Are You Ready to Up Your Game?

mocha momentsPanos Mourdoukoutas, business and investment strategist and a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine, was addressing the subject of retirement (although I think that this piece of advice is not applicable to only retirees) and the one precious asset that was missing from one’s investment portfolio.

The asset he was referring to was a non-financial asset…that of WISDOM.

He said “I am not talking about the wisdom you amassed while in engineering school, an MBA program, or the experience you accumulated at work. That kind of wisdom, which economists call human capital, helped you develop a career and accumulate your financial assets. I am talking about a broad view of the human condition, what might be termed “a philosophy of life.” I.e., the capacity to examine life — to search for opportunities that expand your mental and spiritual horizons, understand what can be controlled in life, distinguish between false and true pleasures, identify and treasure true friendships, attain a properly balanced existence and become a responsible human being.”

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It amazes me how many of us settle for stale routines, becoming content with the dull and ordinary activities that have guided our lives for years. Panos says that we abandon our sense of adventure and instead accept one compromise after another.

When was the last time you searched for opportunities to expand your mental and spiritual horizons? When was the last time you challenged yourself to read a “hard” book – one that would really cause you to think? When was the last time you tried something new or attempted a challenging task?

What about hard conversations? When was the last time you chose to avoid rather confront a difficult situation? How often are you sweeping issues under the mat hoping that they would go away without any effort on your part?

If any of these descriptions fit you – it is time to up your game.

Hugh MacLeod says that excuses are a disease. So please don’t introduce any “diseases” here. You deserve more in life. Your life is full of potential and if you live with this mindset choosing to change your present life’s configuration – you will discover that something new awaits you every single day! When you approach life with a child-like wonder, you are best prepared to defy the limitations of time, become more “alive, and more of a participant versus being a spectator in your life.

If you’re still with me…great!

The first thing you need to do is to call yourself out on your own BS. Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray and Love says “I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullsh*t. She says in a Facebook post, “I learned this lesson first and foremost with myself (the way we all learn our big lessons I suppose).

The only way ANYTHING in my life has ever changed is when I was finally able to step outside of myself a bit, and regard my thoughts or actions with a dispassionate eye, and see how those thoughts and actions were contributing to these terrible outcomes, and finally say to myself: “Enough of this bullsh*t, Gilbert.”

She elaborates…”Enough of what, exactly? Enough of the lies you’ve been telling to yourself. Enough of the lies you’ve been telling to others. Enough of saying, “I’ve got this under control!” when all evidence points to the fact that you totally do not have it under control. Enough of the blame. Enough of the shame. Enough of being guided by fear instead of by faith. Enough of waiting for somebody other than yourself to transform. Enough of waiting for someone to speak your truth for you. Enough of waiting to be saved. Enough of not forgiving. Enough of saying, “I’m too weak to do this important thing!” Enough of the patterns of self-abuse, self-destruction, and self-ridicule. Enough of saying, “But it’s not FAIR!”

You already know where your BS lies in your life…where you make excuses that you know are not real. You have a long list of why this can’t be done, why that can’t be accomplished and then you try to feel better by telling yourself that you are really passionate about your idea and that it will happen. While you’re holding up this wall of lies, time is passing by. Valuable time. Time that you can NEVER regain. Time that you have no idea how much more is available to you.

I remember Mike Litman, bestselling author of “Conversations With Millionaires” asking on an audio presentation called “Greatness Held Hostage” – “Aren’t you sick and tired of being sick and tired?”

Aren’t you tired of hearing yourself mouth the same excuse over and over again? Haven’t you gotten angry enough, or sad enough to want to turn things around and do things differently?

Ok. You’ve surrendered. You are ready to call yourself out on your BS. Here’s what’s going to happen: you are going to feel liberated! You’ll feel as if you’re stepping through a door from your former self to a self that is more aware, more accountable and more reliant. You will want to talk about the elephant in the room because frankly it has been taking up too much space in your life and you need to address it and get it out.

It’s all about being that person you know you were meant to be. It’s about working on transforming yourself FIRST before you go lecturing to others. It’s about being the change, the example you wish to see. It’s about holding yourself accountable and everyone else in your life as well. It’s about getting comfortable with discomfort. It’s about doing what you need to even when it’s not easy to do – especially when it’s not easy to do. This is how your life will look when you up your game!

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