhaps the past has derailed you  for quite so long, it’s time to let go of that and take a step forward.

We need to learn to focus on our future and let go of the past. You can begin again. Begin moving towards your destiny today!

If you liked this post you may also like my post,“8 Reasons you should hang in there and not quit”.

Question: Was there a time when you wanted to quit but didn’t? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

Hold on there don't give up

8 REASONS YOU SHOULD HANG IN THERE AND NOT QUIT!


I have a serious question to ask you and I would like you to really think about it. Have you ever felt powerless? Does it seem that you’ve lost control of your life or does everything seem to be spiraling out of order or maybe does it seem like everyone else around you is successful or prosperous and just it hasn’t happened to you yet?

Hold on there don't give up

Photo courtesy: gwwminitry.wordpress.com

Well, I want you to discover how to get the most out of every single day of your life. I want you to gain that confidence and control that you once had and I want you to be able to squeeze every hour out of every single day. I want you to know how it feels like to get out of bed every morning excited and energized and ready to take on your untapped -unclaimed potential. I know you may be asking, “Okay, calm down, how am I going to shake off that powerless feeling?”  

Perhaps you’ve reached a certain boiling point where nothing else matter to you. I promise you that you’ll have victory over this, when you get an understanding of your purpose. Purpose is the hidden seed of greatness and when you know your purpose, your life will ultimately have focus. I woke up today excited, in fact I wake up every single day thrilled and excited about the unfolding and fulfillment of my purpose. The most important nugget to pass on this is that you’re always closer than you know it…literally so close…don’t quit. All you need is to hold on in there. The magical trick is that holding on nurtures your confidence and develops toughness in you to keep going.

The other critical component linked to your purpose is an element called time. Time is a guarantee that nothing on earth will last forever. If you’ve lost your spouse in a ghastly road accident or otherwise or perhaps you’ve been laid off from your job, or experiencing any misfortune, I have a critical word and the best news of all times – it won’t last! Tough times don’t last but tough people do. The best approach is to learn how to convert poison to medicine. Well, have you read any good motivational stories lately? Have you watched any inspirational movie lately that left you at the edge of your seat? One aspect I discovered which is common in all these “best” movies or stories (read biographies…) is that they all have characters who underwent the worst challenges. These superstars simply learnt how to deploy these challenges to their advantage.

This concept reminds me of eagles. Eagles are the kings of the birds for having a clear sense of sight acuity but most importantly, they use hurricanes to ride higher and ultimately head faster to their destination.

Hold on there

An eagle cruising through hurricanes

Do you need to head faster to your dreams? The best way to start is to pen down all the “disastrous predicaments” in your life right now, pen down five ways or so alongside each predicament quoting how you can transform them to the best opportunities to reach your goal. It’s fascinating to know that challenges are actually blessings in disguise, all we need to do is to look long enough and spot the sparkling jewel in them. We need to look at challenges as opportunities and platforms for us to step into our power rather than an excuse to crawl into bed and pull the cover over our heads. 

In fact, the worst detrimental step is to think that if we avoid challenges, they’ll somehow coil to the corner and leave us alone 🙂 Evading challenges by somehow leaping to the next possible shortcut is a good sign that someone is creating a great deal of havoc that may brew much worse unhappiness in their future.

At times we often feel as if life is against us or as if we’re not in sync with everyone else. We hence commence complaining and pointing fingers. We then introduce the feeling of  low self esteem and that other people are smarter and better than us. They think that an occurrence implies that the outcome is automatic.

Let’s call it (Event = Outcome)

This simply means that because an event happened, that’s the reason for the outcome accrued. For instance, picking a line like “I was laid off from my job four years ago and that’s why i’m poor” or “You know, I married the worst spouse under heaven, they are ever grumbling and they never appreciate me.” Perhaps at this point you’re simply saying “that sounds like my life”, If that’s so, I  have a question for you, is it the event that led to your current condition or your response to that event is the core catalyst that gradually led you to where you are now?

My inclination is that the event was neutral but your response to it determined the outcome.

Let’s call it (Event + Response = Outcome)

Why do i say so? For instance, let’s say something “bad” happens, like say an accident or so that ends up breaking your left knee or ankle, there is always our interpretation (our perception to that event). If we perceive that to be bad, we’ll have a certain experience with that. We may forever quit school or our career basing our life progress to that single event. If we perceive it as an opportunity to become stronger and be better versions of ourselves, this will ultimately lead to a different set of experiences and emotional states.

This happens to me all the time with my close pals who are fighting their dragons too. They often quote how life is spiraling out of control and throwing all sorts of mayhem to their caskets. Mostly what I say to them and what I can say to you as well is this: “please don’t give up, I mean it’s just about to get good, you’re not that far away. I’m saying this because I’ve been there and I know not only how it feels but also how it tastes…you know, I’ve made all those mistakes, I’ve been discouraged too. But also I wanna say, please don’t quit, you’re so close, you’re closer than you think and it really won’t take many tweaks . You just need to hang in there.”

A quick recap on the fundamental tenets why you need to give it a next best shot is this:

  1. Time is a guarantee that nothing on earth will last forever and hence the phrase “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”
  2. Holding on nurtures your confidence and develops toughness in you to keep going.
  3. Eagles use hurricanes to ride higher and ultimately head faster to their destination. It’s time to embrace challenges and simply face life like an eagle.
  4. Challenges are simply blessings in disguise, all we need to do is to look long enough and spot the sparkling jewel in them.
  5. Evading challenges does not solve challenges but propels and cascades them.
  6. Occurrence of an event is not the reason of the outcomes, but your response(Event + Response = Outcome)
  7.  We should perceive challenges as opportunities to become stronger and be better versions of ourselves.
  8. You’re not that far away, please don’t quit!

If you liked this post you may also like my post,“The excellence manifesto”.

Question: Was there a time that you felt powerless and helpless that you almost quit but didn’t? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

5 ways to unearth the missing link in success

5 WAYS TO UNEARTH THE MISSING KEY TO SUCCESS (CHAPTER ONE)


For so long I felt that I was trapped in my life instead of truly living an authentic life. Have you ever felt that way or perhaps you might be feeling that way right now-Stuck in life?. Do you feel that no matter what you do and no matter what you’ve given it never seems to be quite enough or you never seem to make progress? For me it always seemed as if success and prosperity was simply elusive. I could gain momentum and all of a sudden all that could shatter and abruptly come to a screeching halt.

5 ways to unearth the missing link in success

Photo courtesy: mining-technology.com

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Many of us talk about making changes to align with our destiny but we still linger around the rut for too long until it’s too late and we end up depressed and stressed. Today i’ll unearth key principles that can help you discover the missing link to turning your life around. You may be now saying “sign me up for that!” I’m going to give you the tools you need to move forward, to compete with yourself and win. Get used to that statement because you’re the original and as the original you have no competition with who you are, so you might as well compete with your best self and win! The following concepts can mold your path from this moment if you get them to the drill:

  • The power of the spoken word: Your destiny does not have to look like your history. Your destiny does not have to be a repeat of your history, and neither does it even have to be a mystery either! We can regain control back when we begin to understand that we’re what we do and say in life and that we’re simply doing it on a continuous basis until our present actually becomes our future. One of the greatest forces in life holding you right now isn’t the economy, inflation or the people around you, the greatest forces holding you back today, right now, are the words that you allow to come out of your own mouth. The word of God in Proverbs 18:21 affirms that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” That means that the words that you’re speaking are put into operation in your own life to bring about good or bad. Words are the most powerful thing on the earth realm. When you speak, you give life to your words- you give them permission to exist!

I want to share a concept with you and I would like you to think about it for a moment. The life that you’re living right now, its partly the result of the words spoken and declared out of your own mouth, just meditate on that for a moment. Because we like to craft excuses as to why things are  the way they are. But if you want to discover  the abundant life God has for you, you can flip things around and change your world by altering what you speak concerning your self.   Well, here is the good news, if you want to see a change in your life you can change the words you speak. Every single day you wake up and you take a breath into your body, it’s a day that you have the power and ability to alter the course of your destiny. Not just for now, but forever! You can forever change the quality of your life- the life that you lead by the words that you speak! Have you ever felt that you were trapped in a cycle and a struggle of lack? Well, you can get over that merry go round of poverty, sickness and depression and you can do it NOW!

“Every word that you speak out of your mouth is framing your life. A frame adds value to a picture or detracts value from it. When you speak you’re framing your world…You may never recall a word, but words have power…words have prophetic implications. Words have presence with no geographical time- space limitations”

-Vincent Wambua

When you change your words, you’ll change your life! What i’m sharing it’s not just a theory, this is proven practical system taken directly out of the word of God. This concept flows not only from the Bible but also from the Stoics philosophy, ancient wisdom down to Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and the great teachers in History. It has the power to transform your life, anyone’s life. It transformed mine! What words are you confessing? Are you always complaining and mulling over your depression, back biting and exclaiming what’s wrong with your health, marriage or career? The tendency is that we tend to think that our words are just sounds-just noise, they’re not! You’ve got to say from today what you mean and mean what you say, because soon you’ll see what you’re confessing right now come to life! 

“There is a weird power in a spoken word…And a word carries far- very far – deals destruction through time as the bullets flying through space”

JOSEPH CONRAD (1857-1924)

  • The power of choice: Now listen, success is a choice. It’s a choice to do something. It’s a decision! So if you choose to do nothing, you’ll be successful at that- nothing. But if you choose to take a step in the right direction, you’ll be much closer to achieving your dreams. So, are you ready to take that step? You’ve got to make some key choices. You’ve got to make firm decisions and we do this every single day. Here is the thing, if you fail to make a decision, it’s a decision not to make a decision and you’re making a decision anyway. We don’t have to look for success and expect it to manifest by default instead we can define and we can design our future and you’ve heard me right 🙂

If you keep making the same decisions in your health, marriage, career, finances; guess whats gonna happen- you’re going to have the same outcome! The most important aspect is that we can always overturn the grid and win by choosing different lane today. Most of us think and feel that the code of our live’s is determined by our big decisions; but today i beg to differ. Inasmuch as the big decisions do count, the tiny daily decisions we make everyday add up to the bigger difference in our lives. As I’ve highlighted in my poetry thread  We always choose to choose” ; a decision is all you need to turn your life around.

 “Mans power of choice enables him to think like an angel or a devil, a king or a slave. Whatever he chooses, mind will create and manifest”

Frederick Bailes (1889-1970)

  • The power of self acceptance: This is an intriguing topic. I’ve personally found out that in order to become the very best version of yourself, you’ve got to make the commitment to do so. The first step to success requires more than just being around the right people or doing the right things or saying the right things. It requires you to understand yourself. To learn how to make the most of your talents, skills , gifts, abilities, experience, education (and so forth) i could go on and on. But also, you have to be able to break down the barriers between who you pretend to be and who you really are. 

(To be continued…)

5 KEY WAYS TO CANCEL PROCRASTINATION FOR GOOD!


Recently, someone read my blog post entitled “Maintaining a focused funnel mode”. They wrote to me and said, “I really would like to fine tune to a focused funnel mode and nurture concentration as a skill but most importantly cancel procrastination for good! To optimize my life, develop a strict strategy and redeem my time and ultimately achieve more. Do you have any advice for solving this puzzle? Could i just be paranoid or is it practical?
Photo courtesy of ©forwallpaper.com
Photo courtesy of ©forwallpaper.com
First of all, yes, it is not only practical but also an effective tool to take control of your destiny. To respond to him and anyone else stuck in a rut of procrastination, I’ll share key approaches I stumbled on as I was seeking practical ways to nail this bug few months ago. I had an opportune moment to sample vast ideas but the most thrilling concepts were widely handled by Piers Steel in his book “The procrastination equation”. Piers is one of the leading researchers on the science of motivation and specifically on procrastination and walks us on practical ideas on how to deal with the procrastination bug.
Piers shares the following fundamental aspects that may transform your life:
Procrastination Equation: Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay).
Piers affirms that we need to have high levels of expectancy and high value and absolute reduced impulsiveness and delay  so as to increase our motivation and handle the task at hand.
  1. Expectancy: this simply means that you expect (you have high intense trust and self efficacy) that whatever you’re working on will succeed. If you cultivate this intense trust and high levels of self expectancy you’re more likely to elevate your motivation and engage in the task at hand.
  2. Value: Piers defines it as “Your perceived meaning”. In this case, if you value something (say a project or so), you’re more likely to engage in it. If you don’t value something, you’re more likely to find it boring and ultimately procrastinate on it. We therefore need to elevate our perceived value on the tasks at hand so as to elevate our motivation and hence indirectly cancel procrastination.
  3. Impulsiveness: Piers says that without impulsiveness there will be no such thing as chronic procrastination in our lives. But the reality is  that we’re hard wired to be impulsive. We need to feel good right now. So, when we have a project in front of us, we’re almost always going to be drawn to do the more exciting thing to us right now such as tweet, post an update on Facebook or play pinballs. Playing pinballs in incredibly attractiveness and addictive than studying for our exams and we therefore need to control our impulsiveness if we need to elevate our motivation to handle the task at hand right now.
  4. Delay:This is basically how far into the future we need to complete our project. The further out into the future such as a year or two from now, the lower the motivation to do the task right now. That’s why most us crammed in the university since we ended up procrastinating on some units (or subjects for that matter) until it was too late and hence delay range to the exams being extremely short, we developed acute responsiveness and ended up cramming (nullifying procrastination) and ultimately ended up passing those subjects.
  5. Improving efficiency by 10%: Piers make a point that if you can simply boost your performance by only 10% you’ll literally create more than an extra months worth of work in the course of the year. His idea of doing this is pretty simple. Piers says we should quit distracting ourselves. He says that the number one thing that increases our impulsiveness which decreases our motivation and elevates our procrastination is being distracted. His number one tip is to remove the notifications from your emails and your social sites and simply focus on the task! Piers says that this alone will improve your efficiency by 10%. Consider turning off the push notifications, turn your phone to an airplane mode if it’s the source of your distraction. If you’re working offline, consider turning off the WiFi.
Remember any one big idea can transform your life if you implement it.  “The procrastination equation” is a book I highly recommend check it out and as always lets optimize 😉
Question: What other suggestions would you have for someone who wants to cancel procrastination for good?  Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below
I've seen it all

I’ve Seen It All 


 

I've seen it all

Photo courtesy: flyingsquirrelsports.ca

 

I’ve seen it All, I have seen arrogant kings,

Arresting and executing innocent twins,

And their malice extending all over to the masses void of sins,

I’ve seen it All, I have seen trees which sway with branched twigs,

And birds that fly with broken wings,

And poppers rise to influential kings,

I’ve seen it All, I’ve seen it All,

I’ve seen best friends transform to worst foes,

And jiggers infest and deteriorate healthy toes,

And amateur celebrities transcend to their best versions- who knows?

I’ve seen it All, I have seen the depreciation of the dollar,

And the introduction of vast machines solely relying on the solar,

And in social media Lenna suddenly renames herself as Norah,

I’ve seen it All, I’ve seen it All,

I’ve seen tragic industrial actions,

Yes, worse off than foreign financial sanctions!

Vehemently baying for young blood of the nations,

I’ve seen it all, Yes, I’ve seen revolutions come up,

And awesome relationships break up,

And drug barons gang up,

I’ve seen it All, I’ve seen it All,

I have seen beautiful movies such as the Lord of the Rings,

And prisoners escaping from cracked up dungeon rings,

And million fans applaud as Beyonce Knowles sings,

I’ve seen it All, Yes – I’ve also seen happy spouses strolling all over the Miami beach,

And close friends suddenly vanish out of reach,

And buffaloes break loose out of their normal niche,

I’ve seen it All, I’ve seen the society come up with funny fairy tales,

Making comparison on the Forbes of who makes the sales,

And naming of the grafted kales,

I’ve seen it all, I’ve seen it All,

I have seen passions sprout up to simply visit the part and take photo shoots of the deers,

Advanced technologies of self automating gears,

And self proclaimed seers,

I’ve seen it all, I have seen loved ones lowered six feet deep,

And we all turn up charged up with grief and weep,

And their memories take a back seat – hard to keep,

I have seen masquerading lot linger around,

But soon stretch their long paws and bite my trust when no one is around,

And numb my courage when they surround,

I’ve seen it All, I have seen historical cascades,

And all those vague election promises nonsense,

All in the name of securing flashy lifestyles and residence,

I’ve seen it All, I’ve seen it all,

I have seen 9 month old beautiful infants finally born,

And their navy undersized garments finally torn,

And soon heavy chains and earrings bought and worn,

I’ve seen it All, but there is more to life!

**End**

If you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy my post,“Crisis Vs Choices”.

Question: What key life aspects have you seen or experienced that you would love to share with us? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

phone call from God

A PHONE CALL FROM HEAVEN


phone call from God

It’s ten minutes past nine,

I’m preoccupied with this dream of mine,

Furnished with glamour,

It’s epic supersedes the Suez of Panama,

I’ve seen vast champions charge and do it,

And i’m convinced that I too can nail it,

But there’s always another day,

This is all I can say,

Many days have gone down the bridge,

Like an army held under siege,

Time is present anyhow,

I will still do this somehow,

It’s now fifteen years down the line,

I walk with cheerful face like all is fine,

Holding this dream in my heart,

Comfort zone has been my hat,

Frozen afternoon Sundays,

Have forced me to light up the lanterns,

I’ve seen many nights as these approaching,

As I rest in my room soul searching,

Sometimes I peep at the window,

Semi-dark nights but I still don’t light up the candles,

I can see a whirlwind vanishing on the east,

And small clouds gather like a mist,

It’s a new day yet gone and deep warm sunset rays  permeate my skin,

Procrastinating on this dream feels like a deliberate sin,

But what exactly i’m I waiting for?

Should I commit myself when I hit forty or so?

It’s now two years times seven,

And i’m still waiting for a phone call from heaven,

If this sounds like your life i’m sorry,

Let’s confide and sort out this story,

Each morning you yearn victory, you say it’s calling,

Just for a moment to make history flowing,

Victory- well, this life tried to keep us apart,

Some days back you even drove me insane but,

You keep calling me back to your heart,

Victory I know you,

When you keep evading me I will sue you,

But victory you’re owned by all of us,

All stretched from here to beyond planet Mars,

Some of us feel and think that you’re owned by the chosen few,

But to me it doesn’t matter whether you’re old or new,

Yeah, victory now you’ve got a roommate,

And i’m also coming along with my schoolmate,

I heard sometime back that you fear vast crowds,

And frantic moves that make weird sounds,

I’m still unmoved- call me when there’s no one there,

Put the key under the mat and i’ll be over there,

I know you look astonishing and so cowards will never dare,

To look at you – victory- or even stare,

Until they hit ninety seven,

Still waiting for a phone call from heaven.

**End**

If you enjoyed this poem, you might also enjoy my post,“5 Ways to unearth the missing key to success”.

Question: Do you have fundamental objectives that you’ve been procrastinating on and kinda waiting for a phone call from heaven to commence on? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

 

Choices vs crisis

CRISIS Vs CHOICES (Chapter I)


Choices vs crisis

 “You are not born a winner…

You are not born a loser…

You are born a chooser…”

-Anonymous

Our lives are shaped by two fundamental forces- crisis or choices.  Fulfillment of your destiny and prime aspirations at your heart at this moment in time largely depend on what you do now. Your destiny is ultimately shaped by yourself, by the choices and decisions you make or fail to make – day by day.

When I was a freshman, I had two close friends, Jimmy, and Joyce. Jimmy was a law student while Joyce pursued biochemistry. Jimmy embraced a flamboyant lifestyle. He could embrace a week by attending birthday parties and having fun in town. Partying was his order of the day. This would be coupled by swimming, shopping and hitting on the next “hot catch” as he called it. He was, and he still is a movie maniac. Then exams would finally scream around the bend. These were his worst days. He would recount many days he wasted on useless ventures, grief and regrets written all over his face.

This went on. Days, months and years passed…and soon we were all heading for the third year at the university. It was a thrilling moment on my part since I yearned to learn more and nail more concepts to equip me with the information I needed to pursue my profession, or so I thought. This was the most nerve wrecking phase for Jimmy having received the final warning letter concerning his performance. He left school. I encouraged him and affirmed that he still had a chance to factor out what matters and keep going.

Jimmy went to live with his cousin at Westlands, Nairobi. He merged into a small business of selling wares. This could at least afford him few drinks over the weekend, and he was happier, or so he said. Few months later, Jimmy was admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital and was diagnosed with lung cancer. His hyper-smoking habit had ruined his health and was baying for his young blood. He called me and requested i come over to Kenyatta Hospital and come along with my bible and any motivational talks I had.

I went to visit him few days later after he was admitted. We had a brief chat, and i encouraged him to believe God for healing and restoration. Before I left, I asked him one question, “Jimmy are willing to change your lifestyle?” He didn’t even wait for me to wind up my question; he said, “Look, I wanna live…I want life! Therefore, I am going to stop smoking, and I’ll commence exercising…”

This sank deep into me. He went through the chemotherapy treatment and he’s now living a healthier life. He resumed studies later at Daystar university, and his grades are painting excellence all over his skies. My question is, why does it have to take a crisis for you to change your course?

Don’t let crisis make you change your course, let your choices change your course in life. Decide that you’re going to be a better person, that you’ll live more effectively…that you’ll use your time more wisely..that you’ll change the course of how you use your life.

We’ve all experienced similar scenarios. A pal, colleague or a relative falls sick, and all over sudden they need all the gospel tapes… “send me some bible verses…bring my bible when you come…”

And deeper are the prayers they make 🙂 🙂

 “LORD I need your healing…when I come out of here i’ll go straight to prayer meeting God!”

Why not hit the gym and exercise then attend the prayer sessions without a crisis? Lets be honest with ourselves and let our choices change our course in life.

The best news of all times is that your destiny is determined by your decisions and choices! That means you can always alter your course in life depending on your plans.

How many plans did you make at the start of this year, you made some resolutions, you got them on paper,you printed them up, they are on your computer and perhaps you haven’t done any of them!

You know Why? 

The reason is that even though you set your course, you didn’t make the choices that were to keep you on the course. Making a plan is NOT a guarantee that you gonna succeed, it’s the choices and decisions that keep you on the course that will determine your destiny!

Here is a question, do you know what course you are on? This sounds so frightening to me. We all know the course we are on! Everyone reading this post, i know that you know the course you are on, you know exactly whats you’re doing!

  • If you’re beginning to smoke, you know your course is cancer!
  • If you’re casually sipping your beer, you know that if you don’t change your course you will end up being alcoholic…
  • You feel that pain…you know it’s time to exercise, but then you’ve 500 excuses why you wouldn’t, you’ve chosen your course!
  • If you keep going to work late and making your boss mad, you know your future 😉

My question is, are you still willing stay on that course? Are you willing to reprogram your life and let your personal decisions mold you into the person you need to become? Lucky enough, this still remains a choice to make.

As I wind up, here is a quick recap on the basic tenets why taking control over your choices is extremely critical:

  1. Our lives are shaped by two fundamental forces- crisis or choices.
  2.  Fulfillment of your destiny and prime aspirations at your heart at this moment in time largely depend on what you do now.
  3. Your destiny is ultimately shaped by yourself, by the choices and decisions you make or fail to make – day by day.
  4. Its more paramount to control what happens than let crisis shape our destiny.
  5. Your choices determine the course in life that you’re on.
  6. Your destiny decides your course in life.

Its time, to choose and choose wisely 🙂

Question: What other suggestions would you have for someone who wants to become more optimized, fine tune their choices and ultimately be more productive? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

perfect the process

EYE THE PROCESS RATHER THAN THE PRODUCT


perfect the process

“Fall in love with the process and the results will come”

-Eric Thomas (B.1964)

(American football player and motivational speaker)

This universe operates with order and processes. It’s amazing to dig deep and mine the source of harmony and coexistence on earth – the term “order”. Void of order in most systems is the ultimate source of chaos and violence and loss of life, well, at the larger part.

Throughout my teenage years, I had an obsession to nail down the fundamental aspects which ensured that aircrafts made it safe and sound to their ultimate destination. This obsession mushroomed and on the year 2011 when I was a freshman I decided to solve this puzzle. I had a brief stop over at Wilson Airport and coincidentally met with Captain Nancy Gituanja, who later lost her life a year later on Saitoti’s plane crash on June 10, 2012.

I asked her what exactly makes an aircraft so successful to  supersede even hurricanes and whirlwinds and make it safely to its ultimate destination. She said,You need to adhere to a flight process“. She expounded that this process encompasses three fundamental steps.

She said, and I quote, “No aircraft leaves the ground until the tower knows the destination of the flight…therefore as a pilot you must decide your destination before your aircraft takes off”. Again, “you must file a flight plan with a clear, detailed flight map highlighting the route(s) that you’re going to take before you leave the ground”.

The third critical aspect is that you must monitor your flight with the plan, with a constant communication with the tower, She said.

“Why are the three steps necessary?”, I asked. She was running out of time, but I stood my ground to mine the wealth of knowledge she had.

Nancy seemed to reflect, then said, “any given minute around you in a 5-mile radius, there can be a thousand aircrafts. You can’t see them…but they are in different levels all around you..and the tower sees all of them. The tower knows where you are. The challenge is, you don’t know where you are in the whole aviation system of the aircrafts. So, you have to depend on the tower, and everything they tell you to do you must do because they know where the other aircrafts are. You cannot see the other crafts, but the tower knows the total picture”.

This insight is an incredible eye opener that to reach our ultimate destiny we need a plan and strictly stick through the process. A key question here is, have you filed a flight plan to take you to a certain level in life? Do you know your ultimate goal and how you plan to do it? Are you still obedient to the process so as to craft your masterpiece product?

How often have we skipped queues in banking halls and other places simply to reach out to the product?

And often skipping some elements of the process spells disaster later 😦 😦

If we need excellent results, we need to focus on the process and commit our entire being into perfecting it, and then we can be guaranteed of a masterpiece product. We need to eliminate our anxieties and how much we care about the results and focus obsessively on the process, not the outcomes. Focusing on the process in this context means showing up more often and execute chunks of the workload at our disposal.

It’s  without doubt that when we perfect the process and put on the workload required, we’ll finally reap the results -which are the by-products of our actions.

As I wind up, here is a quick recap of the basic tenets that are paramount to aid you in this concept:

  1. If you need excellent results, always be process oriented.
  2. The results are simply the by-products of the actions you take.
  3. Your desired goal is achievable if you’re willing to pay the price.
  4. There’s absolutely no one else to do the push-ups for you, therefore take 100% responsibility. 

Charge towards your dreams today and simply focus on the process, not the product.

Question: What other suggestions would you have for someone who wants to craft a masterpiece product? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below

The POWER to THRIVE: Key Practical Success Principles to Empower You to Breakthrough in Life Extremes! (By Vincent Wambua)


I recently published my new book The Power to Thrive in Amazon and I’m thrilled to share the fundamental tenets of the basic ideas that I majored on. The book largely centers on an intensive two decade research that throws a telescope lens on an area that we’ve been overlooking as we seek to optimize and pursue greatness both at a personal and global level-Nature. I’m a Paralegal Forensic Scientist and I study divergent spheres that touch and influence humanity, so it was inevitable that I will become interested in nature and environmental dynamics. The book seeks to unravel the success principles that enable nature (both Flora and Fauna) to flourish and thrive in the land of the extremes that push life to the limit. (Get the book here)

the power to thrive book

THE BASIC  HIGHLIGHTS

1. The Research

The relevance of key ideas.

2. Constant Change and how to adjust and Optimize

Real time changes in 2017 that necessitates the utilization of the ideas. 

3. Highlights of key principles detailed in the Power to Thrive

A brief breath into the life transformative principles.

While undertaking the research tabled in this book, I read over 200 self-help books, screened over 70 books on nature and wildlife and synthesized over 1000 journals written in regard to Flora and Fauna and documented key principles that stood out and enabled some animals to thrive while others such as dinosaurs were phased out. I also looked into the animals that were driven at the edge almost at the verge of extinction such as the giant Panda in the jungles of North Eastern China in early 1990’s and what principles they exercised to turn their population statistics around from almost less than 30 to the present day  1,864 giant pandas as noted by an international panda organization (more details here). 

As I delved in this research attributed to the previously tabled references, I was shocked to find out that no documentation shows how man, as a prerequisite element of nature can deploy these principles that are daily exhibited by nature around him to tweak his performance and rise in scale in his quest to pursue greatness. I was further amazed that what’s happening with most people in the 21st Century is that we’re more focused on selective aspects such as Meditation and shaping of habits that we overlook practical principles that our original teacher-nature is constantly attempting to demonstrate right before our eyes. Not that these aspects are not essential but there are other aspects that we can blend them to create a more significant and optimal life. When God created man-Adam, he placed him on the original reference that’s best for him-Nature (The Garden of Eden). Nature is the original reference to mankind’s well-being. The original reference maintains order in life. 

Why is order so essential? We are living in a harsh environment of global economic crises, family disintegration, political confusion, ideological reinventions and economic interdependence and to solve these challenges we need to seek our solutions from an area, different from where we are drawing the solutions that are in place and currently failing to solve these issues in the first place.  As I write this, vast concerns are looming the USA political aura as President Donald Trump announces Plan to Privatize Air Traffic Control (as reported by Fox News here). Also, Concerns over Donald Trumps narcissism and in line with his leadership were among pertinent issues that were raised by the USA today magazine in May this year (more details here). On June 30th, the last 4 days, both the Guardian and the CNN highlighted that Donald Trump had declared that his patience with North Korea is over (More details here ). These assertions are presented as North Korea advances their plans to build a missile and nuclear weapons. In South Africa, ANC head of policy renewal Fikile Mbalula has proposed major changes in the ANC constitution the last 3 days, which, if approved, will overhaul the party’s Constitution(more details here). In the Middle East, as reported by Aljazeera,  in a bid to end the Gulf rift, Turkey Troops touch down on Qatar in the eve of the New month.This is just a tip of an iceberg of the political threats and global disillusionment that are unfolding each day. The secret of success in these moments of uncertainty and confusion is going back to the original reference-Nature.     

The book charts a systematic study of key practical principles that you can begin to utilize today to make the most of your talents and gifts in the midst of a harsh aura in the modern 21st Century. I begin the book by introducing the essence and influence of our environment to our aspirations and dreams. Every creature and plant of the jungle knows how best to utilize the resources in its immediate environment for it’s survival and to thrive. I also touch on the aspect of our digital environment which is constantly bombarding us with tweets, notifications and distractions and how we can navigate through to make the best of our potential. Your environment sculpts your perceptions. Your perceptions molds your mindset. Your mindset creates your future. 

I further highlight a systematic documentation on how to curve your arena in life. Research shows that only less than 10% of the worlds population are following their passion. The worlds population is approximately 7.5 billion people according to the global census organization (details here), so you can do the math of how many people that are wandering around in the wild while playing the game of chance with destiny. Your purpose to be born should take precedence regardless of your current pursuits. In this book I document how you can finally pick the lost trail and make your way to your purpose that will matter most at the end of your career and at the end of your life. 

There are other vast aspects that I strongly feel that you should grab your copy in Amazon and spare 2-3 hours and make a lifetime difference by tapping into my two decade research and ignite your potential to become the best-version-of-yourself. The success principles were so deep and engaging that I felt it best to split them and compile a volume 2 series that I’m currently writing. I hope that this book will grant you the keys to thrive and become the CEO of your world as you extend to the source energy around you (Get the book here).  I’ll be highlighting updates on when my next book will be out. Follow me in Amazon otherwise you won’t know when my next book is published (Check out my Amazon author central Profile here). 

“If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Nature’s way.”
-Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

Few hours before I began writing this a colleague who read my book was so thrilled by the spark of my message that they made a video review of the book.  I’m honored to share the video with you here. 

Here is to learning the key principles that we learn from nature and riding on their wings through the tempestuous winds of the current hurricanes of life.

 ******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Connect with Vincent in FaceBook: Here 

Connect with me on Twitter:Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

Spread the love, Tag a friend, share the blog post far and wide… Your feedback is highly appreciated and thanks alot for the support!!

A TIP FROM THE GREATEST PHYSICIST EVER


“What does the greatest physicist of all time say?

First off, who was the greatest physicist of all time? I say Isaac Newton. My opinion. Up there with Einstein. Why? Well, he discovered gravity, invented calculus, and built the telescope. Not bad! And did he believe in the Do Circle? Absolutely.

He explained it best in his First Law of Physics. ‘An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted on by a larger force.’

Put it another way: Start doing something? You’ll continue.

Why? Because motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation.”

Neil Pasricha from The Happiness Equation

yap

See Also:The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything

This is from a chapter on “Secret #7: How to Turn Your Biggest Fear into Your Biggest Success” in which Neil introduces us to his “Do Circle.”

Do Circle? Yep. Do Circle.

Too often we think that doing something moves from thinking we can do something + we want to do it and then we do it.

Like this: CAN DO —> WANT TO DO —> DO

Such that, if we don’t think we can do it and/or don’t “feel like” it in the moment, we can’t do it.

Neil challenges that notion and says it’s more like a circle with no endpoint. You can start doing something and THAT doing leads to a sense of “can do” + “want to do” that creates a ton of momentum and keeps you going.

See also: START BEFORE YOU’RE READY!

HUGE distinction that we come back to in different ways throughout these blog posts. In fact, I took a break reading this book yesterday to watch a real-time interview ofTal Ben-Shahar (one of the world’s leading positive psychologists) about his book Choose the Life You Want.

In the interview chat, the interviewer asked him to tell us more about this Idea from his book. He asserts: “Fortunately, the research into procrastination has also identified practical ways that can help overcome the tendency to procrastinate. The single most important technique is called ‘the five-minute takeoff.’ It consists, simply, of starting to do the thing you have been putting off, no matter how little you feel like doing it. Procrastinators often believe that to do something one has to truly want to do it—to be in the right mood, to feel inspired. This is not the case. Usually, to get the job done, it is enough merely to begin doing it—the initial action kick-starts the process and often brings about more action.”

See also:  5 KEY WAYS TO CANCEL PROCRASTINATION FOR GOOD!

Tal said that this was one of the Biggest Ideas he’s implemented in his life—sharing that, although he loves to write and gets paid to do so, MOST mornings (!!) he doesn’t *feel* like it.

But (IMPORTANT “but”)… He just gets started—KNOWING that his feelings will follow his behavior. As he said: “Action leads to inspiration at least as much as inspiration leads to action.” We DO *then* we feel like doing. Just getting started with something creates the momentum that KEEPS us going. But… If we wait till we feel like it, we may never do anything.

This is one of the Biggest Ideas we’ll ever explore.

Thank you, Neil and thank you, Sir Newton.

P.S. We also lean into this Idea in Stephen Guise’s great book Mini Habits. If you haven’t explored that book yet, get on it.

 

Here is to learning from the physicists and drilling the practical wisdom to work: have an amazing month ahead!

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

If you’d Like to read more empowerment posts on FaceBook: Click Here 

If you’d like to Follow me on Twitter: Click Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  clickHere

 

 

The Rhythm of Life-Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose (By MATTHEW KELLY)


“This is what I do know: You are capable of incredible things—things you have not even begun to imagine or believe in. Infinite possibilities are all around you,waiting to be explored, appreciated, grasped, and celebrated. You are using only a fraction of your potential . . . and that is a beautiful and exciting truth.

Every day you make hundreds of decisions. Some of those decisions help you become the-best-version-of-yourself, and others don’t. Life is a choice. Become a great decision maker and you will master the art of living. With each decision, simply ask: What will help me to become the-best-version-of-myself?

~ Matthew Kelly from The Rhythm of Life

rhythm

THE BIG IDEAS

1. Everything Is a Choice

Every.single.thing.

2. What Would You Do…

If you knew you could not fail?

The-best-version-of-yourself.

That is what Matthew Kelly is committed to helping us become and that is what this book is all about—becoming the-best-version-of-ourselves as we align with the rhythms of life.

The result? Living every day with passion and purpose.

I heard about Matthew from Hal Elrod in his great book, The Morning Miracle. Hal raved about Matthew and shared some extraordinary quotes so I picked up a couple of books.

Very glad I did!

The book is packed with wisdom. (Get it Here!) My copy is, as you’d expect, all marked up. I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: EVERYTHING IS A CHOICE

“Everything is a choice.

This is life’s greatest truth and its hardest lesson. It is a great truth because it reminds us of our power. Not power over others, but the often untapped power to be ourselves and to live the life we have imagined.

It is a hard lesson, because it causes us to realize we have chosen the life we are living right now. It is perhaps frightening for us to think that we have chosen to live our life exactly as it is today. Frightening because we may not like what we find when we look at our lives today. But it is also liberating, because we can now begin to choose what we will find when we look at our life in the tomorrows that lie unlived before us.What will you see when you look at your life ten years from now? What will you choose?”

Everything is a choice.

But only every.single.thing.

Moment to moment we CHOOSE our destiny.

What are you choosing?!

We can choose to step forward into growth—expressing what Matthew calls the-best-version-of-yourself, or we can choose to step back into our addictive behaviors which would be, of course, the not-so-great-version-of-yourself.

Moment to moment to moment.

We make a decision.

Will we express the highest version of ourselves? Or not?

That’s Part 1 of this Big Idea.

Part 2: Fast-forward ten years. Look at your life. What do you see?

Is it what you’d like to see?

Imagine THE most amazing possible vision for your future.

Take a moment to bring a picture to mind. What does your life look like?

Now, KNOW that you are creating that destiny every.single.moment.

We are constantly making little decisions. As Matthew tells us, with each decision, simply ask: What will help me to become the-best-version-of-myself?

Then do THAT!

And you will create a life beyond your wildest imagination.

IDEA TWO: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULDN’T FAIL?

“I will never forget a question I once heard Robert Schuller pose in an interview with Larry King. They were discussing the effects of the fear of failure on our decision-making process, and Schuller offered this question as a guide: “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

Do not be afraid to dream. Perhaps your fear is of failure. There is no shame in trying to attempt mighty things and failing. The shame is in failing to attempt those things. Michelangelo, the great Renaissance artist and poet, knew the value, power, and need for dreams when he wrote,

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.””

So…

What would YOU attempt if you knew you could not fail?

In Daring Greatly , Brené Brown shares this little story: “I took a deep breath and recited my vulnerability prayer as I waited my turn: Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen. Then, seconds before I was introduced, I thought about a paperweight on my desk that reads, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I pushed that question out of my head to make room for a new question. As I walked up to the stage, I literally whispered aloud, “What’s worth doing even if I fail?””

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

And… What’s worth doing even if you fail?!

Just because we dare to attempt it doesn’t mean we’re sure to succeed. So, what is worth doing EVEN IF you failed?!

Remember: It’s all about the baby steps and baby decisions you make in pursuit of that dream.With each step on your hero’s journey, let this be your guiding question: What will help me to become the-best-version-of-myself?

A quick recap on the fundamental tenets highlighted in this blog include:

  1. You are making a choice. Every.Single.Moment
  2. You’re unconsciously creating a legacy, whether you know it or not. What you achieve is determined by what you do or fail to do, day by day and year by year.
  3. It’s always prudent to stop and blow up the question: Does any of these (whatever it is) help me become the best-version-of-myself? 
  4. Become more daring. Perhaps of late you’ve been too good and too soft to yourself. Toughen up a little bit.There is a balance. You must find the balance. Maybe it’s one part convenience, two parts challenge. Or maybe you are a little softer. Start out three parts convenience, two part challenge.

    Whatever balance you choose, choose a little more ‘toughening up.’

    Take a cold shower, take the stairs not the elevator, lift something heavy, run around the block, turn off the air conditioning for a day, read a hard book, do a hard math problem, take a martial arts class, do 100 push ups, go a month without buying any fancy clothes, go a week without any sugar.

    It won’t hurt you. In fact according to Martin Seligman, the famous happiness psychologist, it will make you a hell of a lot happier.

    And as Charlie Munger says it will make you a hell of a lot richer too.

As I conclude, Today am ain’t being too nice as I always am. There is an **infamous** phrase that says that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you’re stupid and make bad decisions. This book will shape your mindset and sharpen your decision making skill sets. Pick it at the earliest opportunity. I **highly** recommend it. If there is, but one book that you read by the end of the next 4 months, let it be this book. Thank me later 🙂 !

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

If you’d Like to read more empowerment posts on FaceBook: Click Here 

If you’d like to Follow me on Twitter: Click Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

Spread the love, Tag a friend, share the blog post far and wide… Your feedback is highly appreciated and thanks alot for the support!!

 

 

Creativity- The Psychology of Discovery and Invention By (Mihaly Csikszentmihaly)


“Just finished reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “Creativity”
Subtitled-The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. The book simply wraps up the essence of creativity. The books explores what creativity really is and blends life changing aspects of what an optimizer needs to keep in check throughout the journey of creative discovery of their worthy course. This blog is meant to spark the dreams  of a creative youth or a 90 year old dreamer who needs to get started on their architectural life designs. I’m sharing these aspects hoping that your dormant dreams will be  activated by the creative will that exists within you and that the precious arts and other worthy treasures that are hidden deep within you will submerge into the physical realm where they can aid, guide and shape humanity for the better. 

 

creativity book

THE BIG IDEAS

1. What Is Creativity?

Domain + field + person.

2. Attention

+ Being kinda weird.

3. Complexity

+ Resolving dichotomies.

4. Rhythms

Your ideal days?

5. Creativity + Flow

The 9 elements.

“This book is about creativity, based on histories of contemporary people who know about it firsthand. It starts with a description of what creativity is, it reviews the way creative people work and live, and it ends with ideas about how to make your life more like that of the creative exemplars I have studied. There are no simple solutions in these pages and a few unfamiliar ideas. The real story of creativity is more difficult and strange than many overly optimistic accounts have claimed. For one thing, as I will try to show, an idea or product that deserves the label ‘creative’ arises from the synergy of many sources and not only from the mind of a single person. It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively. And a genuinely creative accomplishment is almost never the result of a sudden insight, a lightbulb flashing on in the dark, but comes after years of hard work.”

~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi from Creativity

Creativity with a capital C—the type of Creativity that changes the world.

How can we go about cultivating it in our lives? That’s what this book is all about.

Our guide is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—one of the founders of the positive psychology movement.

Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”) is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and the former Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago who wrote the classic book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

This book features the wisdom gained from over three decades of research along with over one hundred interviews with extraordinary people—from scientists and business leaders to artists and poets.

Warning: Although deeply insightful, it’s not an easy read. If you’re looking to understand creativity at a deeper level via one of the world’s leading (and legendary) psychologists then I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (Get the book here.)

It’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: WHAT IS CREATIVITY?

“So the definition that follows from this perspective is: Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one. And the definition of a creative person is: someone whose thoughts or actions change a domain, or establish a new domain. It is important to remember, however, that a domain cannot be changed without the explicit or implicit consent of a field responsible for it.”

Being the brilliant, precise scientist he is, Csikszentmihalyi takes the time to establish what he means by creativity and who qualifies as a creative person.

There are three aspects to his systems definition: the domain, the field and the person

Creativity with a capital C—the type of Creativity that changes the world.

How can we go about cultivating it in our lives? That’s what this book is all about.

Our guide is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—one of the founders of the positive psychology movement.

Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”) is a professor at Claremont Graduate University and the former Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago who wrote the classic book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

This book features the wisdom gained from over three decades of research along with over one hundred interviews with extraordinary people—from scientists and business leaders to artists and poets.

Warning: Although deeply insightful, it’s not an easy read. If you’re looking to understand creativity at a deeper level via one of the world’s leading (and legendary) psychologists then I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. (Get the book here.)

It’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share a few of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: WHAT IS CREATIVITY?

“So the definition that follows from this perspective is: Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one. And the definition of a creative person is: someone whose thoughts or actions change a domain, or establish a new domain. It is important to remember, however, that a domain cannot be changed without the explicit or implicit consent of a field responsible for it.”

Being the brilliant, precise scientist he is, Csikszentmihalyi takes the time to establish what he means by creativity and who qualifies as a creative person.

There are three aspects to his systems definition: the domain, the field and the person.

First, we have a domain that has been changed. Mathematics, physics, biology, art, philosophy.

These are domains. Creative individuals substantively change (or create!) a domain thereby changing culture in the process.

Second, we have the field. These are the gatekeepers who decide which ideas are accepted in the domain. Without the field integrating the new ideas, a domain has not been changed.

Then, of course, there is the individual person who actually uses the existing symbols of the domain to create something new. But, very importantly, Csikszentmihalyi stresses the fact that this type of creativity can only exist via the system that includes the domain and field.

Which leads us to an important distinction. We often call an interesting or witty individual “creative.” But, unless they’re making a unique contribution that substantively changes culture, Csikszentmihalyi would call them “brilliant” rather than creative. This book isn’t about them.

IDEA 2: FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION + BEING KINDA WEIRD

“Another consequence of limited attention is that creative individuals are often considered odd—or even arrogant, selfish, and ruthless. It is important to keep in mind that these are not traits of creative people, but traits that the rest of us attribute to them on the basis of our perceptions.

When we meet a person who focuses all of his attention on physics or music and ignores us and forgets our names, we call that person ‘arrogant’ even though he may be extremely humble and friendly if he could only spare attention from his pursuit. If that person is so taken with his domain that he fails to take our wishes into account we call him ‘insensitive’ or ‘selfish’ even though such attitudes are far from his mind. Similarly, if he pursues his work regardless of other people’s plans we call him ‘ruthless.’ Yet, it is practically impossible to learn a domain deeply enough to make a change in it without dedicating all of one’s attention to it and thereby appearing to be arrogant, selfish, and ruthless to those who believe they have a right to the creative person’s attention.”

Csikszentmihalyi kicks off the book talking about ATTENTION and creativity. He makes the incredibly important points that a) our attention is finite and b) it takes a TON of it to master and then change a domain.

And… c) An unfortunate by-product of that is the fact that the most Creative among us are often considered odd because they so fiercely immerse themselves in their chosen domain—channeling so much of their precious attention in pursuit of what matters most to them.

Get this: “For example, Leonardo da Vinci, certainly one of the most creative persons… was apparently reclusive, and almost compulsive in his behavior. If you had met him at a cocktail party, you would have thought that he was a tiresome bore and would have left him standing in a corner as soon as possible.”

Hah! I think that presupposes da Vinci would have even shown up at that party, eh?! My hunch is Leo would have appreciated Laurie Helgoe’s (author of Introvert Power) quip: “I like to party  and by party I mean read books.” 🙂

Back to this important point: “It is practically impossible to learn a domain deeply enough to make a change in it without dedicating all of one’s attention to it.”

Spotlight on YOU. What Domain are you committed to mastering? Is it business? Art? Science? Parenting? Whether you aspire to be Creative with a Capital C or just more personally creative, it’s *essential* that you dedicate your precious attention to that which you aspire to master. Are you? And, are you willing to be viewed as a little weird by those who don’t quite get why you’re so committed to focusing your attention on what matters most to you?

P.S. Csikszentmihalyi conducted 100+ interviews of exemplary Creators. He sent out invitations to the individuals he hoped to interview. Many declined for various reasons. The great management thinker Peter Drucker was one of those who declined. He did so via this note:

“I am greatly honored and flattered by your kind letter of February 14th—for I have  admired you and your work for many years, and I have learned much from it. But, my dear Professor Csikszentmihalyi, I am afraid I have to disappoint you. I could not possibly answer your questions. I am told I am creative—I don’t know what that means. . . . I just keep on plodding. . . .

. . . I hope you will not think me presumptuous or rude if I say that one of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours—productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well.”

#VERYBIGwastepaperbasketfordistractions

P.P.S. Keep this in mind: “It is often surprising to hear extremely successful, productive people claim that they are basically lazy. Yet the claim is believable. It is not that they have more energy and discipline than you or I; but they do develop habits of discipline that allow them to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. These habits are often so trivial that the people who practice them seem strange and obsessive. At first many people were mildly shocked that the great Albert Einstein always wore the same old sweater and baggy trousers. Why was he being so weird? Of course, Einstein wasn’t trying to upset anybody. He was just cutting down on the daily effort involved in deciding what clothes to wear, so his mind could focus on matters that to him were more important. It may seem that choosing slacks and shirts takes so little time that it is pretentious to worry about it. But suppose it takes only two minutes each day to decide how to dress. That adds up to 730 minutes, or twelve hours a year. Now think of the other repetitive things we have to do throughout the day—comb hair, drive cars, eat and so on. And then think not only of the time it takes to do each of these things but of the interruption in the train of thought they cause, both before and after. Having to choose a tie could derail a whole hours’ worth of reflection! No wonder Einstein preferred to play it safe and wear the same old clothes.”

And… This reminds me of Adam Grant’s “idiosyncrasy credits” from Originals (see Notes). This is worth keeping in mind: “Idiosyncrasy credits accrue through respect, not rank: they’re based  on contributions. We squash a low-status member who tries to challenge the status quo, but  tolerate and sometimes even applaud the originality of a high-status star.”

IDEA 3: COMPLEXITY + DICHOTOMIES

“Are there then no traits that distinguish creative people? If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it would be complexity. By this I mean that they show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes—instead of being an ‘individual,’ each of them is a ‘multitude.’ Like the color white that includes all the hues of the spectrum, they tend to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves.

These qualities are present in all of us, but usually we are trained to develop only one pole of the dialectic. We might grow up cultivating the aggressive, competitive side of our nature, and disdain or repress the nurturing, cooperative side. A creative individual is more likely to be both aggressive and cooperative, either at the same time or at different times, depending on the situation. Having a complex personality means being able to express the full range of traits that are potentially present in the human repertoire but usually atrophy because we think one or the other pole is ‘good,’ whereas the other extreme is ‘bad.'”

The personalities and behaviors of creative people vary widely.

He tells us: “One can be creative by living like a monk, or by burning the candle at both ends.

Michelangelo was not greatly fond of women, while Picasso couldn’t get enough of them. Both changed the domain of painting, even though their personalities had little in common.”

Got it. Creators have different personalities. But if we’re looking for one word to capture the essence of what makes them unique? Complexity. Like the color white, creative individuals “tend  to bring together the entire range of human possibilities within themselves.”

Let’s take a quick look at ten of these dialectical poles creative individuals are able to integrate without internal tension:

  1. “Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest.” <— In other words, they MAKE WAVES #smokeybot style!
  2. “Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.” Csikszentmihalyi tells us that beyond a certain basic threshold, IQ isn’t that important and reminds us of Goethe’s wisdom that “naïveté is the most important attribute of genius.”
  3. “A third—paradoxical trait refers to the related combination of playfulness and discipline.” Creators have a “bounce” of playfulness AND a tenacious work ethic.
  4. “Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and a rooted sense of reality at the other.” Sounds a lot like Mental Contrasting/WOOP to me!
  5. “Creative people seem to harbor opposite tendencies on the continuum between extroversion and introversion.” “Hello ambivert!”
  6. “Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time.” Csikszentmihalyi tells us these individuals don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the past as they’re so excited about the future. As Emerson advises: “Genius appeals to the future!”
  7. “In all cultures, men are brought up to be ‘masculine’ and to disregard and repress those aspects of their temperament that the culture regards as ‘feminine,’ whereas women are expected to do the opposite. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape this rigid gender role of stereotyping.” Csikszentmihalyi describes this as a sort of “psychological androgyny” where one can be simultaneously aggressive and nurturing.
  8. “Generally, creative people are thought to be rebellious and independent. Yet it is impossible to be creative without having first internalized a domain of culture. And a person must believe in the importance of such a domain in order to learn its rules; hence, he or she must be to a certain extent a traditionalist.” Think: Being both traditional + conservative AND rebellious + iconoclastic.
  9. “Most creative persons are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.” Simultaneously attached and detached. ALL IN while open to feedback to optimize!
    1. “Finally, the openness and sensitivity of creative individuals often exposes them to suffering

    and pain yet also a great deal of enjoyment.” To want to change things, we must be sensitive to what’s not working—and be willing to endure that pain. AND… We need to have fun. Creative individuals LOVE what they do and feel blessed to be able to do it!

    P.S. In many ways, this book reminds me of Maslow’s work. Rather than “self-actualizers” having “peak experiences,” Csikszentmihalyi studied “Creative” people in “flow.” One of the 19 characteristics of his self-actualizers that Maslow talked about in Motivation and Personality was a “resolution of dichotomies” such that: “The dichotomy between selfishness and unselfishness disappears altogether in healthy people because in principle every act is both selfish and unselfish.”

    P.P.S. How about a little Whitman? “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am vast. I have multitudes!”

    IDEA 4: WHAT ARE YOUR BEST RHYTHMS?

    “Most creative individuals find out early what their best rhythms are for sleeping, eating, and working, and abide by them even when it is tempting to do otherwise. They wear clothes that are comfortable, they interact only with people they find congenial, they do only things they think are important. Of course, such idiosyncrasies are not endearing to those they have to deal with, and it is not surprising that creative people are generally considered strange and difficult to get along with. But personalizing patterns of action helps to free the mind from the expectations that make demands on attention and allows intense concentration on matters that count.”

    —> “Most creative individuals find out early what their best rhythms are for sleeping, eating, and working, and abide by them even when it is tempting to do otherwise.”

    Dilbert-creator Scott Adams would agree.

    He’s ALL (!!!) about creating the systems to crush it. (Which is the only way you can create nearly 10,000 (!) comic strips.)

    Here’s how he puts it in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: “One of the most important tricks for maximizing your productivity involves matching your mental state to the task. For example, when I first wake up, my brain is relaxed and creative. The thought of writing a comic is fun, and it’s relatively easy because my brain is in exactly the right mode for that task. I know from experience that trying to be creative in the midafternoon is a waste of time. By 2:00 P.M. all I can do is regurgitate the ideas I’ve seen elsewhere. At 6:00 A.M. I’m a creator, and by 2:00 P.M. I’m a copier.

    Everyone is different, but you’ll discover that most writers work either early in the morning or past midnight. That’s when the creative writing juices flow most easily.”

    So… That begs the question: What are YOUR best rhythms?!

    When are you most on? Are you structuring your days to optimize your energy + attention and sticking to it even when you’re tempted to do otherwise?! Let’s do that.

    P.P.S. Oh, yah. There’s that “creators are often seen as kinda weird” thing again. Yep. That theme comes up a lot. Gotta own it if we want to crush it! 🙂

    IDEA 5: CREATIVITY + FLOW (THE 9 ELEMENTS)

    “The flow experience was described in almost identical terms regardless of the activity that produced it. Athletes, artists, religious mystics, scientists, and ordinary working people described their most rewarding experiences with very similar words. And the description did not vary much by culture, gender or age; old and young, rich and poor, men and women, Americans and Japanese seem to experience enjoyment in the same way, even though they may be doing very different things to attain it. Nine main elements were mentioned over and over again to describe how it feels when an experience is enjoyable.”

    Flow.

    Understanding this state of optimal experience is what Csikszentmihalyi is best known for and what he dedicated his career to understanding. (Again, see Notes on Flow!)

    Let’s take a quick look at the nine main elements of creating flow in our lives:

    1. “There are clear goals every step of the way.” Quite simply: You CANNOT have flow without starting with a clear goal/target/focus for your attention. Period.

    2. “There is immediate feedback to one’s actions.” The rock climber knows if they’re doing well b/c they’re still on the mountain. The musician knows if his last note was on.

    3. “There is a balance between challenges and skills.” Too much challenge = anxiety. Too little challenge = boredom. Find the flow channel right at the sweet spot where challenge = skills.

    4. “Action and awareness are merged.” In short, we’re focused. We have one-pointed attention. We’re not thinking of one thing while doing another.

    5. “Distractions are excluded from consciousness.” We’re in DEEP WORK mode. Our attention isn’t splintered by a million distractions. We’re all in and intensely present.

    6.”There is no worry of failure.” We’re too focused and engaged to think of failure.

    7. “Self-consciousness disappears.” There’s no room for self-consciousness when you’re truly ALL IN. Sure sign you’re out of flow is when you’re wondering how you’re looking.

    8. “The sense of time becomes distorted.” It can feel shorter or longer than it was but: “Clock time no longer marks equal lengths of experienced time.”

    9. “The activity becomes autotelic.” Autotelic is Greek-speak for something that is an end in itself. Most of the time we do things as a means to an end. In flow, the activity itself is its own reward. <— Making our entire lives one little autotelic moment after another—from the most mundane dishes to the most sublime experiences = true mastery.

    Well, there we go. That’s a super quick look at this great book. Time to get our flow on as we tap into our Creativity and optimize + actualize!

    If you liked this Blog, you’ll probably like:

    1. THE EXCELLENCE MANIFESTO

    ******************************************************************************************

    As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

    Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

    Like My FaceBook Page: Here 

    Follow me on Twitter:Here 

    *If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

    Spread the love, Tag a friend, share the blog post far and wide… Your feedback is highly appreciated and thanks alot for the support!!

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth- (What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything) By CHRIS HADFIELD


“See, a funny thing happened on the way to space: I learned how to live better and more happily here on Earth. Over time, I learned how to anticipate problems in order to prevent them, and how to respond effectively in critical situations. I learned how to neutralize fear, how to stay focused and how to succeed.

And many of the techniques I learned were fairly simple though counterintuitive—crisp inversions of snappy aphorisms, in some cases. Astronauts are taught that the best way to reduce stress is to sweat the small stuff. We’re trained to look on the dark side and to imagine the worst things that could possibly happen. In fact, in simulators, one of the most common questions we learn to ask ourselves is, ‘Okay, what’s the next thing that will kill me?’ …

The upshot of all this is that we become competent, which is the most important quality to have if you’re an astronaut—or, frankly, anyone, anywhere, who is striving to succeed at anything at all. Competence means keeping your head in a crisis, sticking with a task even when it seems hopeless, and improvising good solutions to tough problems when every second counts. It encompasses ingenuity, determination and being prepared for anything.

Astronauts have these qualities not because we’re smarter than everyone else… It’s because we are taught to view the world—and ourselves—differently. My shorthand for it is ‘thinking like an astronaut.’ But you don’t have to go to space to learn to do that.

It’s mostly a matter of changing your perspective.”

~ Chris Hadfield from An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

astronauts guide on earth

THE BIG IDEAS

1. Have an Attitude

How’s yours?

2. The Colonel Says!

Be ready. Work hard. Enjoy it!

3. Astro-WOOP!

What can go wrong?

4. Sweat the Small Stuff

It’s all small stuff.

5. Deep Love

Schedule it!

6. Finish Strong

Be a hero at the end.

7. Everything Counts

So make it count.

After reading Adam Steltzner’s great book The Right Kind of Crazy about his incredible experience landing a rover on Mars, I decided to stay in deep space and read this book.

I’m glad I did. It’s awesome.

You might know Chris Hadfield as the guitar strumming astronaut in outer space—if you haven’t watched this astonishing video of him singing a revised edition of Space Oddity while aboard the International Space Station, check it out!

The easiest way to describe the book is to imagine how cool Chris must be to create THAT video and then imagine how cool a book of his would be. That’s this book.

As the sub-title suggests, it’s all about what going to space taught him about ingenuity, determination, and being prepared for anything. It’s a wise, witty, humble and fun look at how to rock it on Earth. (Get the book here.)

It’s also packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to explore some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: HAVE AN ATTITUDE

“In space flight, ‘attitude’ refers to orientation: which direction your vehicle is pointing relative to the Sun, Earth and other spacecraft. If you lose control of your attitude, two things happen:the vehicle starts to tumble and spin, disorienting everyone on board, and it also strays from its course, which, if you’re short on time or fuel, could mean the difference between life and death.In the Soyuz, for example, we use every cue from every available source—periscope, multiple sensors, the horizon—to monitor our attitude constantly and adjust if necessary. We never want to lose attitude, since maintaining attitude is fundamental to success.

In my experience, something similar is true on Earth. Ultimately, I don’t determine whether I arrive at the desired professional destination. Too many variables are out of my control. There’s really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.”

Attitude.

If you’re flying through space at crazy speeds, it’s best you keep very close tabs on it.

And… Same thing with life on Earth!!

As you keep good track of your attitude, keep this gem by Walter Rusell (see Notes on The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe) in mind: “Joy and happiness are the indicators  of balance in a human machine, just as a change in the familiar hum in a mechanism immediately indicates an abnormalcy to the practiced ear of the mechanic. An inner joyousness, amounting to ecstasy, is the normal condition of the genius mind. Any lack of  that joyousness develops body-destroying toxins. That inner ecstasy of the mind is the secret fountain of perpetual youth and strength in any man. He who finds it finds omnipotence and omniscience.”

So, how’s your attitude?

Let’s keep track and adjust in flight! 🙂

IDEA 2: THE COLONEL SAYS!

“My kids are endlessly amused by what they see as my earnestness. For years now they have played a game they call ‘The Colonel Says,’ which involves parroting sayings of mine that they find particularly hilarious. My son Evan’s personal favorite, which I barked at him from beneath the family car I was trying to fix: ‘No one ever accomplished anything great sitting down.’ Recently, they’ve joked about creating a ‘Colonel Says’ app that would spit out sayings appropriate to any situation. It’s a great idea, though I think you’d only need one: ‘Be ready.Work. Hard. Enjoy it!” It fits every situation.”

Head on over to your local app store and download ‘The Colonel Says’ app for some fresh wisdom from the good Colonel.

Download complete. Now, fire it up!

It says: “Be ready. Work. Hard. Enjoy it!”

Refresh: “Be ready. Work. Hard. Enjoy it!”

One more: “Be ready. Work. Hard. Enjoy it!”

Perfect.

Fits every situation. 🙂

IDEA 3: ASTRO-WOOP

“It’s puzzling to me that so many self-help gurus urge people to visualize victory, and stop there.Some even insist that if you wish for good things long enough and hard enough, you’ll get them—and, conversely, that if you focus on the negative, you actually invite bad things to happen. Why make yourself miserable worrying? Why waste time getting ready for disasters that may never happen?

Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive. …

My optimism and confidence come not from feeling I’m luckier than other mortals, and they sure don’t come from visualizing victory. They’re the result of a lifetime spent visualizing defeat and figuring out how to prevent it.

Like most astronauts, I’m pretty sure that I can deal with what life throws at me because I’ve thought about what to do if things go wrong, as well as right. That’s the power of negative thinking.”

The chapter titles throughout the book playfully go against a bunch of modern self-help ideas. For example, there’s “Sweat the Small Stuff” and “Aim to Be a Zero.”

This Idea is from a chapter called “The Power of Negative Thinking.”

Gabrielle Oettingen would approve. In her GREAT book Rethinking Positive Thinking, she scientifically confirms the power of Chris’s wisdom.

In short (as we’ve discussed), it’s not enough to simply visualize your life unfolding perfectly.

Gabrielle tells us we need to “mentally contrast” that ideal vision with the obstacles that may get in the way of us attaining our goals.

It’s EXACTLY what Chris says: “Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.”

When we’re willing to rub our ideals up against reality, we can plan appropriately. THAT leads to a true, deep confidence because we know we’re ready to deal with whatever life throws at us.

= The power of negative thinking.

Remember to WOOP!

W: Start with your ideal Wish.

O: Feel the benefits of achieving that Outcome.

O: THEN look at the potential Obstacles within *you* that might get in the way.

P: Then create an if… then Plan to rock it and voila!

You’ve ASTRO-WOOPed your way to awesome.

<— Let’s do that.

Right now.

Wish:          ___________________________

Outcome: ___________________________

Obstacle: ___________________________

Plan:          ___________________________

IDEA 4: SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

“Later, discussing what went wrong, we all suspected the droplets from my water bag—maybe they mixed with a bead of sweat, or something from my hair, or something inside the suit itself. We were going over all the possibilities with Mission Control when CAPCOM asked, ‘Chris, did you remember to anti-fog your stuff?’ Of course I had. The night before I’d polished the visor of the suit so it wouldn’t fog up like a ski mask. ‘Well, we think you didn’t do it perfectly. Probably you didn’t get it all off.’ Apparently the solution is basically dishwashing detergent; mix it with a few droplets of loose water and it’s as though you’ve squirted soap directly into your eye. My first response to this news was, ‘Really? We’re using detergent? No More Tears baby shampoo wasn’t an option?’

But my second response was, ‘Next time, I’ll be even more detail-oriented.’ A spacewalk with a multi-million-dollar piece of equipment that was—is—absolutely vital to the construction of the ISS was jeopardized because of a microscopic drop of cleaning solution….

That’s why it’s worth it to sweat the small stuff. And even in my line of work, it’s all small stuff.”

Imagine doing a spacewalk to install an incredibly important piece of equipment to the International Space Station. (The Canadarm2—a robotic arm that would be essential to building out the ISS, which was then in its infancy.)

After a year and a half of training and an entire life of preparation before that, you’re out in space. (SPACE!!!) (Seriously. Imagine that. NUTS!)

Then, midway through a long day of hard work in OUTER SPACE (!), imagine going blind as some weird irritant gets in your eyeball and painfully eliminates your vision. If you stop now the mission would be a (very expensive!) failure. (Yowsers!)

Then, remember how astronauts think—keeping their *attitude* dialed in with an empowered, “I’ve got this!” mindset. Good news: You’re able to work blind for a bit and tough it out—blinking your way through the scary challenge and doing what needs to get done. #highfives!!

Then… As you troubleshoot with Mission Control, you learn the issue that nearly jeopardized the whole spacewalk was tied to a slight imperfection in how you anti-fogged your mask. Countless millions of dollars to get you out into space and a microscopic drop of DETERGENT nearly ruins the whole thing.

Reminds me of Adam Steltzner’s story about Radio Shack in The Right Kind of Crazy where he tells us: “When you’re building something like an Entry, Descent, and Landing system to put a spacecraft on Mars, it’s easy to devote all your attention to the “naughty bits,” things  like phenolic impregnated carbon ablators, Mach 2.25 disk-gap-band parachutes, and high- thrust, deep- throttling hydrazine monopropellant engines, the innovative, glamorous new designs that push the boundaries of the physical laws. And it’s all too easy to completely ignore the more mundane elements that are just as essential. It pays to remember that you can have written the most sophisticated EDL software known to man, but all it takes to kill your billion- dollar project is failure in one component the likes of which you could have picked up at Radio Shack.”

Moral of the stories? SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!!!!

What’s your mission these days? Launching a business? Navigating your relationship through an asteroid field? Recovering your health?

REMEMBER: Eat. Move. Sleep. Train your mind. Master the fundies.

Sweat the small stuff. It matters way more than you may think!!

Question: How can you dial in the Radio Shack aspects of *your* life just a little more today?

IDEA 5: DEEP LOVE TIME BLOCKS

“When you have great backup, as I have always had, you can start to take it for granted or become selfish and just expect that your needs will take precedence. I’ve tried to guard against that by making sure that when I have any wiggle room in my schedule, Helene is the one who sets the agenda, whether it includes me or not. I also make a point of actively looking for opportunities to spend time together. On Sunday mornings, for instance, no matter what else is going on, Helene and I try to walk the dogs, then go get coffee and do the New York Times crossword puzzle together. Prioritizing family time—making it mandatory, in the same way that a meeting at work is mandatory—helps show the people who are most important to me that they are, in fact, most important to me.

And it’s not exactly unpleasant for me, either.”

In How to supercharge our days we talk about some key elements to creating the kind of great days that will add up to a great year and a great life. Scheduling time for family is one of the core Big Ideas.

We know that “time blocks” are the #1 time-management power tools out there—we need to schedule our Deep Work time blocks if we want to do great work.

AND… We need to schedule Deep LOVE time blocks as well—that are just as non-negotiable as any other essential meeting we might have during the day.

I’d never be late for a meeting with my hero. So, why am I so consistently late for adventure time with my sister or family time at the end of the day?

Note to self: Show the people who are most important to me that they are, in fact, most important to me!

Note to you: When’s your next Deep Love time block? Schedule it!

IDEA 6: FINISH STRONG!

“The lesson for me was that the very last thing you do on a mission is just as important as the first thing you did—perhaps even more important, actually, because now you’re tired. It’s like the last mile of a marathon: the effort has to be more deliberate and you’ve got to push yourself,hard, to keep going right to the very end. It’s tempting to tell yourself, ‘I’ve only got 20 steps left,’ but if you start anticipating the finish line, chances are that you’ll let up and then you could make mistakes—ones that could be fatal in my line of work.

It’s dangerous to think of descent as an anticlimax. Instead of looking back longingly over your shoulder at what you’re leaving behind, you need to be asking, ‘What’s the next thing that could kill me?'”

Remember the Sanskrit word for being a hero in the beginning? You know, when you start a new project with trumpets and fanfare and then tip-toe out the back door the moment it gets hard. Arambhashura.

Astronauts LITERALLY can’t afford to be heroes in the beginning. They need to make it home and be heroes at the END.

Paulo Coelho tells us: “To avoid falling into treacherous traps, it is best to consider that you have covered half your journey only when you have walked ninety percent of the road.”

And, then, we’ve STILL gotta finish strong!

As one of my mentors reminded me during the dot-com implosion, “It’s not how you start something, it’s how you finish it.”

Let’s FINISH STRONG! Again and again and again.

IDEA 7: EVERYTHING COUNTS

“If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time. Personally, I’d rather feel good most of the time, so to me everything counts: the small moments, the medium ones, the successes that make the papers and also the ones that no one knows about but me. The challenge is avoiding being derailed by the big, shiny moments that turn other people’s heads. You have to figure out for yourself how to enjoy and celebrate them, and then move on.”

One of the key themes Chris comes back to many times is the fact that astronauts are ALL (!!!) about the process—the daily grind of practicing a certain maneuver again and again and again.

When we think of astronauts, we think of the big launches and spacewalks and other magical things. But the fact is that most of their lives are dedicated to the extremely mundane aspects of getting there and back safely.

It’s anything but sexy. (Which reminds me of Darren Hardy’s gem from The Compound Effect:“I want you to know in your bones that your only path to success is through a continuum of  mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time. Know, too, that the results, the life, and the lifestyle of your dreams can be yours when you put the Compound Effect to work for you. If you use the principles outlined in the The Compound Effect, you will create your fairy-tale ending.”)

Tom Rath tells us we have ~500 million moments and that it’s all about appreciating the small moments day-in and day-out that leads to sustainable happiness.

So, let’s celebrate our launches and moonwalks AND appreciate the mundane moments of joy as we optimize, actualize and flourish in this precious life on Earth.

If you liked this Blog, you’ll probably like:

  1. What to say when you talk to yourself
  2. The Miracle Morning
  3. The Happiness Equation
  4. Excuses Begone!
  5. THE EXCELLENCE MANIFESTO

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My FaceBook Page: Here 

Follow me on Twitter:Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

Spread the love, Tag a friend, share the blog post far and wide and thanks alot for the support!!

Are You Fully Charged? -The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life (By TOM RATH)


“To discover what creates a full charge, my team and I reviewed countless articles and academic studies, and interviewed some of the world’s leading social scientists. We identified and catalogued more than 2,600 ideas for improving daily experience. As we narrowed down the concepts to the most proven and practical strategies, underlying patterns continued to surface. Three key conditions differentiate days when you have a full charge from typical days:

  • Meaning: doing something that benefits another person
  • Interactions: creating far more positive than negative moments
  • Energy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health …

The good news is that you don’t have to go on a retreat in the woods to find meaning, you don’t need to find new friends at a cocktail party to have better interactions, and you certainly don’t need to run a marathon or embark on a fad diet to create physical energy. The biggest changes for your daily well-being start with a few small steps.”

~ Tom Rath from Are You Fully Charged?

FullyCharged-838x1024

THE BIG IDEAS

1. The 3 Conditions

= Meaning + Interactions + Energy.

2. Meaning

= Strengths + Interests + Needs.

3. Your Talents

Double down every turn.

4. 45 + 15

Work. Rest. Repeat.

5. 500 Million Moments

Use them wisely.

6. The iPhone Effect

Put your smartphone away.

7. Making the Connection

Btwn daily decisions and energy.

8. Infusing Good Things

While we can.

Are you fully charged?

Tom Rath tells us it’s all about what we do DAILY and that if we want to improve the quality of our lives (and sense of aliveness!), we need to focus on optimizing three key conditions: Meaning + Interactions + Energy.

Tom himself is an incredibly inspiring guy. Diagnosed with cancer at 16, he discovered that he has a rare gene mutation that shuts off a powerful tumor suppressor. As a result, he lost his left eye and has spent a week in the hospital every year getting tests to make sure his various cancers (in his eye, kidneys, pancreas, adrenal glands, and spine) are in check before getting a new 12-month lease on life. (Wow.)

Being the superhero he is, this has catalyzed him to make the most of every day. He’s written a number of books (including StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Eat Move Sleep) that have sold over 6 million copies and spent 300+ weeks on The Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

Tom also wrote one of our absolute favorite children’s books (which complements this book) called The Rechargeables featuring two little kids (Poppy and Simon) who learn how to get their charge up via moving, eating and sleeping then go on a mission to help the rest of their town.

 

The book is packed with wisdom that distills a *ton* of research into fun-reading, actionable goodness. (Get the book here.)

As always, I’m excited to share some of my favorite Ideas so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA TWO: MEANING = STRENGTHS + INTERESTS + NEEDS

“You create meaning when your strengths and interests meet the needs of the world. Knowing your talents and passions is critical, but that is only half of this supply-and-demand equation. What may be even more important is understanding what the world needs from you and how you can productively apply your strengths and interests. …

One of the rightful critiques of all the ‘follow your passion’ advice is that it presumes that you are the center of the world, and pursuing your own joy is the objective of life. Those who make a profound difference, in contrast, begin by asking what they can give. Starting with this question allows you to direct your talents toward what matters most for others.”

Creating meaning on a daily basis is the first condition of getting fully charged.

Two things here.

First, Tom’s critique of the “follow your passion” advice reminds me of Cal Newport whose great book So Good They Can’t Ignore You is essentially a treatise pointing to the perils of what he calls the “passion mindset” vs. the power of the “craftsman mindset.”

Here’s how Cal puts it: “Whereas the craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world, the passion mindset focuses on what the world can offer you. This mindset is how most  people approach their working lives.”

In short, it’s not all about us. So, how do we create meaning?

—> “You create meaning when your strengths and interests meet the needs of the world.”

Strengths + Interests + Needs.

What are you good at?          _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

What do you want to do?       _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

What does the world need? _____________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Deep, sustainable meaning is created at the nexus of those questions.

I’ve journaled a similar version of this set of questions countless times. Business writer Jim Collins tells us that great companies and great humans focus on what he calls the Hedgehog Concept—the nexus of what you love, what you can be the best in the world at and what the world needs/is willing to pay for.

These questions are worth exploring again and again. And, most importantly (of course), living.

Here’s to creating meaning!

IDEA 3: DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR TALENTS AT EVERY TURN

“If you spend most of your life trying to be good at everything, you eliminate your chances of being great at anything. Unless your goal is to be mediocre at a lot of things, starting with what you are naturally good at is a matter of efficiency. Focusing on strengths is in many ways a basic time-allocation issue. Every hour you invest in an area where you have natural talent has a multiplying effect, whereas each hour you spend trying to remedy a weakness is like working against a gravitational force. Yet many people spend years or even decades working on weaknesses in hopes that doing so will make them well-rounded.

Do everything you can to avoid falling into this trap. While well-roundedness may be helpful for acquiring the basic tools in any trade—such as reading, writing, and arithmetic—it loses value as you get closer to finding a career. At that point, what’s more important and relevant is what sets you apart. If you want to be great at something in your lifetime, double down on your talents at every turn.”

Tom is ALL ABOUT focusing on our strengths. I need to do a Note on his best-selling StrengthsFinder 2.0. For now, let’s do a quick check in.

First, a review of the first question above: WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?

Second, where’s your focus? On developing your strengths or on your weaknesses?

We need to put enough energy into making sure our weaknesses don’t ruin the whole party, but beyond that, we need to have the courage to FOCUS on our strengths.

What sets you apart?

Are you willing to double down on your talents at every turn?

IDEA FOUR: 45 + 15

“The answer to this question may lie in DeskTime, a software application that meticulously tracks employees’ time use throughout the day. When the makers of this software looked at the most productive 10 percent of their 36,000-employee user base, they made some surprising discoveries. What the most productive people have in common is an ability to take effective breaks. These elite 10 percent work for 52 minutes at a time, then take a 17-minute break before diving back into their work.

According to Julia Gifford, who works with DeskTime and wrote the report, the reason this pattern helps productivity is that the top 10 percent treat the periods of working time like a sprint. ‘They make the most of those 52 minutes by working with intense purpose, but then rest up to be ready for the next burst,’ Gifford wrote. She also noted that during the 17 minutes of break, the group was more likely to go for a walk or tune out rather than checking email or Facebook.”

That’s from a mini-chapter called “Focus for 45, break for 15” in which Tom talks about the Finnish educational system where, for every 45 minutes in the classroom they are given a 15-minute unstructured break.

Apparently the results are astonishing so Tom wondered if the same results would apply to adults. Short answer: It does.

We talk about this a lot. Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr describe it as “making waves”—honoring our natural “ultradian” rhythms and alternating intense bursts (/sprints!) of work activity with equally intense periods of rest (PS: If you haven’t read it check out my blogpost here )

ON and OFF.

Rhythmically expanding the amplitudes of the waves me make throughout the day.

How’re you doing with that?

What’s ONE thing you could do today to get a little better with it?

P.S. Later in the book, Tom talks about K. Anders Ericsson’s classic research on elite performance. We all know about the 10,000 hour rule at this point. A less known fact from that data is that the best performers RESTED more than the sub-elite. A lot more. They slept more and they napped more—after working in intense bursts like we discussed above.

P.P.S. I promise to keep bringing this up as it’s huge. 🙂

IDEA FIVE:  500 MILLION MOMENTS

“The actions you take throughout every single day accumulate to shape your years, decades, and overall life. However, when you think about a typical day, it’s easy to take these moments for granted.

Even brief interactions count, such as exchanging a smile or greeting while passing someone on the street. If you look at moments as three-second windows, there are 1,200 moments per hour and 19,200 in a day. That equates to roughly 500 million moments over a lifetime.

The frequency of these brief experiences, within a given day, is far more important than their intensity, as research on this topic confirms.

For example, a person who has a dozen mildly positive things happen during a day will feel better than someone who has one single truly amazing thing happen. Even in a single day, it is the little things that count. My team’s research found that people who reported having great interactions throughout the day were nearly four times as likely to have very high well-being.”

One of the key themes of the book is that our life is *really* made up of small moments, that,when looked at over the course of a day determine our sense of aliveness and, over the course of our lifetimes equate to our overall sense of well-being.

3 second moments.

They matter a LOT more than we may think.

And…

There are a LOT more of them than we may think.

500 million moments.

The quality of our lives are determined moment to moment to moment.

Let’s make our interactions as positive as we can. And feel our charge go up and stay up!

IDEA SIX: THE iPHONE EFFECT: PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN + OUT OF SIGHT!!!

“Nothing adds more value to life than close social relationships. This is why it is so important to focus on the people you are with when you are with them.

There are countless distractions around you. In some cases, these distractions can be helpful.When I’m stuck in a long line in a grocery store, my digital pacifier (smartphone) is remarkably useful. Having the Internet in my pocket turns boring and frustrating moments into an opportunity to learn something or text a friend. However, these distractions create problems when you use them while spending time with friends, colleagues, or loved ones.

In fact, a 2014 study titled ‘The iPhone Effect’ shows how the mere presence of a smartphone can ruin a conversation. In an experiment with 200 participants, researchers found that simply placing a mobile communication device on the table or having participants hold it in their hand was a detriment to their conversations. Any time the phone was visible, the quality of the conversation was rated as less fulfilling when compared with conversations that took place in the absence of mobile devices. People reported having higher levels of empathetic concern when phones were not visible.”

A couple primary things of note here.

1) The quality of our social interactions is one of THE key drivers to our overall well-being.

2) Although they can be handy when we’re alone, smartphones are TOXIC when we’re hanging out with other people.

I love the fact that scientists have actually studied this.

If you want to reduce the quality of your interactions, then make sure you keep your phone visible while you’re hanging out with people.

AND, if you really want to diminish the quality of your social experiences, hold your smartphone and glance at it often as you get new messages—that will let your friends/family/etc. know you are either a) a rat addicted to your stimulant and/or b) you just don’t care about them. (Hah.)

Remember the iPhone Effect.

Be present. Put the phone in airplane mode. And put it out of sight.

Please.

(This has to be one of the simplest, most powerful ways to bring a TON of presence and mojo back to your relationships. As a former iPhone addict, it’s been remarkable for me to practice this. Try it!!!)

IDEA SEVEN: MAKING THE CONNECTION

“Making the connection between better decisions and my daily energy levels has done far more to change my behavior than all I have learned about longer term health consequences. When I have an important day ahead, I make sure to get some activity in the morning so I’m in a better mood and my thinking is sharper. I base my decisions about what to eat for lunch on whether the meal will help sustain my energy into the afternoon and evening. If I am active throughout the day and eat well, I know that I will then have a better night’s sleep, which will give me a head start on the next day.”

The third key condition to getting our charge up?

Energy.

We MUST prioritize adequate sleep, healthy eating and consistent movement.

Tom’s wisdom above echoes Michelle Segar’s research on the science of motivation from her great book No Sweat  where she tells us:

“As it turns out, research shows that even reasons that sound very sensible and important may not lead us to the results we’re seeking. Some years ago, my colleagues and I conducted a study in which we examined the impact of people’s reasons to start exercising on their actual involvement in exercise. We first asked the participants to state their reasons or goals for exercising… Then, to uncover their higher-level reasons for exercising, we asked them why they cared about obtaining those particular benefits. My colleagues and I found that 75 percent of participants cited weight loss or better health (current and future) as their top reasons for exercising; the other 25 percent exercised in order to enhance the quality of their daily lives (such as to create a sense of well-being or feel centered). Then we measured how much time they actually spent exercising over the course of the next year. The answer may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true: The vast majority of the participants whose goals were weight loss and better health spent the least amount of time exercising overall—up to 32 percent less than those with other goals.

Think about that for a moment: Our most common and culturally accepted reasons for exercising are associated with doing the least amount of exercise. How can this be?”

In short: Forget the abstract, long-term benefits of healthy living. Focus on how simple decisions you make today will effect your energy levels TODAY.

Want to feel great? Eat Move Sleep.

#repeat

IDEA 8: INFUSING GOOD THINGS WHILE WE CAN

“You have a limited number of days to make a difference. This is one of the few certainties that everyone shares. It can also be an extraordinary motivational force. Embrace the fact that you need to infuse a lot of good things into this world while you can. You have the opportunity to decide how you will spend your time. Use this knowledge to stay focused on doing what’s most important every day. …

Start with work that creates meaning. Invest in each interaction to strengthen your relationships.Make sure you have the energy to be your best. Doing these three things, in combination, is the definition of being fully charged *and* adding a positive charge to those around you.”

As we all know (but often like to ignore), we have a finite number of days to make a difference.

TODAY is the day to stay focused on what matters.

I love the way Todd Henry helps us capture the power of this reality in this thought exercise from Die Empty.

In short: He tells us to imagine someone following you around all day, taking copious notes about when you get up, what you do, how you treat people (and yourself)—basically everything from the moment you get up till the moment you go to sleep. Then that person catalogues their notes and creates a summary of your *entire* life based on that one day.

If you had that person following you today, how would you act? Would you bring more meaning to your life? More presence to your interactions? And more energy to the whole day?

Here’s to getting our charge way up as we optimize, actualize and give ourselves most fully to the world!

If you liked this Blog, you’ll probably like:

  1. The Miracle Morning
  2. The Happiness Equation
  3. Excuses Begone!
  4. THE EXCELLENCE MANIFESTO

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My FaceBook Page: Here 

Follow me on Twitter:Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

 

 

The Little Boy who put the world back together: A story by Jim Quinn, Founder of the Lifestream Basic Seminar


287

Every day at 5:00 pm, Dad would come home after a heavy day at the office. His little boy, who was 4 years old, would come running down the stairs shouting, “Daddy’s home, Daddy’s home” and he would jump into his father’s arms begging him to play with him for a while. But, his father, who had worked hard all day, was too tired to play right this moment and would tell his son, “Not now, maybe after dinner”. His son would reply, “Ok Daddy, after supper, then we’ll play.”

After dinner, Dad would head for the living-room, especially after those heavy meals and “crash-out” on the sofa in front of the TV. The little boy would come rushing into the living-room, full of smiles and glee, all ready to play with his Daddy, only to be disappointed to see his Dad asleep on the couch.

This went on for sometime and quite frankly, the little boy was getting a little bit tired of this situation, so he decided, this Saturday, he would get his Daddy to play with him, no matter what! (He was 100% committed because he was “natural” four year old boy.)

Saturday came, and the little boy knew that today was the day and he could hardly wait to get playing with Dad. What the little boy didn’t know that today, this Saturday was the day of the “Big Game” and every father in the country was getting ready to watch the “Big Game” on TV.

Dad was in the living room getting all set up. The TV was positioned just right, his bowl of potato chips was within arms reach, his remote strategically placed on his right for quick control. He was just settling in on the couch when his little boy came running into the living-room, jumped into his Daddy’s lap, snatching the remote from him and turning the TV and the “Big Game” off, laughing and giggling and tickling his father, saying, “come on Daddy let’s play…we’re going play today no matter what!” But his Dad didn’t want to play, he wanted to watch the “Big Game” and this was really getting him upset. (His Dad hadn’t taken the Lifestream seminar yet, so he was a little un-centered about it).

His Daddy did however love him and he didn’t want to scold him for interrupting his “Big Game”, so he needed a diversion. And then it hit him, oh it was a clever plan, a most ingenious scheme that would keep his son busy so he’d have plenty of time to watch the “Big Game” all afternoon.

On the coffee table, Dad saw a magazine with a picture of planet earth on the front cover. He said to his son, Do you see this picture of world, tearing the cover off the magazine? The little boy replied “yes”, thinking he finally had won, his Dad was going to now play with him! Taking the little boy to the kitchen table and ripping the picture of the world into little pieces, mixing them up on the table and giving his son some “scotch tape” he said, “When you put the picture back together then we’ll play OK?” He son said, “OK Daddy” and started to work on the puzzle. Dad went back to the living-room, sat on the couch getting comfortable and turning the “Big Game” back on, thinking to himself, it will take him all afternoon for him to figure that puzzle out.

Dad had no sooner started watching the game when his son came running into the living-room, shouting with glee, “I did it, I did it, look Daddy I did it, I taped the picture back together!” His Dad couldn’t believe his eyes saying, “How, how did you do it so fast?” This little boy looked up at his daddy and said, “When you tore the cover off the magazine, I noticed a picture of a little boy on the back of it. I just knew if I pasted that little boy back together, the world would come together too.”

 

LESSONS FROM THE STORY

  1. We need to reflect on our lives and evaluate what needs to be re-touched.
  2. We need to find balance between family and work since the two entities are paramount in distinctive ways.
  3.  Prioritization  gives us an opportunity to put the pieces of our life back in place. To find our balance, to be centered, to trust, love, forgive, be responsible, take accountability and play win/win so that our world comes together too

So, here’s to reconnecting our jigsaws..stitching back our life pieces and dreams together!

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My FaceBook Page: Here 

Follow me on Twitter:Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

 

 

The Miracle Morning-The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8 AM (By HAL ELROD)


“Whether you want to make significant improvements in just a few key areas, or you are ready for a major overhaul that will radically transform your entire life—so your current circumstances will soon become only a memory of what was—you’ve picked up the right book. You are about to begin a miraculous journey, using a simple, but revolutionary process that is guaranteed to transform any area of your life… all before 8:00 am.”

~ Hal Elrod from The Miracle Morning

miracle morning

THE BIG IDEAS

1. Taking Life Head On

Is the only way to roll.

2. Writing a Good Story

Includes big challenges!

3. Why Mornings?

Because they’re super important.

4. Life S.A.V.E.R.S.

Are miraculously awesome.

->S Is for Silence

The secret sauce.

->A Is for Affirmations

Rewire through repetition.

->V Is for Visualizations

See yourself performing.

->E Is for Exercise

You exercising?

->R is for Reading

And S is for Scribing!

->Habits 101

Unbearable to unstoppable.

Hal Elrod is an inspiring guy.

At 20 years old he was hit head on by a drunk driver. At 70 mph. (Ouch.)

He was found dead. (Yikes.) After 6 minutes of that (near-)death experience, he spent several days in a coma and awoke to discover he had suffered brain damage and was told that he may never walk again. He defied the odds and proved we’re all capable of overcoming obstacles while creating the life of our dreams. (Amazing.)

Years later, he found himself in a funk and discovered The Morning Miracle. And, here we are!

One of my dear friends (thanks, Latifah!) recommended this book and I’m glad he did. It’s fantastic.

If you’ve been looking to jump start your life—or just take it to the next level—there’s no better place to start than by dialing in your morning routine and Hal is the perfect guide to help us discover the “not-so-obvious secrets” to rockin’ it before 8:00 am!

The book is packed with Big Ideas. Hal does a really (!) good job of helping us architect our miracle mornings—whether that’s a 6-minute plan to start or 60. In this Note, I’m going to focus on a handful of my favorite Big Ideas. If you’re feelin’ it, get the book (here) for a deeper dive and connect with Hal at miraclemorning.com.

For now, let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: TAKING LIFE HEAD ON

“I believe it is crucial for us to embrace the perspective that anything another person has overcome or accomplished is simply evidence that anything—and I mean anything—we need to overcome or want to accomplish is possible for us, no matter what our past or current circumstance. It begins with accepting total responsibility for every aspect of your life and refusing to blame anyone else. The degree to which you accept responsibility for everything in your life is precisely the degree of personal power you have to change or create anything in your life.”

Step 1. We need to take COMPLETE responsibility.

Challenging things happen. Weird things happen in life. (Like getting hit by a drunk driver head on at 70 mph.) We can’t control that. That’s just part of the deal.

We CAN, however, choose how we will RESPOND to those challenges.

As Hal tells us, it *all* starts with taking absolute responsibility for how we respond to life.

Period.

And I just love the way he describes the fact that anything another person has overcome or accomplished is evidence that WE can overcome and/or accomplish the same things.

Marcus Aurelius echoes this wisdom. He tells us: “Because a thing is difficult for you, do not therefore suppose it beyond mortal power. On the contrary, if anything is possible and proper  for a man to do, assume that it must fall within your own capacity.”

Joseph Campbell echoes the power of taking our challenges head on as well. He tells us: “There is an important idea in Nietzsche, of Amor fati, the ‘love of your fate,’ which is in fact your life. As he says, if you say no to a single factor in your life, you have unraveled the whole thing. Furthermore, the more challenging or threatening the situation or context to be assimilated and affirmed, the greater the stature of the person who can achieve it. The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.”

Here’s to loving our fate, swallowing demons and getting its power and taking life head on!

IDEA TWO: WRITING A GOOD STORY

“Know that wherever you are in your life right now is both temporary, and exactly where you are supposed to be. You have arrived at this moment to learn what you must learn, so you can become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Even when life is difficult or challenging—especially when life is difficult and challenging—the present is always an opportunity for us to learn, grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before. You are in the process of writing your life story, and no good story is without a hero or heroine overcoming their fair share of challenges. In fact, the bigger the challenges, the better the story. Since there are no restrictions and no limits to where your story goes from here, what do you want the next page to say?”

That. Is. Awesome.

Watch a good movie lately? Did the hero/heroine face any challenges?

OF COURSE THEY DID.

It’s the challenges and the process of overcoming them that makes any great story great.

Guess what? The same holds true for our lives. We need to quit telling ourselves that a great life always goes perfectly. The great life is one in which we dare greatly, are willing to be in the arena, get knocked down, get back up and give it our best shot. Again. And again. And again.

Remember, we’re the author of our own hero’s/heroine’s journey.

What will the next page of your wonderful adventure say?! 🙂

IDEA THREE: WHY MORNINGS ARE SO IMPORTANT

“How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days—which inevitably create a successful life—in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused,unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life. By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.”

Want to have a great day? (And therefore a great week + month + year + life?)

Start with a great morning.

Want to have a mediocre day? (And therefore a mediocre week + month + year + life?)

Start with a mediocre morning.

It really IS that simple.

You can’t have a truly extraordinary day/life if you’re starting every.single.day off lethargic and rushed and stressed. (Sorry to break it to you. 🙂

Mornings are where the magic begins.

Now let’s look at some of Hal’s Life S.A.V.E.R.S. to help us create some miracles!

IDEA FOUR: THE MIRACLE MORNING LIFE S.A.V.E.R.S.

“In order to save your Level 10 life from being neglected and limited by the demands of your life situation—which ultimately leads to a life of regret, unfulfilled potential, and even mediocrity—you must prioritize and dedicate time each day to your personal development. Enter The Miracle Morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S.—a set of six simple, life-enhancing, life-changing daily practices, each of which develops one or more of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your life, so that you can become who you need to be to create the life you want.”

Life S.A.V.E.R.S. = a set of six simple daily practices that help us rock it.

They are:

  • Silence
  • Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribing

= Magic.

Let’s take a (super) quick look at each!

THE SECRET SAUCE OF SILENCE

“If you want to immediately reduce your stress levels, to begin each day with the kind of calm,clarity, and peace of mind that will allow you to stay focused on what’s most important in your life, and even dance on the edge of enlightenment—do the opposite of what most people do— start every morning with a period of purposeful Silence. The life-enhancing benefits of Silence have been well documented throughout the ages. From the power of prayer, to the magic of meditation, some of the greatest minds in history have used purposeful Silence to transcend their limitations and create extraordinary results.”

Silence.

It’s the secret sauce of awesome. (Seriously. 🙂

How are you going to connect to that power that’s bigger than you if you’re always (!) filling yourself up with stimulation and noise? (Answer: You’re not.)

We need to slow down, take some time for silence, and allow ourselves to connect to something bigger than ourselves.

Every.Single.Morning.

Hal goes into detail about the various ways we can experience silence (meditation, prayer, etc.).

Check out the book for more.

For now, know that starting from *that* place is the first step in making your morning a miracle!

The next?

AFFIRMATIONS

“You can use affirmations to start programming yourself to be confident and successful in everything you do, simply by repeatedly telling yourself who you want to be, what you want to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it. With enough repetition, your sub-conscious mind will begin to believe what you tell it, act upon it, and eventually manifest it in your reality.

Putting your affirmations in writing makes it possible for you to choose your new programing so it moves you towards that desired condition or state of mind by enabling you to consistently review it. Constant repetition of an affirmation will lead to acceptance by the mind, and result in changes in your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. Since you get to choose and create your affirmations, you can design them to help you establish the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that you want and need to succeed.”

A is for Affirmations!

We need to reprogram our minds.

And affirmations are a stellar way to help us do that. They’re kinda like the Western version of “mantras” which comes from the Sanskrit word that literally means “mind tools.”

We need to get in there and tighten the screws on the good stuff. 🙂

In With Winning in Mind , Lanny Bassham talks about the importance of directing our Conscious minds to reprogram our Subconscious minds. He tells us we have decades of “imprints” and need to create a ton of NEW imprints of the type of person we aspire to be if we want to change—while affirming that it’s “like you” to do the right thing.

Affirm who you aspire to be again and again and again.

And, every morning. 🙂

V IS FOR VISUALIZATION

“Visualization, also known as creative visualization or mental rehearsal, refers to the practice of seeking to generate positive results in your outer world by using your imagination to create mental pictures of specific behaviors and outcomes occurring in your life. Frequently used by athletes to enhance their performance, visualization is the process of imagining exactly what you want to achieve or attain, and then mentally rehearsing what you’ll need to do to achieve or attain it.”

Genius.

Note: Hal doesn’t tell us to just visualize the *outcomes* we want. (Those are nice but focusing on that is not enough.)

We need to mentally rehearse WHAT WE WILL DO to achieve or attain those outcomes.

Too often we get too distracted by the vision board and forget that we need to spend the majority of our time imagining the things we will do to rock it.

DC Gonzalez calls it “Imagineering” in his great little book The Art of Mental Training. Here’s how he puts it: “Imagineering — the technique of showing our minds how we want things to go, and a term first made famous by the legendary dreamer, Walt Disney. We should all take his advice and allow ourselves to practice sensory rich Imagineering.

Champions use Imagineering prior to their events. It’s also often used by people in order to help them achieve successful completion of a project or an important goal over time. This simple practice has been proven to be so essential and so effective that the athlete who fails to practice this technique apparently never plays to his true potential. (Interestingly, the same results have been observed with actors and musicians as well.) For performance of any kind, mental preparation is as important as physical training. So, if you leave “Imagineering” out of your preparation, you will be hurting yourself and helping your opponent.”

So, back to you.

What’s your ideal performance look like?!

Let’s get our Visualization on!! (Every morning! 🙂

E IS FOR EXERCISE

“If you don’t take time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.”

~ Robin Sharma

“Morning exercise should be a staple in your daily rituals. When you exercise for even a few minutes every morning it significantly boosts your energy, enhances your health, improves self- confidence and emotional well-being, and enables you to think better and concentrate longer.”

Exercise.

Exercise.

Exercise.

As we discuss all.the.time., it’s huge.

Remember leading Harvard scientists tell us *not* exercising is like taking a depressant. And that exercising is kinda like taking a little bit of Ritalin and a little bit of Prozac—it sharpens our attention and boosts our mood. Those are good things. 🙂

One of my biggest takeaways from the book was to prioritize my exercise for the mornings. I had been doing it in the afternoons and it’s been *awesome* to create an AM slot to rock it.

You?

R IS FOR READING

“Reading, the fifth practice in the Life S.A.V.E.R.S., is the fast track to transforming any area of your life. It is one of the most immediate methods for acquiring the knowledge, ideas, and strategies you need to achieve Level 10 success in any area of your life.

The key is to learn from the experts—those who have already done what you want to do. Don’t reinvent the wheel. The fastest way to achieve anything you want is to model successful people who have already achieved it. With an almost infinite amount of books available on every topic,there are no limits to the knowledge you can gain through daily reading.”

Reading. It’s a (very) good thing. 🙂

I (obviously) read a TON. I always like to imagine that I’m sitting down for a cup of tea with a brilliant (!) human being who spent a year or three articulating their absolute best ideas into an awesome little book. What a gift!

Hal recommends 10 pages per day. That’s 10-15 minutes. Every day. That = 18 (!) books! Little things add up when we do them consistently over time. (So, lets!)

P.S. May I suggest including my blog in your daily reading rhythm? Great way to get the essence of a great book in quick little burst! Do that daily and you’ll get thru the best Ideas from hundred of books. (Yayuh!)

P.P.S. The final “S” is for “Scribing.” Aka writing in a journal! 🙂

FINAL IDEA : HABITS 101

“Considering that our habits create our life, there is arguably no single skill that is more important for you to learn and master than controlling your habits. You must identify, implement, and maintain the habits necessary for creating the results you want in your life,while learning how to let go of any negative habits which are holding you back from achieving your true potential.”

Amen to that.

Hal has a GREAT chapter outlining the three phases of habit creation—each 10 days (or so) long.

First, the new habit is UNBEARABLE. It’s a pain. We don’t like doing it. At all. But we persist.

The second phase is UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s not quite as bad as the first phase but not quite awesome. Yet.

The third phase is when we become UNSTOPPABLE. We feel the benefits of engaging in the habits, don’t need to use so much willpower to get ourselves to do them and are now UNSTOPPABLE. #bam!

So, here’s to creating the habits that will change our lives. And starting by making each morning another miracle!

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My FaceBook Page: Here 

Follow me on Twitter:Here 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

 

“What to Say When You Talk to Yourself: Powerful New Techniques to Program Your Potential for Success!” By SHAD HELMSTETTER, PH.D.


“After examining the philosophies, the theories, and the practiced methods of influencing human behavior, I was shocked to learn the simplicity of that one small fact: You will become what you think about most: your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming—what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself. It is no longer a success theory; it is a simple, but powerful, fact. Neither luck nor desire has the slightest thing to do with it. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.”

~ Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. from What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

what to say

THE BIG IDEAS

1.Thoughts Are Things

Let’s choose them wisely.

2. First Step

Change your programming.

3. What Is Self-Talk?

5 levels. Go for Level IV!

4. Why

Imagine two versions of you.

5. The How

What area do you want to work on?

6. Self-Conversation

And “Shower-talk.”

7. The Greatest Challenge

= Mastering your mind. Let’s!

What do YOU say when you talk to yourself?

Is it empowering? Or not so much?

Dr. Shad Helmstetter tells us that inner dialogue that’s going on all.the.time is THE most important thing we have going on. We become what we think about and our internal dialogue forms the bulk of our thoughts.Therefore, if we want to optimize and actualize, we need to dial in that conversation. And, of course, helping us do that is what this book is all about.

I picked this book up after seeing Lanny Bassham recommend it. Lanny’s the gold-medal winning author of With Winning in Mind  whose work focuses on cultivating a powerful self-image. How we talk to ourselves is a huge part of creating a powerful self-image; hence, the recommendation. I’m glad I followed his rec. This book is fantastic. Get a copy “here”.

Of course, it’s packed with Big Ideas. I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: THOUGHTS ARE THINGS

“Every thought we think, every conscious or unconscious thought we say to ourselves, is translated into electrical impulses which, in turn, direct the control centers in our brains to electrically and chemically affect and control every motion, every feeling, every action we take, every moment of every day. Whatever ‘thoughts’ you have programmed into yourself, or have allowed others to program into you, are affecting, directing, or controlling everything about you. From the day we were born, we have received a staggering amount of programming. It would require an immense computer just to compute the number of individual pieces of information we receive from the world around us in just one year. Some of the programming is obvious, but much of it we are never even aware we are receiving.”

Every single thought we have has a biological and chemical impact.

Thoughts are, in fact, THINGS!

(That’s still hard for me to believe but it’s true.)

Which, of course, begs the question: Are your thoughts good things or not so good?

As Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us: “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

So, let’s look at some Big Ideas on how to get those thoughts optimized!

The first thing we want to look at is how we’ve been programmed.

IDEA TWO: FIRST STEP- CHANGE YOUR PROGRAMMING

“It is our programming that sets up our beliefs, and the chain reaction begins. In logical progression, what we believe determines our attitudes, affects our feelings, directs our behavior,and determines our success or failure:

  1. Programming creates beliefs.
  1. Beliefs create attitudes.
  1. Attitudes create feelings.
  1. Feelings determine actions.
  1. Actions create results.

That’s how the brain works. If you want to manage yourself in a better way, and change your results, you can do so at any time you choose. Start with the first step. Change your programming.”

T. Harv Eker echoes this wisdom in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind  where he tells

us: “Your programming leads to your thoughts; your thoughts lead to your feelings; your feelings lead to your actions; your actions lead to your results. Therefore, just as is done with a personal computer, by changing your programming, you take the first essential step to changing your results.”

Both Eker and Helmstetter use the metaphor of a computer to get the point across.

In short, imagine a monitor, a keyboard and a floppy disk. Laughing. Yes, this book was written in 1982 when floppy disks were awesome. If you remember them, high fives. If you’re not old enough to remember floppy disks, God bless you. 🙂

Now, our old-school computer is only going to run whatever program is on the disk. If you want a better program, you need to erase the old floppy and program some better stuff on it.

Same basic idea with our lives.

If we’re running our show on OLD programming, we’re going to get results consistent with the quality of that programming. If we want to upgrade our lives, we need to upgrade the programming.

According to Helmstetter, that programming creates our beliefs which creates our attitudes which creates our feelings which determine actions which create results.

The best way to reprogram?

Change the way you talk to yourself.

IDEA THREE: WHAT IS SELF-TALK?

“What is Self-Talk and how does it work? The definition of Self-Talk can be simply stated: Self-Talk is a way to override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious, positive new directions. Self-Talk is a practical way to live our lives by active intent rather than by passive acceptance.With Self-Talk, we have a way to give new directions to our subconscious minds by talking to ourselves in a different way, consciously reprogramming our internal control centers with words and statements which are more effective, more helpful to every part of us that we would like to improve. The Self-Talk statements paint a new internal picture of ourselves as we would most like to be.”

So, Step 1 in creating an optimized identity is to optimize our Self-Talk—“overriding our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious, positive new directions.”

Shad tells us there are five levels of Self-Talk. We need to start by identifying our current Self-Talk and elevating it.

Here’s a quick look at the five levels:

Level I Self-Talk = The Level of Negative Acceptance. This is dominated by thoughts like, “I can’t . . .” “I could never do that,” “I’m tired and just don’t have the energy I used to have,” and other such gems.

Unfortunately, this is the dominant form of Self-Talk for most people. It needs to go. 🙂

Level II Self-Talk = The Level of Recognition and Need to Change. This is dominated by phrases such as “I need to . . .,” and “I should . . .” It’s slightly better than Level I but not where we want to spend our time. As Shad tells us, the problem is that it recognizes a problem but offers no solution.

Level III Self-Talk = The Level of Decision to Change. This consists of phrases like, “I never . . .,” and “I no longer . . .” Now, you’re committed to change and are clear on what you’re going to stop doing and say things like, “I no longer smoke,” and “I never put off doing things that are important.”

This is powerful because you’re programming new instructions to your subconscious mind!

Level IV Self-Talk = The Level of The Better You. This is the most powerful kind of Self-Talk. This is all about “I am . . .” statements like “I am in control of my life. I am a winner! I am healthy, energetic, enthusiastic, and I’m going for it!”

As Shad tells us: “Level IV Self-Talk inspires, encourages, urges, and implores. It tugs at our hearts, touches our hopes, and paints the pictures that color our dreams. It excites, demands,and pushes us forward. It strengthens the armor of our spirit and hardens the steel of our determination. This is the Self-Talk that challenges us to do battle with our fears and end up the victor. It is the Self-Talk which stirs us to action, fills us up with self-belief, and plants our feet firmly on the solid bedrock of success.”

This is the level we want to spend most of our time at as we optimize and actualize! Let’s take a quick look at Level V and then come back to this for a moment.

Level V Self-Talk = The Level of Universal Affirmation. This is the Self-Talk of the ancient mystics who experience oneness with God/the Universe. It’s awesome. And… Shad advises us to focus on establishing a solid relationship with OURSELVES before we jump too quickly to this level!

So, back to Level IV.

Shad tells us: “There are hundreds of examples, already written, of this special, powerful, reprogramming Level IV Self-Talk:I am a winner! I believe in myself. I respect myself and like who I am. I have made the decision to win in my life and that’s what I’m doing!’ Can you imagine going through the rest of your life with that kind of Self-Talk on your side? Think of the programming that kind of direction would create. It is yours for the taking. It is yours the moment you decide to choose a better way. You deserve the best out of life. Perhaps it’s time to do something about it!”

Take a moment to imagine the rest of your life with your current Self-Talk.

Now imagine the rest of your life with the super-empowered Self-Talk.

Which destiny do you want?

IDEA FOUR: MORE ON THE WHY: TWO OF YOU

“If there were two of you, and one of you became a positive, productive Self-Talker, and the other did not, for whom would you cast your vote? I know which one I would vote for, every time.”

That’s a Big Idea.

Let’s slow down for a moment and REALLY absorb the *WHY* here.

Imagine two versions of you.

One develops strong Self-Talk. The other does not.

Which life do you want?

Are you ready to commit the energy to mastering your Self-Talk?

(Awesome.)

IDEA FIVE: THE HOW

“If you would like to change an old habit, seek out your old programming, recognize it for what it is, make a minor decision to do something about it, and erase it and replace it with something better.”

The book is PACKED with examples of specific Self-Talk phrases to deal with various areas of your life you’d like to master. Check out the book for the detailed examples.

For now, know that you want to start by identifying the challenge(s) you’d like to master and the current Self-Talk you engage in. (Shad tells us to identify the Top 10 most disempowering things we say to ourselves. And says if you can’t find 10 you aren’t trying! We ALL have work to do!)

Once we’ve identified areas that have opportunities for optimization, we want to go to Level IV and create a script of positive, present-tense declarations of how you’d like things to be.

For example, Shad shares some awesome Self-Talk on dealing with fear and anxiety.

He shares a dozen or so passages like this to conquer worry: “I do not fear problems. I solve them. I do not ignore problems, I confront them. I do not avoid problems, I conquer them!”

Plus: “I never worry. I turn ‘worry time’ into positive, constructive, ‘solution time.’ I keep my mind alert and open to all solutions—and solutions come quickly and easily to me.”

In Shad’s model, you’d write those down (along with another constellation of a dozen phrases like them related to the issue you want to solve) and then you’d read them aloud to yourself three times a day.

And, if you were really feeling it, you’d record yourself (or someone you love) saying these phrases and groove that into subconscious via what he calls “tape-talk.”

IDEA SIX: SELF-CONVERSATION + SHOWER TALK

“There is, however, a less conspicuous and safer way to use self-conversation, and it is a way I recommend you try at your next available opportunity. I refer to it as ‘shower talk’ and it works like this: Tomorrow morning, when you step into the shower, say ‘Good morning!’ to yourself. Say it out loud, and say it with a smile in your voice. Greet the day with your chin up, your attitude high, and tell yourself just how great the day ahead is going to be. ‘You look great today! You feel good, you’re in good shape, and you’re ready to tackle anything!’ And then respond—give yourself an answer back. ‘I feel terrific! Today especially! I feel good, I like who I am and I’m glad to be alive and going for it!’

Even two or three minutes of that kind of rousing internal motivation can get you started on the right foot, facing the day, looking forward to it, and get you moving and believing in a way that can change an average day into an exceptional day. And it works! Think how much better that kind of invigorating, positive day-starting, confidence-building self-dialogue can be than the other ways we often use to start our day.”

That. Is. Awesome.

100% wacky. And equally awesome! 🙂

So, Self-Talk is when we repeat things to ourselves that help us re-program at the root level.There’s no “dialogue” with ourself, just one-way goodness.

Self-Conversation, on the other hand, is when we actually strike up a conversation with ourselves. You can use it to fire yourself up in the morning and you can use it to help solve a challenge.

For example, you could be having a bad day and have this chat with yourself—we’ll pretend it’s me and me chatting:

“Hey, Vincent! How are you?”

“You know, I’m having a challenging day.”

“I’m sorry to hear that! Quick question for you: What’s the most empowered thing you could do right now to feel a little better?”

“Hmmm… Good question. Probably take a deep breath and go spend some time with the family.”

“Awesome. See you when you’re back!”

That’s obviously a hyper-simplistic example, but you get the idea.

Self-Conversation reminds me of Tal Ben-Shahar’s 110-year-old you exercise where he has you imagine hopping into a time machine and having a fifteen-minute chat with the 110-year-old version of yourself.

The point of Tal’s exercise is the fact (!) that we already have all the wisdom we need. He talks about how individuals diagnosed with cancer often radically change their lives. It’s not that they suddenly got more information on how to live but that they finally tapped into that wisdom.

All the wisdom we need is pretty much already there. We just need to take the time to check in and tap into that reservoir of wisdom.

Self-conversation is a fun way to do that—whether that’s in the shower or at your desk or while you’re washing the dishes.

Try it out!

(Oh. Gotta go! Vincent wants to hang out again. Hah! 🙂

IDEA SEVEN: THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU WILL EVER FACE

“Learning to manage, control, and direct the resources of your mind is the greatest challenge you will ever face.

The key to all management, the management of others, the management of your resources,and the management of your future is Self-Management. ...

Talk to yourself! Learn the words—the right words—and use them. Make Self-Talk an everyday,unconscious, self-directing habit. Talk to yourself in a way that is kind, loving, caring, strong, demanding, and determined. Talk to yourself in the right way, every day.

When you do, you will give yourself the greatest gift you will ever give.”

The greatest challenge we will ever face is mastering ourselves.

And the greatest component to mastering ourselves is to master our mind.

We get that right—we learn how to reprogram our minds—and our beliefs, attitudes, feelings and behaviors follow with a grace and power that will astonish us.

Here’s to creating incredible Self-Talk and giving ourselves the greatest gifts we’ll ever give and receive!!

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE 

Follow me on:Twitter 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

 

 

 

“The Happiness Equation:Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything” By NEIL PASRICHA


“So don’t you think every college, university, and library would be full of courses and advice on how we can become happier? On how we can make decisions that spur ourselves into positive action every day? When I asked a hospitality CEO if he knew a book, model or website that actually helped people navigate and simplify their most challenging decisions so they can live with contentment, freedom, and happiness, he said, ‘That book doesn’t exist. It would be like asking every high-powered executive, successful person, and positive leader to distill all the personal mental models they’ve created over their lives into one book. Nobody has ever done it.’

I know this is true because I’ve been searching for a practical book with real frameworks on leading myself to happiness for years. I wanted something beyond stories about generals, parables about penguins, and research studies with data pointing any which way. I wanted real, I wanted practical, I wanted clear. I wanted an action book that I could use every day.

This is that book.”

~ Neil Pasricha from The Happiness Equation

Happiness 2

THE BIG IDEAS

1.The Big 7

Ways to boost your happiness.

2.Waking Up w/Icky Guy

Is really important.

3. Tip from a Great Physicist

Just do it.

4. It’s Saturday AM

What do you do?

Neil Pasricha is awesome. And so is this book.

Neil’s a fascinating guy—a Harvard MBA who runs a site called 1000awesomethings.com who also happens to be the director of leadership development for Walmart, one of the most popular TED speakers ever, the director of the Institute for Global Happiness AND the best-selling author of The Book of AWESOME series—with over 1 million books sold. (<—That is awesome.)

He’s also a funny, great writer who packs a ton of super practical wisdom into this quick-reading book. I highly recommend it. Get a copy here.

The book features Neil’s 9 Secrets for rockin’ it. I’m excited to share a few of my favorite Big Ideas so let’s jump straight in!

IDEA ONE: THE BIG 7 WAYS TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO BE HAPPY

“Positive psychology is a new and growing field. I have sifted through hundreds of studies to find the Big 7 ways to train your brain to be happy. Many of these studies have been discussed in journals, conferences, keynotes, and research reports, but I’ve brought them together for you here. If you do any of these seven things for two straight weeks, you will feel happier.

So what are the Big 7?

Three Walks + The 20-Minute Replay + Random Acts of Kindness + A Complete  Unplug + Hit Flow + 2-Minute Meditations + Five Gratitudes”

This book has a bunch of great stories backed by great research. As you know, I LOVE positive psychology. 

Let’s take a super quick look at our Big 7 ways to boost our happiness and remember that science says the Happiness Equation STARTS with happiness.

It’s Happiness —> Great work —> Success NOT Great Work —> Success —> Happiness.

1.Three Walks. Exercise is as effective as Zoloft in reducing depression. Even just three brisk walks can do the trick! Remember that *not* exercising is like taking a depressant and get out there and MOVE YOUR BODY.

2. The 20-Minute Replay. Writing for 20 minutes about a positive experience is a GREAT way to boost your happiness. Scientists call it savoring. Groove the good stuff!

3. Random Acts of Kindness. Did you know that THE fastest, most reliable way to boost your mood is to do something nice for someone else? Yep. Find ways to do something nice!

4. A Complete Unplug. We’ve gotta make waves. Fully on. Fully off. Repeat. Are you training your RECOVERY as much as your “on” phases? Remember that it’s not that we work too hard but that we don’t recover enough. #waves

5. Hit Flow. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi tells us that the optimal state of human experience is found when we are engaged in activities that stretch us such that the challenges match our skills. Too much challenge = anxiety. Too little = boredom. The right match? FLOW. Find it!

6. 2-Minute Meditations. Meditation is huge. As we discuss in Meditation 101, you don’t need to be a levitating monk in the Himalayas to experience significant benefits. Even just a couple minutes a day keeps the gremlins away.

7. Five Gratitudes. As Neil says, “If you can be happy with the simple things, then it will be simple to be happy.” Find things to be grateful for and focus on them often. What are YOU grateful for today?

There ya go. The Big 7. Which is your favorite and which one do you want to lean into more?!

IDEA TWO: WAKING UP WITH AN ICKY GUY (THE GOOD KIND!)

“While we think of retirement as the golden age of putting greens, cottage decks, and staring at the clouds, guess what they call retirement in Okinawa?

They don’t!

They don’t even have a word for retirement.

Literally nothing in their language describes the concept of stopping work completely. Instead,they have the word ikigai (pronounced ‘icky guy’), which roughly means ‘the reason you wake up in the morning.’ You can think of it as the thing that drives you most.

In Okinawa, there is a 102-year-old-karate master whose ikigai is to carry forth his martial art, a 100-year-old fisherman whose ikigai is to feed his family, a 102-year-old woman whose ikigai is to hold her great-great-great-granddaughter.”

Ikigai.

Quick context: Okinawans are basically the longest-living people on the planet. They live an average of 7 healthy years longer than Americans and have the most people over 100.

AND THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A WORD FOR RETIREMENT.

Neil walks us through the incredibly recent invention of “retirement” and how absurd + detrimental the idea is to our well-being.

Quick re-cap there: Otto von Bismarck instituted mandatory retirement at age 65 in Germany in 1889.He wanted to free up jobs for younger people and guess what the average life expectancy was at that time? 67.

Then, in the 20th century, other countries started instituting a mandatory retirement at the arbitrary age of 65 and—get this—marketing gurus spent a ton of money CONVINCING us that leisure was awesome, work sucked, and, well, here we are.

Longer chat but the short story is simple: Retirement sucks. If we want to feel great and live long, we need a reason to get up in the morning. We need to wake up with our Icky Guy! 🙂

Neil shares the story about how he created little ikigai cards with his wife. They wrote down their reason for getting up. His wife’s: ‘To turn young minds into future leaders.” His: ‘To remind myself and others how lucky we are to be alive.”

He makes the important point that you don’t have ONE ikigai now and forever. Roll with it. Whatever inspires you. But you need to have one!! (His was “Finish writing The Happiness Equation” for a while.)

What’s YOURS?

(Mine? “Help people OPTIMIZE by creating the greatest collection of wisdom ever.” Makes me smile just typing that and hop out of bed, high five the Icky Guy and get to crushing it. 🙂

IDEA 3: A TIP FROM THE GREATEST PHYSICIST EVER

What does the greatest physicist of all time say?

First off, who was the greatest physicist of all time? I say Isaac Newton. My opinion. Up there with Einstein. Why? Well, he discovered gravity, invented calculus, and built the telescope. Not bad! And did he believe in the Do Circle? Absolutely.

He explained it best in his First Law of Physics. ‘An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted on by a larger force.’

Put it another way: Start doing something? You’ll continue.

Why? Because motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation.”

This is from a chapter on “Secret #7: How to Turn Your Biggest Fear into Your Biggest Success” in which Neil introduces us to his “Do Circle.”

Do Circle? Yep. Do Circle.

Too often we think that doing something moves from thinking we can do something + we want to do it and then we do it.

Like this: CAN DO —> WANT TO DO —> DO

Such that, if we don’t think we can do it and/or don’t “feel like” it in the moment, we can’t do it. Neil challenges that notion and says it’s more like a circle with no endpoint. You can start doing something and THAT doing leads to a sense of “can do” + “want to do” that creates a ton of momentum and keeps you going.

HUGE distinction that we come back to in different ways throughout these Notes. In fact, I took a break reading this book yesterday to  sneak a peek at Tal Ben-Shahar’s “Choose the Life You Want” .

I got an elaborate Idea from this book where Tal Ben-Shahar notes: “Fortunately, the research into procrastination has also identified practical ways that can help overcome the tendency  to procrastinate. The single most important technique is called ‘the five-minute takeoff.’ It consists, simply, of starting to do the thing you have been putting off, no matter how little you feel like doing it. Procrastinators often believe that to do something one has to truly want to do it—to be in the right mood, to feel inspired. This is not the case. Usually, to get the job done, it is enough merely to begin doing it—the initial action kick-starts the process and often brings about more action.”

Tal says that this was one of the Biggest Ideas he’s implemented in his life—sharing that,although he loves to write and gets paid to do so, MOST mornings (!!) he doesn’t *feel* like it.

But (IMPORTANT “but”)… He just gets started—KNOWING that his feelings will follow his behavior. As he said: “Action leads to inspiration at least as much as inspiration leads to action.” We DO *then* we feel like doing. Just getting started with something creates the momentum that KEEPS us going. But… If we wait till we feel like it, we may never do anything.

This is one of the Biggest Ideas we’ll ever explore.

Thank you, Neil and thank you, Sir Newton.

IDEA 4: IT’S SATURDAY AM. NOTHING TO DO. WHAT DO YOU DO?

“What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do?

Ask yourself that one crucial question, think about it for a second, and answer it out loud. What do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do? Do you go to the gym? Do you record yourself playing guitar? Take whatever answer you have and then wildly brainstorm ways you can pursue opportunities that naturally spew from that passion.

There will be hundreds. Love going to the gym? Personal training, coaching a baseball team, volunteering for a walking group, running a yoga studio, teaching phsy ed, starting a supplements company. And it goes on. Love recording yourself playing guitar? How about teaching guitar online, editing music, learning to DJ, starting up an instrument company? One of the happiest people I’ve met was a high school music teacher who decided to start importing, selling, and teaching the ukulele.

Your true self will be drawn to these ideas.

They make you richer, stronger, and happier in your work life, too.”

It’s Saturday morning. You have nothing to do. Ahhhh… What do you do?

That simple question is a GREAT way to get more clarity on your authentic self. And, embracing the true you is a HUGE part of the Happiness Equation. As Neil says in Secret #8, we need to optimize the most important relationship in our lives: Our relationship with ourselves.

The most direct way to dial that relationship in? BE YOU. “Be you and be cool with it.”

Back to your Saturday morning. What are you up to? And how can you make related activities a more prominent part of your life?!

P.S. On Saturday morning’s with nothing to do I read 🙂

SUMMARY OF THE KEY NOTE IDEAS

  1. Embrace the Big 7 : Three Walks + The 20-Minute Replay + Random Acts of Kindness + A Complete  Unplug + Hit Flow + 2-Minute Meditations + Five Gratitudes”
  2. Create an Ikigaiikigai (pronounced ‘icky guy’), which roughly means ‘the reason you wake up in the morning.’ You can think of it as the thing that drives you most.Decorate in your diary or a card,live every moment to the task to accomplish it-moment to moment. 
  3. Motivation doesn’t cause action. Action causes motivation. How you feel doesn’t have to determine the outcome. What does your feelings have to do with it? Get started, then get going!
  4. Ask yourself, “What would you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do? Take whatever answer you have and then wildly brainstorm ways you can pursue opportunities that naturally spew from that passion.

 “What Idea *most* resonated with you? What Idea reminded you of something you already know and just need to embody a little more?”

Get on it, brace yourself, then rock it 🙂

******************************************************************************************

As always,Let’s Keep Optimizing and see you at the top where there’s enough room for everyone :)

Connect To Me, I’m quite Social!

Like My: FACEBOOK PAGE 

Follow me on:Twitter 

*If you are looking for poetry and my life empowerment program materials  click, Here

 

 

.