Doing your BEST. Being your BEST. Living your BEST life….
Those are such great concepts. So often I hear, “yeah, living the dream.” It’s a sad state of resolve that life isn’t that great and the person saying it is in a job they don’t love (or even like) and that they’re not really able to enjoy life at all.
Personally, I awaken perky. Annoyingly perky. I open my eyes and have gratitude, not for what the day holds, but rather for what I get to bring to the day. Yes, I have obligations. Those are still “get to” items. Who put those things on my calendar? I did.
I’m responsible for what I put into my day.
I’m responsible for what I give to my day and for how I show up.
And because of that responsibility, I know that I need to be at my best. I’m at my best for me, for my family, and for the work I do. I’m at my best because by leveling up, I lift others around me. By lifting...
It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, especially now.
We’ve all been through a lot.
We pack things into each day, we push to do that bit more, and it feels like we’re never done. There’s always that bit more to do.
There will always be that bit more to do. We carry with us the weight of that which we have left undone, and it feels like we’re carrying mountains with us.
We’re carrying the mountains.
We forgot this one truth:
The mountains were meant to be climbed, not carried.
Look at your day, what you’ve put into it, what you planned to do, what you actually did. Your calendar… is it aligned with your activities?
Your activities highlight your priorities.
If you’re putting things into your day that aren’t helping you to climb the mountain, if you’re not actually doing the things that you declared were important to you, then of course...
We in the U.S. just celebrated the 4th of July, our nationally recognized Independence Day. It’s not the day we actually got independence, in fact the last signature on the Declaration didn’t even happen until August 2nd. And freedom? Well, there are a lot of things to be said about that.
TODAY’S BLOG IS ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL FREEDOM
AND HOW TO STEP INTO A BIGGER LIFE
Pretty much 100% of the people I talk with and the people who become my clients feel like they are bigger than the life they’re living. If you’ve felt that way, just know you’re not alone.
I’m bigger than my current life!
That’s the ache.
What can you do? One of the key questions I used to teach in martial arts, and it carries over to business and to your daily life is: What’s available to me now…? And now? And now?
Recognizing that each moment is different, your freedom – your personal freedom...
I’m a fourth-degree black-belt in a multi-disciplinary martial art of The Way of the Warrior, Bushido. I taught for almost thirty years, developing kids through the ranks, helping them grow into powerful beings in the world. And in some ways, I guess I’m still doing that with my clients. I bring them from feeling like they want to be bigger in the world to those who not only have power, but in turn lift others to feel more empowered.
There are certain pitfalls and dangers that are concomitant with advancing along the path of the martial arts. They are the lessons we need to look at and they become the collective push needed to keep going.
When I was coming up through the ranks, the drive to keep going was fueled by the knowledge I was gaining. My thinking was that being a black belt would make me a super-human somehow. In some ways, it’s like looking up to the leaders of major corporations and modeling yourself after them. In the 80s,...
Four… Three… Two… One…
Did you know that most people can’t tolerate even four seconds of silence in a conversation? Four seconds?
When I work with teams and leaders, I’ll hold a silent space, counting eighteen seconds in my head. The squirming starts at about four seconds and almost invariably, someone says something to break the silence at about nine seconds. What’s funny is that it’s often the leader in the group that breaks the silence.
Leaders need to be the ones to actually hold the space.
That’s how safety is created. You entertain the idea that everyone has room to engage and be seen or heard at their comfort level. And then… as odd as this sounds, the key is not to run over that.
When I speak about being deliberately, actively, positively uplifting of others, I also comment on how important it is to see each other, human to human. Acknowledging each other, one to...
Looking at my formula for great MindsetMagic! you’ll see that in the middle of M-A-G-I-C is where everything balances.
Here, the G stands for three things, each of which will serve to make you more powerfully authentic and fulfilled in the world.
The first is Gratitude – sure there’s a lot going on. Yes, this past year was tough. And still, don’t you have so much for which you can be grateful? Think about it, on what device are you reading this? And it’s connected to what? And you’re operating that device, that runs on power. And you’re not naked and starving. So… start there. What else might you have in your life for which you could find gratitude? Who else in your life?
Which brings us to Grace – we need to give ourselves a little grace. And we need to give each other a little grace. This past year has been tough on everyone. You’ve grown and changed. Your perspective and what you value are...
We’re all leaders! People notice you. The truth is, you are being watched. No, it’s not some paranoid thing, it’s the same way you’ll notice something about someone in the grocery store, at a restaurant, or even with family members, they’re noticing subtle things about you, too.
And that means, you’re a leader - at home, at work, in the community.
You’re a leader.
I won’t go into the “x-number of traits of good leaders.” Heck, I’m guilty of having put together a dirty-dozen list in the past. While there are volumes out there, literally tons of books and articles on the subject of leadership traits, each is, in my opinion, simply opinion.
No matter how many other traits there are, the best trait of a leader is someone who knows what he/she/they value and can live into that authentically.
And there are five steps to grow into that level of powerful authenticity. This...
Burnout is a thing. It almost feels like depression, and you might feel just a bit anhedonic, which is the technical term for the inability to feel joy. This past year has taken a lot out of each of us. It’s felt very personal, and it’s been overly politicized. We’re coming out of a PAN-Demic, meaning that it was global… wide spread… around the world… and therefore, not personal.
Still, we stare at the same four walls, having gotten accustomed to working somewhere between 11 and 14 hours a day (so say the statistics). It’s easy to get up and flip on the computer to “just check email really quickly.” The rationalization is that if you can clear some emails out before breakfast, then the rest of the day goes more smoothly.
That’s not how it works. Burnout comes from feeling like there’s no end in sight mixed with a sense of questioning why this even matters.
The bottom line is that YOU LOST...
The topic of Excellence is particularly near and dear to my heart. It’s a value I seek in others and one I hold dearly for my personal life and my brand.
A little while back, during a casual conversation over a sushi dinner with a friend and client, I sought information about expectations as I prepared for presenting for his team the following day.
“John, what expectations do you have for me in my presentation tomorrow?”
“Excellence,” came John’s reply.
“Challenge accepted,” slipped from my lips as I smiled, lifting another sushi roll piece with my chopsticks.
I know, you might be lost at the sushi part. I happen to enjoy it, okay?
My friend mentioned that he expected excellence and I felt my body come alive.
The thing is that my friend wasn’t challenging me. I took it as such. I took his comment as a push to level up even further.
What I didn’t know is that he was endorsing...
I grew up the nice guy.
My super-power as a kid was in knowing how to placate, how to “make nice,” and make sure that everyone else was okay. I did a lot of going along to get along. And that meant that the me that could have been didn’t really show up.
We all go through the existential search for self. “Who am I, really?” is an age-old question. The problem was that I didn’t ever pause to ask that question until I became an adult.
The good news is that once asked, it led me on a quest to help myself and others.
I was so “nice” that I was dumped right before my senior prom in high-school and told I was a “good sport” for going anyway. I got into management and was threatened with being fired because I was being too nice.
Is it possible to be too nice?
I was smart, affable, funny, and… nice. Wasn’t that okay?
I’ve since learned that yes, nice matters.