Powerful Well Being

o-SIT-PARK-BENCH-facebookPower is an inside job. Whether you find strength in God, family, inspirational readings, or meditation, all the power you need starts with you. In our society, we value performance or the ability to produce above all else, & we all are looking to be Number 1! Whether it is financial prominence, love, or  family, we all look to be that in our own world. The question is how do we achieve those desires without burning ourselves out or losing sight of who we are in the process?

Growing up, I would see the heroes in movies and TV go to great lengths, usually at their own expense, to overcome the odds. They would go above and beyond of what was humanly possible to outperform, outsmart and out do what was in their way (usually someone else) & come out on top. In the end, the movie would wrap up leaving the hero beaten and bruised. Given that logic, we would have to suffer for what we want. Does that make it worth it? Is there a different way? So is it possible to have it all?

Yes! The key is balance. We find balance by having our priorities straight and finding balance. It all starts with having for yourself and taking care of you first. There is only one of you to martyr, so let’s save that for something more important than that next promotion or losing that last pound. All of that will come in a much more powerful way. If you can find balance between the 6 Key Areas of Life, you will have all the power you need to achieve.

The first area is our Physical Well-being. Our bodies are wonderful machines that can do anything from carry our little girl up to bed after a long day of playing to winning Olympic Gold in a Decathlon. If we don’t take care of our bodies, we won’t have the energy to do anything. The 3 most Important areas in this arena are Sleep, Diet & Exercise. I put sleep first because it is the foundation for the rest.  According the studies conducted by  Dr. Robert Stickhold at Harvard University, “sleep plays a critical role function, metabolism, memory learning & other vital functions.” On which eating healthy and getting the proper amount of exercise can be added onto. Take note on where your gap is in this area.  Once you’ve noticed it, make a declaration that you are going to change how you treat yourself. Your body is temple, so treat it as such.
Emotions are the outward expressions of the soul that can create the most loving, caring relationships or have the whole town running to hide when you come around. Having Emotional Well-being will foster greater connection with people. Without balance, you can end up feeling completely drained & unwilling to do  anything but hide underneath the covers. So go out and give hugs, get hugs, talk with your significant other about how checking Facebook at dinner annoys you, find healthy ways to express anger or go for a walk and allow yourself to feel the awe and wonder of nature. Being emotionally balanced can actually give you more energy & drive when you walk out of the door each morning.That balance is fundamentally supported by the extent of our Spiritual Well-being.

Our Spiritual Well-being is the fuel for our soul it is and gives us comfort in a Universe that is so vast. When I came to this part, I really had no idea where to turn or how to do it right. I had a few mentors teach me that there is no wrong way to do it. I could choose whichever conception of a High Power I wanted, so I went exploring. I found a few practices that served me in developing a Connection & Relationship to a Higher Power, which I choose to call God. Prayer, meditation & spiritual readings are my big 3. I encourage you to find what works for you.

Behind all of this, is our big ol’ sexy brains. They are great tools to use. They invented the computer or phone you’re reading this on. The only thing that they want is more, more, more! Your Mental Well-being is really based on consumption (Courses & Books) & exercise (Puzzles/games, Conversation & Creative activities). Pick something to do each day for 15 minutes. If you don’t like that one find a different activity to do. Keep learning and growing. Perfect a key area of interest. It will give you greater confidence and may lead to new opportunities not previously available. Those opportunities can manifest in your Relationship Well-being.

Unless you have found a remote area in the Amazon, you are going to have relationships in your life. Whether they be romantic, familial or professional, the healthier they are, the healthier you are. When you have taken the time to care for the previous for Key Areas of Life, you will be able to empower each relationship. Having you needs communicated, setting boundaries & be of love & service to each relationship can generate the energy you need to fill your cup each day. In partnership with others, you can create more than you would alone. The more you give out in each relationship, the more you will receive in return leading to greater fulfillment. Take time for each relationship in your life. You’re worth it.

The final Key Area of Life is Lifestyle Well-being. What do I mean by that? It is the area where everything comes together. It is your Budget & Finances, your Career Plan, your Business plan or your Financial Plan. When this is in order, it creates less stress worrying about the “How” & gives you more access to You that can be dedicated to other areas in your life. In my business, I empower Project Designs to set goals for periods of times. I set an achievable goal that stretches my abilities, and I design actions to deliver on that goal. As long as I follow my plan of action, I can devote my mental, emotional and physical energy to other areas without feeling like I am being stretched too thin.

When all of these Key Areas of Life are in tune, you’re going to be humming like a peak performance Indy car on race day. Each area builds on the other, and if one is deficient, you will find a power leak. That’s ok. Leaks are meant to be patched, and each leak can lead to a lesson of personal growth. Sit down and make a list of what you do each day to be fulfilled in each area. When you find that you need to, for example, get more sleep, take a week to try a new sleep schedule. If it doesn’t work, try something different. Have fun experimenting with this. Pick & choose what you want to keep doing or what to stop. The right combination will find you if you persist, and when you empower that, you will be able to draw on the energy you need to accomplish anything you believe that you can do. It’s all possible!

 

What Coaching Has Done For Me

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About a year ago, I was in a rut. I had a relationship that meant the world to me come to an end, my career was going absolutely nowhere and I felt completely lost in my life. What did I do? I decided to runaway to the Caribbean to heal and refocus my life. So many movies and books told stories of how people had run away to foreign lands to find passion, love and renewed zest for life. I had one week of vacation, and I was going to discover that simplistic secret that would turn my life around.

I landed in Grand Cayman and in the height of an anticipation that mirrored that of a child waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. I had a great time, did some diving, did some soul searching and was finally at peace. When I returned home, my life was exactly that way I left it, and that dull hue sunk in again. Crap! It didn’t work.

I went through the motions for another couple of months until I crashed emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Something had to change, but what? I didn’t know what to do, so I reached out to someone who had a similar experience in their life. They had been at a turning point much like mine, and it been suggested that they work with a life coach. My first reaction to that notion was it was a crock of shit. I thought that they were frauds, and their clients didn’t have the cajones to take on life. Skeptically, I agreed to do a free coaching session with a coach my friend had suggested, and it changed my life. The coach that I eventually hired really got me. She was on my side! Together, we looked at where I wanted to go in my relationships and my career. We created goals and set milestones to keep me accountable. As my fears and anxieties cropped up to stop me, we used the tools she taught me to mana

ge them. The results started to come faster and faster the more we worked. Sometimes, I barely had to do anything. It was like I was a huge magnet, attracting great things to me.

 

Here are a few of the things that changed for me:

 

  1. My Negative Mindset took a backseat.

I would always expect the worst to happen. I would never get what I wanted, things would never go my way and I would go to sleep frustrated that all my efforts amounted to nothing. This was a normal day of thinking for me. When my coach and I changed the way I looked at each instance in my life, I realized that I had a choice whether I experience each event in either a Positive or Negative context. It was an empowering epiphany. Though, I can sink back into negative thinking from time to time, I no longer have to stay there, and I can accept that it’s part of being human.

 

  1. Breaking old habits.

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”   – Albert Einstein

As creatures of habits, we have automatic ways of being. It is an important evolutionary trait that has made us an effective species and ensured our survival. However, our survival mechanisms can give you tunnel vision, and the other choices you have get lost in the background. I worked with my coach to see the patterns. With that clarity, I was able to choose new actions to try, and that broke those cycles that led to disappointment.

 

  1. Tremendous Growth.

Staying in a place that is comfortable was nice. I felt safe, I was relaxed and life could just happen without much stress. However, I never grew. My coach encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone, and it was scary!  Just imagine yourself standing in the doorway of a plane the first time you decided to go skydiving. The sweat beading down your head, your heart pounding so hard that it is about to explode and your head is in such a daze that you’re amazed that you can stand. Then you jump. Your chute opens and the beauty just envelops you. It’s really not that bad, and you have just had amazing experience that wouldn’t had happened if you stayed on the plane. Every time I went outside of my comfort zone, I grew a little bit. My courage grew, and my capacity to take on more did too. Again, the results poured in.

 

  1. Accountability

I lost a couple of pounds going to the gym myself and watching my diet. When I had people there to support me and keep me honest, I had to buy a new wardrobe. We are stronger as individuals when we are connected with others.

 

  1. Focus

For me, this was complementary to Accountability. My coach would point out how my survival mechanisms would try to distract or deflect me from moving towards my goal. When I was able to recognize when they were popping up, I could address them and refocus my efforts. This saved more time each day, a task I deemed impossible.
Today, I have a different perspective on my life. I can achieve what I set out to do, I can create the life I choose to have today and I can great it with a smile. Working with a coach and with my own clients has been a tremendous gift. Each session open the doors of possibility for me to walk through, and each day is now a new adventure. I look forward to seeing you in this journey.

Success Express Experiment – Week 3: The fun of Giving

 

Did you ever hear that old adage “It’s better to give than to receive”, and then you thought your parents were crazy. It was Christmas! Tis the season for Santa to plop his big ol’ belly down your chimney to litter your living room with presents that were going to make Christmas day a melee of paper ripping and excited shrieks of joy. It didn’t make sense that giving would be as satisfying as Tickle Me Elmo.

Smiling young santa claus woman giving Christmas gift

As I grew older, my satisfactions changed. It was supplanted with a desire to receive accolades professionally and a status in my personal life that was envied by those around me. After all, I deserved it! If you weren’t going out and taking what you wanted you would never get it. If you didn’t outperform your colleagues, you would be forgotten in the masses that you didn’t care about. You wanted to be it. The number one, the winner, the one that was making the news and putting your name on the map. You could dance to that music. However, the lyrics said failure was not an option, and everyone either there to use or was trying to take what’s yours.

It was an exhausting way to go about life. A cycle that was repeated ad nauseum to the same result: mental and emotional breakdown. Breakdowns can be great though. You have a choice which path you want to take from that place. You can choose the same winning strategy in a different situation, or you can go outside your comfort zone to choose a different way. Neither choice is right or wrong. They yield different results based on the context you approach your situation. So you look at the map and choose which road to take.

In building my business as a life coaching, I was running into a similar problem. Desperately, I wanted to have my business be a success. This was my calling. It had to succeed! It was the way that I defined success that was determining the context that I approached it. When I started this endeavor, success meant the number of clients I signed up to coach. It was going to provide me with an income, a new profession and the freedom to create my own world. That’s the business I’m in, we make dreams possible. It was the context of the Go-Getter Salesman, one I had been so good at using, that was deterring me. I wanted a better way.

This came at a spiritual retreat that I go on a few times a year to recharge my batteries. I scheduled a private session with the retreat master, and I told him about my dilemma. He just looked at me and asked me, “Why don’t you treat it like a service position?” It made sense. I was in this business to help people, but I was so caught up in my own needs. This was not a novel idea to me, but it was a novel way of being. I declared that it was the way I was going to approach my business. I am going to help people, and I was going to let the results be up to God.

Two days later, I had a sample session with a prospective client. I was on fire. My intention was to support her in getting what she needed to move her career to the next level. At the end of the call, she thanked me for the value she received from our conversation. I’d like to report that she signed up right away. That wasn’t the case, and I’m ok with that. What I did get was the fuel I needed to continue to search out new people to help. That was more priceless than the paycheck because I know that I will have those who are attracted to me for what I have to offer. I am invested in them and not in me. It’s bloody fun to live like this!

Joy to the World

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This is Jacob. Well, it’s not actually Jacob. I agreed not to publish his picture on social media but he looks a lot like this. I met Jacob a couple years ago when he was fully-functioning, elderly gentleman to one who is helped by a caregiver, going from place to place with the assistance of a walker. The one thing that has not changed, as his physical abilities have started to fade with age, was his smile and laughter. Every time he came and sat with me at the bank, he would bring an aura of joy with him. There were a few times when the financial situations that he brought to me were not the best for someone who was on a fixed income, but he never failed to bring a smile to my face and brighten my day. I would be having a hectic day full of unhappy people with loads of complaints, and Jacob would always make me feel better. He never intended to come into the bank to save me. He came in for my expertise, yet he was the one who taught me more than I could learn in a book or in a seminar.

“Mike, I love you, and I love everybody.”, he said in a thick Indian accent and breaking out into a contagious bout of laughter the last time he sat with me.

I have decided to spread what he gave to me, Joy. We all have days when we feel that the next thing that goes wrong is going to be the last straw. We are out. We are done. Fuck it! We quit! It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better place to choose to live life from each day. We can bring joy to the people we come to in contact with each day. When I tried that, I ended up taking myself from a bad place in my head to a place of levity, happiness and contentment.

The thing about attitudes are that they are contagious. You can change your world by whichever way you choose to experience it. Jacob came from a place of joy, so he got exactly that, Joy!

I decided to try this out when I went Christmas shopping this year. In a prior life, I had worked in retail sales, so I knew what it was like to live through the long hours of people battling against time to buy gifts for their loved ones. I was buying some gift boxes, and when it came to my turn to pay, I joked with the cashier saying, “Is that it! For all of that?!” smiling and chuckling as the words came out. He laughed and started to tell me about how much he was surprised himself. We talked briefly about our holiday plans and wished each other a Merry Christmas. The feeling I got from that was like a drug, and I knew I had to try it some more. The hell with the long lines that I had to wait in. It wasn’t the cashier’s fault. I didn’t have to take my frustrations out on them. I chose to turn their day around, and it turned mine around as a result.

This is an experiment and work in progress. However, I guarantee it works no matter how the other person reacts. I know it as a fact. A few months ago, I was alone in Washington D.C., walking to my conference, and I was in the dumps. I wasn’t used to being in such a big city where no one would look at you as you passed them on the street. I hated it! I needed to feel connected, so devising a mischievous plan, I decided to try to make eye contact, smile and say “HI!” to each person I passed on the street. I’m still a single guy, so I favored the women more than the men. Each person, I tried my plan. I was ignored a lot, shot a lot of confused glances but I got one or two people to smile. I laughed a lot on the way and went into the hotel where the conference was being held.  I didn’t care about the results because I tried to make others smile. I chose to spread my joy to others, and the day was a great one for me.

It’s a new year. There are a million possibilities in store for you this next year. The wonderful thing about it is that you get to chose how you will live it. I invite you to try something new and make life better for others. It may just surprise you what it will do for you.

Resistance is Futile

One year later, after a full day of clients and a Christmas party, I sat on my couch depressed and missing the “one who got away” . It really frustrated the hell out of me. I had come such a long way in my personal and spiritual journey that I was completely confounded by why this was still haunting me.

A year prior, I had broken up with someone I had been waiting for years to be with, and in the break up, I burned the bridges to any reconciliation. The evidence I had compiled about why she really wasn’t a good fit for me was unloaded onto my friends and spiritual advisors. When I had some time to myself, a realization came over me that I never accepted the way things were. The mistake was made, and I tried like hell, like the hero trying to overcome gargantuan odds, to win her back. It was obvious that I had watched too many movies, and that it was over.

kickingandscreamingfuller

That night sitting on my couch, I had a revelation: I didn’t want to accept that reality. The hopeless romantic in me still wanted to have the impossible happen even after all this time. I was resisting what my life was now, and that’s where the pain was able to grow. Then another revelation popped up: why would I want that which didn’t work? I deserved more than that. The relationship that I really had been wanting all this time was yet to come, and it was going to be so much better than anything I had experienced before.

The context that I was in only gave me two possibilities. It was either a yes or a no. Well, I didn’t like those odds! As it would have it, God, the Universe or whatever you want to call it floated another biggie through my noggin: If you accept what it is right now, you make room for what is to come next. Well, duh! In my infinite wisdom, I was holding onto that soggy sandwich when I was being offered a fresh-from-the-deli hoagie. The possibilities that context created were infinite. I am completely loved by God. He is just waiting to give me what’s next, what I needed and what I had always wanted. I only had to accept what my situation was now and be grateful for what I had the opportunity to experience. It made me so happy to realize that I just had to let go, and expect the unexpected.

I went to sleep that night excited to know that anything is possible for me. When I accept the way things are now, not resist it anymore and walk out that door in the morning each day everything I ever wanted will manifest in my life exactly when and how it is supposed to come into being. My job is to stay out of the way of it and put one foot in front of the other trusting that everything will be ok.