Just Do It!

A phrase made famous by Nike.

Words told to me by several people in the last couple of months.

Stop overthinking.

Just do it.

Why don’t we JUST DO IT?fb_img_1487286508426We want our launch to be perfect because the truth is, we don’t want hiccups. We don’t want delays. We want a smooth sailing. Green lights all the way.

Just do it.

I’m not ready!

Just do it.

OK I will stat tomorrow.

No.

Do something now, right where you are, with what you have.

Because while you’re contemplating your navel (don’t ask) someone else is doing something, somewhere, some how…pressing on. Sure you can be critical of HOW they’re doing what they’re doing – but the bottom line is THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING!

THEY ARE TAKING ACTION.

So this is the first post in ages. 2016 has been quite a blur. Life is messy. Sometimes what we plan to do never happens. Life has something else in store for us. We just have to accept what we’re served and deal as best we can.

Sickness is like that. You can never schedule a cold or decide the best time to get laid up with Zika. And cancer? Seems to have a mind of its own. Non smokers get lung cancer, people in remission for 10 years plus suddenly are faced with “the big C AGAIN” but this time more aggressively…in some new format where there is no  drug to “stave off the cancer for another 10 years.”

My friends husband, who was battling cancer had a massive stroke day before yesterday. Yesterday he left the building. He was listening to pan on the radio on Sunday. Today he’s gone.

Life gives us no timetable in advance. It doesn’t allow us to schedule neatly placed activities side by side avoiding clashes.

Life just is.

Life is now.

Whatever we can do…we must.

Life ain’t waiting…it isn’t slowing down.

As my friend Dan Waldschmidt said recently:

JUST FUCKING DO IT!

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Why, Despite ALL that You Have Achieved do You still Feel Like a Failure?

Perhaps because all your life, you’ve been driven by doing it for others more than actually doing it for yourself.

Think about that for a moment.

We also have an uncanny ability to feel weird if things are going TOO GOOD for us.

Coach and bestselling author Martha Beck tell us that “weirdly, we feel uncomfortable when things get “too good”. We have a sort of happiness set point and if we exceed it, we may discount or even sabotage our “good fortune in order to feel normal again.”

And of course, we love to listen to our critics. Why are we more interested in external measures: outside rankings, results or opinions over our own assessment of how well we’ve done?

Abraham-Maslow happy peopleNeil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation tells us “the root issue is our lack of confidence; self-judgment. We get lost in our own heads; we get confused with mixed advice, so we follow what we see.”

I think the root issue in all three cases is self-confidence. Even in those cases where we would think self-confidence would be at an all-time high! Take for example, Neil’s Harvard Professor.

Tenured Harvard Business School professors have bachelor’s degrees, masters’ degrees, and PhDs, and they finish at the top of their class in all three! They make six-figure salaries and consult and speak on the side to earn even more. And they’re teaching at Harvard!

So why did his Harvard professor consider himself a failure?

“I walk up to my office door every morning and see that the professor in the office to my left has a Nobel Prize…and I know I’ll never have a Nobel Prize. And I see that the professor in the office to my right has written twelve books….and I know I’ll never write twelve books. I haven’t even written one. Every single morning I am reminded how inferior I am and it kills me.”

Okinawa is known as “the land of the immortals”. There are more people over a hundred years old there than anywhere else in the world. Researchers from National Geographic were so fascinated by Okinawans that they studied what helped them live so long.

  1. They eat off smaller plates
  2. They stop eating when they’re 80% full
  3. They have an outlook on life that does not involve the word “retirement”. Instead they have a word called ikigai (pronounced icky guy) – which roughly means “the reason you wake up in the morning.”

Neil encourages us to think of it as the thing that drives us the most.

There is a 102 year old karate master whose ikigai is to carry forth his martial arts. 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!

Purpose and mission have been confusing us for decades. As individuals we worry that we have no purpose. If we could only find it, then we’d be set. We look at others and think that they are lucky to have found their purpose. But based on what I’ve shared, I hope you realize that what you THINK is going on in someone else’s life and what’s ACTUALLY going on could be very different.

We live in a world that is driven by external measures of success.

If you want to feel happiness, contentment and fulfillment you need to be able to describe what self-success means to you. You must be able to come up with a reason why you WANT to do what you want to do and not be driven by what someone else wants for you. And you must make what’s going to drive you VERY personal.

On page 47 of The Happiness Equation there is a great definition of Self-success:

It is in your head. It is invisible. Only you know if you have it. It means you have achieved what YOU wanted to achieve for yourself. You’re proud of your accomplishments, happy with your work and most important – YOU’RE SATISFIED. You want nothing…you feel content; (Emphasis mine).

The number one regret of the dying, reported by a palliative nurse in the Guardian was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

My ikigai is to help people live true to themselves.

How can you go about finding what’s going to drive you? Here are a couple prompts from Coach Karin Lehmann:

  • What do you look forward to throughout your day?
  • What brings you pleasure?
  • Notice the tiny moments that make you happy and if possible, expand on them.
  • Indulge in the activities that enliven you
  • Savor the moments that brings you joy

What’s your ikigai?

It’s Time to Harness the Power of Your Individuality

Back in 2014 I wrote an article where I talked about the fact that it takes more than passion to succeed. Cal Newport, Ph.D., a 30 something year-old and assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University says “Follow your passion is an appealing command because it’s both simple and daring. It tells you that you have a calling, and if you can discover it and muster the courage to follow it, your working life will be fantastic. A big, bold move that changes everything: this is a powerful storyline. The problem is that we don’t have much evidence that this is how passion works. “Follow your passion” assumes: a) you have a preexisting passion; and b) if you match this passion to your job then you’ll enjoy that job. When I studied the issue, it was more complex. Most people don’t have preexisting passions. And research on workplace satisfaction tells that people like their jobs for more nuanced reason than simply it matches some innate interest.”

There is also this phrase that is equally discomforting: Do what you love and the money will follow.

This leaves many of us feeling out of the “luck” loop. We don’t have a passion nor can we identify any activity that we love.

In an Amazon book review about Todd Rose’s new book The End of Average, here are a couple thought provoking questions:

  • Are you above average?
  • Is your child an A student?
  • Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert?

Every day we are measured against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it. The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even question it.

According to Harvard’s Todd Rose, “this is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong. No one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees. And while we know people learn and develop in distinctive ways, these unique patterns of behaviors are lost in our schools and businesses which have been designed around the mythical “average person.” This average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. It’s time to change it.”

you dr seussWhat makes you YOU? Do you know?

So little time is spent really understanding who we are; at best we are all operating with an incomplete picture of our giftedness and true worth.

We all “do life” in a very unique way…we possess what I like to call our own unique operating pattern.

Nowadays we find out about ourselves by going on-line and finding any number of tests, inventories and other assessments aimed at telling us who you are. These tests are appealing because most of them can be completed in less than 20 minutes. A computer scores your results and sends a report down the pipeline that supposedly describes you.

Somewhere in our psyches we kind of know that this is not totally who we are. We see parts of ourselves but we are still not completely satisfied. Yet despite our doubts we plod on, basing KEY life decisions on these summaries only to experience less than satisfactory results.

Do you understand why the career you chose may not be enjoyable for you? That position you fought so hard for is now a daily pained effort? The car that you bought that you thought would complete you now feels “wrong”? Becoming an entrepreneur seemed sexy at the time but it doesn’t seem right for you?

In a summary of Todd’s book by Ingrid Urgolites she says “When we use and accept a type such as “extrovert,” “micro-manager,” “neurotic type,” “Type-A personality,” or any of the endless descriptions we can attach, we lose a little of ourselves. No one fits any type exactly, partially because we change our behavior to fit our circumstances. Categorizing evaluates a few characteristics measured from many individuals that may not have anything in common with any single person. Believing we should or do match a standardized description is accepting an imaginary ideal that waters down our individuality. It causes us to focus on a few characteristics we have in certain circumstances instead of embracing our whole being.”

In his Monday Morning Memo, successful entrepreneur Alan Weiss says this about labels: “Once I label you, all communication ceases, all understanding is lost, all empathy is abandoned.”

If I were to ask you if you would be willing to spend about 8 hours on an exercise that would help you to discover what your unique operating pattern was – would it seem like a lot of time to you? Perhaps too much time?

I think that your life is well worth even more than an 8 hour exercise. Don’t you?

The 5 “Must Haves” in Designing Your Own Success Strategy

In a previous post, I mentioned five pillars that must be in place if you want to transform your life and achieve consistent results.

I’ve talked before about willpower. So many of us think that in order to make changes and get the results we want in our lives we must utilize sheer willpower and discipline!

If you’ve felt this way in the past, then reading this article should bring you relief.

Have you ever felt as if there were two of you existing in one body?

Here’s what I mean:

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sageadvice.eu

You feel as if you’re meant to experience something bigger in your life, far beyond anything you’ve

experienced so far.

Sometimes you see opportunities for growth and evolution. Other times you see only obstacles, way too big to surmount.

There are days when things seem to be flowing and you feel happy and full of gratitude. And sometimes you feel as if you’ve been dealt the wrong hand and everything seems to be going wrong for you, all at once.

Now those times when you are struggling – do you sometimes feel overwhelmed, frustrated, unnoticed, undiscovered and unappreciated? You are working hard, you are loyal, and you are doing everything “right” – so why the inconsistencies?

Here’s the answer: when you are out of alignment with who you really are, you are not going to see the results you want. And if any of these 5 are missing, you are going to lead a miserable life.

Your personal success is determined by:

Your Process + Planning + Guidance + Support + Action

Your process – What are you going to do daily? When I was almost 200 pounds I decided that I needed to start reversing the numbers on the scale. It’s less though about the goal itself and more about how you can influence the number on the scale. What was it that I needed to do every day, which I could do repeatedly until I arrived at my goal weight? I decided I would eat on a small plate and walk 10,000 steps daily. Slowly, as I stuck to my process, the weight came off. If you miss your process goals, there is no way that you will achieve the outcome you want.

Your Plan – Entrepreneur Craig Ballantyne says

You need to plan and prepare better than you ever have before. It’s not enough to plan ‘one day at a time.’ If the deadline for your goal is in six weeks, you need to have an incredibly detailed 6-week plan. Don’t just outline what you need to do tomorrow. Make a plan for everything you need to do each day and every week.

Guidance – Regardless of how good we think we are, we get better results when we have a great coach, someone walking alongside us as we work towards our goals. Also it’s very easy to slip back into old habits and comfort zones so having someone who has experience and knows what you’re going through and how to help you get back on track is key.

Support – You need to have the kind of friends around you that keep you inspired and encourage you to stretch and grow. Craig describes these kinds of friends as “always there to cheer you on and support you through the tough times and dips in your days. Not every step on the climb of your personal Mount Kilimanjaro journey will be easy. You need as many positive people on the sidelines as possible yelling, “Keep going. You can do it!”

Action – Nothing happens until we move! We love to talk about our plans. In fact we love to plan. One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready….Yes! This is where many of us remain – in “get ready” mode. There is no best time to start. Most times you won’t FEEL to do what you set out to. But you must do it anyway. Especially on the tough days; when you feel tired or too busy or that what you’re doing is not making sense or you’re not seeing a huge difference on the outside.

How can you be true to yourself when “life” keeps getting in the way?

How, for example, can you have the career you “desire” when you don’t have the money for the schooling you need or the experience required to secure the position? And how can you earn the money you need for the schooling when you can’t advance your career?

You need to look at the 5 pillars and see what’s missing for you. Being true to yourself, means understanding who you are, following your own path, aligning with what you are naturally motivated to do and staying open to all that the Universe has to offer.

Be patient. Be consistent. You will get there.

How to Tap into the Treasure that Lies Within

How do you convey messages to your subconscious mind and tap into your own acre of diamonds? In this post, I identified three things that need to be present in order for you to begin to tap into your power:

  1. You need to remain open and curious
  2. You must know WHAT you want
  3. You must discover what’s holding you back

Dr. Joseph Murphy says that substantial progress in any field of endeavor is impossible in the absence of a working basis which is universal in its application. You can become skilled in the operation of your subconscious mind. You can practice its powers with a certainty of results in exact proportion to your knowledge of its principles and to your application of them for definite specific purposes and goals you wish to achieve.

The best time to communicate with your subconscious mind is just before you fall asleep. I find “Tapping the Source” offers a practical daily process for attaining your goals. It teaches a daily method that stimulates the process for manifesting your dreams. Here are the 7 steps:

Step 1: Remember to remember “I choose to focus enjoyably inward.”

Step 2: Quiet your mind “My mind is quiet…I am now in Silence.”

Step 3: Enter into receive mode “I am open to receive guidance from my Source”

Step 4: Feel your core passion or definite purpose (what you want) “I know what I want”

Step 5: Tap into manifestation power “I feel connected with creative power”

Step 6: Focus upon your Higher Intent “My vision is right now perfect and complete”

Step 7: Manifest your goal “Each new moment is manifesting my dream”

Do not be turned off by the simplicity of this process. Most of us like complex. We think the more complex it is, the better it is. But the truth is – it’s less about complexity and more about doing this daily.

Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions like Dr. Murphy did at the start of “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind”?

  • Why is one man sad and another man happy?
  • Why is one many joyous and prosperous and another man poor and miserable?
  • Why is one man fearful and anxious and another full of faith and confidence?
  • Why does one man have a beautiful, luxurious home while another man lives out a meager existence in a slum?
  • Why is one man a great success and another an abject failure?
  • Why is one speaker outstanding and immensely popular and another mediocre and unpopular?
  • Why is one man a genius in his work or profession while the other man toils all his life without doing or accomplishing anything worthwhile?
  • Why is it so many good, kind religious people suffer the tortures of the damned in their mind and body?
  • Why is it many immoral and irreligious people succeed and prospers and enjoy radiant health?

The answer lies in whether you understand the workings of your conscious and subconscious minds.

The important thing to remember is that you have to practice and repeat the process daily. If you give up after just a couple days, you are not going to get results.

The Vortex for Success explains it this way:

“It’s very similar to the gym – work out time after time after time until the muscles become strong and firm and your body gets in good, healthy shape. Same thing with the mental muscles – work out your mental muscles repetitively and consistently. This is the only way to ensure a long lasting subconscious mind shifting.”

Dr. Murphy assures us “in learning how to use your inner powers, you will open the prison door of fear…keep on keeping on until the day breaks and the shadows disappear.”

In this post I share the five pillars that must be in place if you want to transform your life and achieve consistent results. These pillars will help you stay the course during those tough times when all you want to do is quit!

A Writer not Keen on Writing…

Self-doubt.

Wouldn’t it be great to free ourselves of any doubt? Freedom from doubt in EVERYTHING? In ourselves, in our beliefs, our fellowmen, the world, our thoughts, our decisions, our goals?

agnes quoteWe doubt ourselves and in so doing talk ourselves out of doing the things we feel drawn to. Like me sometimes with writing. I love to express through words…whether sharing an idea, teaching a class or writing. Yet often, I might have an idea for a post but instead of just getting to my laptop and hammering it out…see where it will take me….I overthink the idea. I research extensively. And before you know it, it’s the end of the day. I have not written anything and my original idea is watered down and unrecognizable.

Self-doubt.

This is why we have cameras but don’t take pictures. We have beautiful voices but refuse to sing. We have a talent for doodling but think to ourselves “how can we every make a living off of that?” and so never allow ourselves time to doodle.

What does freedom from doubt look like?

In “A Journey to the Centre” Aranya says:

No more fear of what you have been. No more fear of what you have done. No more worry. No more guilt.

We are constantly questioning ourselves. I question myself all the time. It can be paralyzing. Overwhelming. Mentally debilitating.

I have to remind myself to get out of my head and into my life. Take action. Do something.

In a post called “When Your Calling Seems Vague and Unclear You are On the Right Track”, writer Jeff Goins proposes this:

…this constant questioning of yourself and wondering what you’re meant to do can paralyze you. You can get stuck doing nothing.

The truth, though, is you’re not really doing nothing. You’re working at Starbucks or in corporate America. You’re living in your parents’ basement or a loft in the city. You’re contemplating quitting or going back to school. You say you’re waiting for the right opportunity, but let’s be honest:

What you’re doing is stalling.

And I absolutely love what he says here:

…we don’t often know what we should be doing until we start doing it. Experience leads to competence, and competence creates confidence. Until you’ve done a few things, it’s easy to hold back from committing to any certain path. It might, after all, end in failure.

And there it is. The “F” word. Failure.

It’s like when I have an idea for an article but let it go…because I am thinking about whether it will be a good article or not. And by good I mean that “people” will like it. Does that really matter though? The drive for approval? This just gets me down if my article is not “liked” enough. Is the purpose of my writing to get people to like what I am saying or to share and perhaps teach someone, something that I have experienced, observed or learned?

There is a quote that I have as my screen pic “true artistic freedom is knowing that whether your work is loved or hated that you’re still gonna do it.” – author unknown.

In 2010 author Neil Pasricha wrote The Book of Awesome, followed closely by two more books, selling more than a million copies in total.

In an Early to Rise Post called “The Only Goal that Really Matters” he shares this wisdom:

When I was stressing about my blog, watching hit counters, bestseller lists, and award nominations, I was using external motivators. I wasn’t doing it for me. I was doing it for others. I lost my self-confidence because I started outsourcing it to signals outside my brain, which I couldn’t always control. When those signals were positive, I was flying. Lots of emails, piles of comments, and bestseller list rankings lifted me up and kept me going. But when those signs were negative, even relatively negative, I was devastated. Critical comments, a nasty review, and the inevitable slipping off the bestseller list — meant I was a loser.

The conclusion was obvious: Only internal goals truly matter.

I need to remember the reasons why I write. Not to be judged by some external “they” but because something inside me bubbles up, an idea surfaces, and I need to write about it.

And if you ever think, why do this or that…it’s all been said or done before, then print this quote out and keep it close by

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

….so said Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille, choreographer of Oklahoma.

Whatever it is that you are here to do will not come through anyone else.

Stand in the sun of your being and let yourself shine. You can light the world in a moment – Aranya

How to Prepare to Begin to Get Results Using Your Very Powerful Mind

In a previous post,  I made a statement that we underestimate just how powerful we are. Dr. Joseph Murphy in his book the Power of the Subconscious Mind says that the reason there is so much chaos and misery in the world is because people do not understand the interaction of their conscious and subconscious minds.

I promised this week to share how you can begin to tap into your subconscious mind to get the answers YOU need to take that next step amidst any uncertainty you face.

More and more I am realizing this to be true: unless you are totally aligned with who you are and know yourself really well, you will find that life will feel more like you are constantly trudging uphill without ever getting a break.

The certainty with which most people describe plans to achieve x or y is based solely on the fact that it worked for them or others like or closely similar to them. And I suspect that because none of us are completely alike, there will be degrees of success as we move away from the person who founded that particular success formula.

While processes, (depending on who you are) change, principles never do.

If you would really like to tap into your own power you need to remain open and curious.  My friend and colleague Dr. Marcia Reynolds says “Curiosity is the most underrated emotion. It is not taught as a positive emotional state, and “being the one who knows” is one of the most commonly praised but bad habits practiced around the world. You need curiosity to succeed at work and in life.”

Don’t just be curious – feel it. Socrates said, “The wisdom begins in wonder.”

the mindAny reprogramming of your subconscious mind starts with you knowing what you want. Most people attempt to make several changes at once in their lives. This approach usually causes overwhelm and rapid burnout. I have found that if you focus on one area and start seeing results, it will spill over and begin to affect other areas of your life. So don’t worry now about chosing one thing or one change to make. I know that our world now is one of myriad choices and options but what you want is positive results for your efforts, not to waste a lot of time going in different directions with no progress. So decide specifically what you wish to achieve.

Now for the next important step: discover what’s holding you back. Vortex Success, masters of subconscious reprogramming share this: “When you choose your main goal, you need to have dialog with yourself and find related subconscious mind obstacles that are part of the whole picture. a man is struggling to make more money, but he can’t make it; something is pushing him back and it happens all the time. He decides to communicate with his subconscious mind, but he must find the reason or reasons that he is being stopped from reaching his goal. This could be subconscious limiting beliefs such as, “Money will make me lose my family time”, or it could be a behavior pattern such as a lack of perseverance and starting new projects over and over again. He must find the cause(s), and accordingly build a communication system with the subconscious mind.

When you are having dialog with yourselves, you must ask yourself:

What is preventing me from getting x? What possible subconscious mind blockages do I hold?

Sometimes you won’t always be able to find the answer yourself, so you will need to get help in order to find it. The help can be a therapist or even close friends who know you the best. You must be willing to be exposed to the answer they give you.

This is the reason why positive affirmations don’t always work because there is something else blocking you and you must find out what this is first, before you can start getting the results you seek.

And finally you must practice any mind-reprogramming right before your regular sleep time.

Vortex Success provides this explanation: about 15 minutes before falling asleep, the mind and body begin to calm down, the muscles loosen up, the breathing becomes more at ease, the heartbeats start to slow down and the whole system gets into a deeper relaxation mode. At this point, the brain produces alpha waves. Researcher’s EEG studies show that in this 15-minute window between wakefulness and sleep, the brain waves slow down and there are between 7-14 electrical waves each second – those are Alpha waves. In this stage, according to research, the subconscious mind’s tunnel is “open” to receive messages.

In my next post I will provide specific methods that you can use to practice conveying messages to your subconscious mind.