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Archive for the ‘Mindset’ Category

Simply put, the key to happiness is to stop looking for the freaking key to happiness.

The fact is, the doors have never been locked up in the first place.  There is nothing to wait for.  You can open the doors to that sort of life anytime you choose.

Maybe you have lofty goal and plans.  So do I.  Trust me, if you could see the vision of my life that is taking shape right now, I know  a lot of you would wonder at my sense of reality and sanity.

That’s okay.  I get it. I’m dreaming really big these days and not everyone is ready for that.  I think I’ll just let them wonder until they see me taking strides and steps and moving closer and closer.  After all, showing is far more believable than telling right?

Still, I’m really happy today too.  I’m not going to sit around waiting on something to ‘let’ me be happy.  Or for some magical goal to get crossed off, or threshold to be crossed or please…certainly not for the proverbial knight in shining armor to come ’round and save the day.

Seriously.  Why wait?  There really isn’t anything you need to wait for!  I’ve discovered that happiness isn’t a destination anyway.  It’s not something you can go out and get.  And you can never use it all up.

There is only one thing you have to do to find your own happiness.  Choose it.

Allow yourself to decide that you are already happy.  Be grateful for all the blessings you have in your life and love your people right here today.

It’s always been within you, waiting for you to let it loose and choose to jump in with both feet.

happyIf you want to be happy, then be happy.

Start by smiling.  Too many of us don’t smile because we wonder what others will think.  You know what they will think?  Wow, she’s such a happy person.  And then they will wonder how they to can be happy just like you; and maybe, just maybe they will start smiling too.

Then look what you did.  You are a carrier of the happiness virus and you are spreading it all over the freakin place.

I’m not sure when humanity got everything so bloody mixed up.  We all say we want to feel happy and joy and love.  Yet, we hesitate, we worry about reactions and we push down those feelings so they don’t get out of hand.  That makes no sense.  We celebrate and admire those who are postitive people that make life joyous, yet we are hesitant to allow ourselves to do the same.

Don’t you find it weird we all seem to think that negative emotions like sadness, anger and frustrations are okay to be talked about and seem to be more socially accepted?  And a lot of the time we feel the need to keep our happiness and joyful feelings ‘under control’ or dampened?  Like we don’t want to bother anyone with them?

Okay so it’s your turn.  I’d love to hear your take on why that is in the comments below.

 

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so-what-is-joy-anywayWhat is joy?  The online dictionary defines it as “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness”.

This is not how I would have defined joy.  I think it’s so much more than that.  It reaches far deeper than just feeling  happy.

Happiness, in my view is a reaction to events that are unfolding or remembered.  It is a wonderful feeling.  Just as sadness is a reaction to events.  These are emotional responses.

I think of joy as more of an attitude and a way we can approach life.

Joy is what we have when we learn to find the good in all things.  When we live in gratitude, we cultivate joy.

Joy comes from the wisdom to know the difference between what matters and what can be released back to the universe.

A few years ago I learned how joy can be found even in the midst of the worst experiences.  Actually I should scrap that…it isn’t found, in all truth it is really brought with you because it comes from deep within us.

Someone very close to me passed away quite suddenly.  I had never experienced such incredible depths of pain in my life.  The emptiness, loss and grief were almost too much to handle.  And yet, I was in such gratitude for the time we did have together, the lessons taught, the love freely given.  It was then I realized that the reason the loss hurt so much was because of all that I had been blessed with.

There was joy in that.

When you hold joy in your heart it’s much easier to be grateful and to live in the present.   There were times when I was physically unable to work due to a car accident that I wasn’t sure how I would eat.  Sometimes people asked me how I could still have such a good attitude towards life.

The truth is I think we all have to head down our own roads and along the way we are going to have some dark nights.  I heard someone say that we all take a trip down the rabbit hole at some point and I kind of love that expression.

You have choice just like Alice did when she went down the rabbit hole and had to wander in Wonderland.  She had many times when the choice was to do nothing and stay stuck, or eat the cookie and see what happens.

I think when you approach life with an attitude of joy, you would eat the cookie.  You realize life happens and there is a lot of opportunity to experiment with it if you only have some faith in yourself and in that the world is essentially a good place with lots of wonderful people in it.

Joyful people talk and act differently.  They approach everything they do with a positive attitude, even the hard things. They build people up rather than tear them down and speak in an uplifting way.  They live from a place of love rather than fear.

You see ‘joy’ is within us.  It’s a choice, a lifestyle even.  When we take our trip down the rabbit hole, we bring it with us and we only have to choose to embrace it.  This is why some people can find peace even among chaos.

It’s my thinking that being able to hold joy in your heart is a sort of wisdom; a deeper understanding of the connectedness of life and all that is in it.

What would it mean for you to make a commitment to choosing to live with an attitude of joy?

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There is an interesting concepts being talked about these days and it centers around a lack of leadership; in the country, the government, our companies etc.

Let’s start this by clarifying what I mean. There is a definite difference between a leader and a figurehead. This is most easily shown and understood I think if we start by looking at an organization.

I’m sure we’ve all been in a position to have some experience with a person who is in a high level position that should require them to be a strong leader; but they are not. I know I’ve wondered how the heck some people rise up to slide into these positions, but that’s another whole set of blog posts!

You see, there is a huge difference in someone who is a leader and someone who is simply taking up space in the boardroom.

A figurehead fills a seat, perhaps they are good at getting some paperwork done, finding ‘projects’ to do and what have you. They may even motivate their staff from time to time by – and I quote – “lighting a fire under their butts”. Fear based motivation does work; sort of. I’ve covered that in previous posts but suffice to say it’s not long-lasting and the results are lower than if the motivation was intrinsic.

A true leader – well they don’t even have to be the top dog in an organization.  The real leader in any situation is simply the person who has the most influence, regardless of  what their actual title or position is in a company.

Now I’m sure you’re saying that’s all very well and good, but what’s the point right?  This blog isn’t about leadership in organizations now is it?

The point is we can use that comparison to learn something about how we are handling our own personal lives.

No matter what you do, how you do it or where you are in life you are the leader in your own life.  The question only remains around what kind of leader you are and how well you do it.

You make the choices, the decisions and decide the path that your life will take.  The question is how much influence are you putting out there on your life?  Or are you allowing others influence to be the main determiner?

While there is nothing wrong with learning from others, or getting advice we must be careful to view these folks as advisors to our own choices rather than assume they know what’s best for us and thought-leadersimply become the ‘yes’ men.

We should be exacting the most influence upon our own life.  Otherwise we’re really acting more like the figurehead in a business who motivates from fear, isn’t confident that they know best and who must micro-manage everything in order to avoid actually DOING anything of any real consequence.  They just look like the boss…but in reality…not so much.

So perhaps it’s time to start deciding who’s running this life.  This is what is meant by taking back your power…it means being the true leader in your life.  Knowing where you want to take things based on your mission, values and goals.  It means knowing that you know exactly what is best for you and being okay with taking those risks.  It means listening but ultimately knowing that this life is yours and yours alone.

When you trust that you do have the answers; when your find the courage to listen to that intuitive voice and follow your own light you will find amazing things happen.

Stand up tall, take a breath and know that you already are an amazing leader and person.  You got yourself this far…now step up and take it further!  Trust yourself and Be YOU.

 

 

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I realized not that long ago that I have been chasing some dreams and not getting anywhere and I couldn’t figure out why.

At least that is what I told myself.

When I had the courage to ask myself some tough questions and pause long enough to really look at what I was doing it really seemed like I what I was really doing was chasing my tail rather than my morebedingdreams.

So, I had to ask myself what the deal was.  Why was I feeling very ‘busy’ but getting nothing done in terms of moving forward with some things.

Busy doesn’t mean productive.  Do I really have to explain this?  I think we know deep down when we are being ‘busy busy’ but not being real. Procrastination loves this aspect of itself.

I was chasing something but never catching it.  This plan had to change if anything was going to be achieved I knew that.  The hard part was being really honest with myself and not beating myself up at the same time.

Mindful examination without judgment…wow.  Powerful stuff…and really tricky at times.

Still I decided to STOP chasing my dreams altogether.  This doesn’t mean I’m not still planning on achieving my dreams – no way I’d give that up!

What is means is I’m no longer blindly running around hoping to fall into what I need.  Fact is even if I had I’d probably have kept running around unable to recognize it anyway.

So I stopped chasing.  I started pulling my dreams towards me with conscious deliberate steps.  Mutual attraction is so much more powerful.

I asked myself what do I need to get ‘here’.  Then, how can I get what I need.

Two very simple, very powerful questions that stopped the chase.

Now I’m walking purposefully towards what I want.  I know what I am doing to get there.  The blinders are off, the chasing has stopped and I no longer am waiting to fall into something.  I’m making it happen.

For the record one of my dreams – now a concrete goal – is to train to be an ICF certified Wellness Coach.  More tools, more skills, more people to serve. Although I am already a certified coach I really felt limited by my own skill set and wanted to get DEEPER.

I’m doing that right now.  In about 6 months I’ll have nailed that goal down because I asked myself what I needed (training) and how I can get that (research schools, talk to people) and then I submitted my application.  I was approved and started just recently.

It’s like waking up in your own bed after being away for a time.  It just feels right and perfect.

If you are chasing your dreams maybe it’s time for you to stop too.  Give up the chase and start the path of striding with all sorts of confidence towards what you want and need.

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This past weekend I was at a 3-day intense (and I mean INTENSE) training weekend called Life and Leadership Potential.

I hardly even know how to put into words the power of this weekend on my energy, my thoughts and my  mindset.  Incredible? Amazing?  Even my moniker FABULOUS seems to be not quite enough but I think you get the picture.

When what turns into a 12 hour day of learning and fun and meeting some amazing new people feels like I just had a wonderful vacation you know you’re doing something right in your life.

This weekend I heard a quote by Bruce Schneider that said something along the lines of this world has a disease that is tearing it apart.  (I am paraphrasing).  That disease is ‘what’s wrong?’ mentality. I was shocked a little when I heard this.  Heck, I’ve WRITTEN about this before but this is the first time I’ve heard it put so perfectly.

Is this you?

We’re wrecking ourselves with this way of thinking.  Scary right?

Disease

  • A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms
  • A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people

Think about the word…is means not at ease or uncomfortable.  We are all walking around unhappy, uncomfortable in our own skin and part of the reason is in our own heads.  We look for it.  We are almost addicted to having problems and drama.

The beauty is we don’t have to be this way.  We can shift that to a different default way of thinking.  Instead of always looking for the bad, the dramatic and the ‘what’s wrong’ in the world.  When was the last time you looked for what was right?

Now I have personally spent a few years working on this mindset shift and boy did the universe help out with lots of ‘stuff’ being thrown at me!  And sadly I’ve yet to have the test around how I’d handle winning the lotto. 🙂

You can shift everything at once. It’s not really sensible to expect that.  BUT we certainly can take some baby steps, make smaller efforts to affect change.

And you KNOW I believe that this creates a ripple in the pond effect.

So here are a few suggestions of how we can begin to build some energy that looks for what is right.

  • after your child brings up an annoyance at school with a friend, ask them what is ‘right’ with that friendship
  • in a meeting with your team at work, don’t forget to ask about the ‘wins’ they had that week
  • remember to tell your spouse why you love them (not just I love you…but why)
  • tell your parent about something they did that inspired you
  • find good news stories to share
  • when your tempted to complain about your kids/wife/husband/friend or whomever, instead consider what is wonderful about them
  • when things don’t go your way ask yourself where the opportunity is in it

These are just some ideas.  Not to many because I’m going to ask YOU for your thoughts because I know you’ll have brilliant insights.

What are you willing to do to start thinking in the “what’s right mindset” today?

Please share with me below some of your suggestions or perhaps there is something you can and will DO. Then come back and tell me how it went.

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It has occurred to me over the last while that for a very long time I had been looking at things all wrong.

Shocking I know. 😉

I had spent a lot of time believing the hype, the quotes and I suppose the movies and thought that we all must be searching for our own very special, very important answers. 

It was shown, insinuated and flat-out told to me that this was what it was all about.  Finding that answer; that truth which would set us free, make us happy and make everything make some freaking sense.

Looking back on this now I think I was aware on some level that there was an important link missing from this.questions-and-answers

An answer would be great sure…but what the heck was the question?

Nobody ever talked about that part.  Certainly no one ever told me what the questions were or should be.  Most importantly, no one ever talked about how to figure that out.

This realization hit me one day and it took a long time and a lot of other little wake up calls to really understand what this meant.

Go on..ask yourself.  What is the question you are trying to answer? 

For years I felt this pull, the need to look for something.  I begain to learn about different religions and cultures.  To look at different aspects of the human condition.  I studied psychology, sociology, biology, geology, ancient cultures, linguistics, the greats of literature,  mental health, special needs…the list goes on.   I found some peace and connections here and there, but never could really put it all together into this mythical ‘answer’.

I think it made me a better teacher though; such a wide variety of interests. My thirst for learning rubbed off on some of my students I hope.

But yet, here I am.  Realizing that the reason I could not find my answer, even among all this different formal learning, and life experiences was simply mind blowing.  And it was this – I didn’t know the question I was trying to answer.

The answer? That may not be what is really important after all.

Perhaps the real key in life is not in finding all the answers.  It’s asking questions that matter to you and exploring them.  Truth is, you may not find the answer to your original question.  The truth is you may only end up with more questions.

But that’s good.  Self discovery, life…it’s about figuring out what matters.  There is no magical final answer out there.  Each answer can only lead to more questions so it makes sense to pay attention to the questions you are asking.

Ask the right ones and you are going to end up on a path that will lead you to yourself.   Questions bring light and understanding to your heart and soul as much as they do to your mind.  GOOD questions lead you further into a topic or idea.  There is no end to that kind of discovery!

How freaking exciting is that?

My suggestion is to we need to spend more time on figuring out the question.  You may find you already hold the answers you look for.

What questions have you been asking?

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I read an article yesterday about some scientists who wanted to see if “The Secrets” self-help technique worked. Unfortunately I am not convinced the scientists actually read the book.  Or if they did I don’t think they quite ‘got’ it. 

To quote the article their premise was:

“The researchers wanted to see how people cope with four different challenges that life throws at us: getting a job, finding a partner, doing well in an exam and undergoing surgery (hopefully not all at the same time).

Across four studies the researchers examined how people thought about each of these challenges. They measured how much they fantasized about a positive outcome and how much they expected a positive outcome.”

They claimed that fantasies before attempting a goal, made people actually find less success.”  That said they really didn’t explain what success was.  Sure I may have accepted a lower salary job but perhaps it offered opportunities that others didn’t.   They said participants who used visualization applied for less jobs as well – that could makes sense.  When you know what you want why would you waste your time?  I think life just isn’t as simply measured as these scientists think.  They forgot to look at one very important factor…the WHY.

“They then tested the participants’ blood pressure — which indicates how much energy their body is giving them to perform a certain task — and found that people who were induced with fantastical thoughts had lower levels of energy than those who weren’t.”  This was assumed to mean that participants were feeling like they didn’t have to try hard anymore thus explaining why they didn’t do as well (ie. applied for fewer jobs, accepted less salary).  I think the assumptions may have been jumped on here.  Calming the body is a good thing when you are in a high stress situation. I myself have used visualization when I was competing in races and I know many athletes who use this to focus – successful ones.

Putting yourself in the correct mindset can change everything.  Fantasy doesn’t do that.  Self awareness and choice does.
 
I don’t think using real manifesting and visualization techniques in a lab is a true test.  It takes a lot of time and practice and mindset shifts to truly shift your energy.  One go at itknowyoruself certainly won’t change much. 
For the record, Fantasy and visualization are not the same thing.  Expectations of success can be wildly different and change often.  Add into the fact that no one who has a clue, has ever suggested that simply thinking about a ‘new boat’ will make it magically appear. You still have to DO THE WORK. 

Manifesting your life is not about sitting around and fantasising and pretending. 

It is about choosing where to put your thoughts, your energy and your focus.  

It’s about changing the energy that your internal beacon is giving off so that you attract things into you life that you want to be there.

It’s about awareness of your actions and the opportunities that come your way.  It’s about recognizing those opportunities for what they are.

Sorry guys but I think your premise is lacking and your testing is missing some key important elements.  Personal experience also has taught me that when used properly visualization is a powerful tool towards transformation. 

Interestingly enough they did find that what they call positive thinking made for a happier person overall – but not success.   I had to shake my head.  If being happy in your life today, as it is, isn’t success…then what is?

 

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