Your Life Doesn’t Belong to You. Get it Back.

 

All our lives we are told what we can’t do and what we have to do. It’s time to focus on what you can do and what you want to do. I’m not talking about a hedonistic life that is ‘all about me.’ I’m talking about living the kind of life that is most who you are. A life that is aligned by your values – the things that are most important to you. photo_man_sad_beard copy

But we are slaves to the system. Our lives don’t look the way we want them to. Many of us have jobs we don’t care about. We are over our heads in debt with stuff that doesn’t satisfy, and we would be doing something different if we could. If others could look inside of our heads they would see that we are dissatisfied, often unhappy, stressed, frustrated, even angry.

And yet life continues to pass by.

A Harvard Business report said that job satisfaction was at a 23 year low. Young adults are refusing to grow up with 32.1% still living with their parents. Antidepressant use has surged almost 400 percent in the last 10 years and a report that just came out on August 4th said, People living in the U.S. are less happy than before the recession.

So who is in control?

“Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? ~ T. S. Eliot

Now, most people will say there are external reasons for this: not enough money, wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, we are stressed and leaning on games and gadgets, we are tired, we are scared, the world is an unsafe place, etc. And while these things may be true, I’m going to call B.S. on these reasons being responsible for our unhappiness and ultra-low satisfaction with life.

There’s only 1 primary reason people are feeling this way.

We are unhappy because we are not living for the things that deeply matter to us. We know it deep down inside and it haunts us. We aren’t living for our values and we don’t know what to do about it. In other words, these issues are internal not external.

Prospect Theory, formulated by Psychologists Daniel Kahneman of Princeton and Amos Tversky of Standford, proves that we make decisions mostly out of emotional and social pressures. These decisions are often flawed because we are rarely emotionally healthy and the decision is mostly about what we want in the short-term.  (more…)

You Can’t Change Because You Won’t Change

If you’re dreams are dying it could be because you don’t understand the power of what I’m about to tell you. What are the 5 most important things in your life? Family? Spirituality? Hope? Success? Integrity? Chances are you aren’t clear about what the 5 things are and even if you did, your behavior is proving they aren’t important to you. You know you need to change but you won’t. It’s true, you can’t change because you won’t change. You’re part of the 95% of people who have joined the ‘cult of average club.’ They are good people, nice people, but they are people who leave the most important things in their lives on the table. photo_life_man_son copy

One reason is that people don’t have a clue about the underlying forces that drive their behavior.  Most people refer to these as ‘values’ and they are some of the most important things to get clear in your life if you want to live a life filled with rhythm and purpose. Otherwise, you will regularly feel stressed, frustrated, and purposeless.

What’s happened to every single one of us, is that we have allowed certain behaviors to be implanted into our lives that aren’t important to us. Why? Because they’ve worked for us at one time. We may have derived a short-term pleasure from the behavior or we may have received certain accolades and attention for those behaviors. So we do them again and again, until they formed a habit. Here’s the problem, once they don’t work for us anymore, we  are still stuck in those behaviors because they have become automatic. They are fixed in our lives as a habit.

Here’s what Charles Duhigg says about it, author of the book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. “A behavior becomes a habit, as it becomes automatic, it moves into the basal ganglia, which is one of the oldest structures in our brain and it’s near the center of our skull. And when things happen in the basal ganglia, it doesn’t feel like thought. That’s why a habit feels automatic, is because it’s happening in this part of your brain that for all intents and purposes, from what we think of as thinking, is completely exempt from that process.”

In other words, once a habit is formed, we often don’t even realize it’s there anymore. We still get the short-term reward for the habit, but it can often cause discouragement and anxiety in our life because it’s not really what we want to be doing.

I believe in the power of programming new habits so much, I radically changed my life. I knew that I was too locked into old patterns and desperately needed a change and a fresh start. So we got rid of everything in our lives, sold the cars, got out of debt, left what was familiar and moved to Barcelona, Spain.

It’s been the best thing I’ve done for myself and my family in the last 10 years and this decision is going to completely change the course of our lives. I’m sold out to the vision and so are my wife and kids. Every one of them will tell you, even in spite of the hard days, it’s been one of the most powerful things they’ve ever done. Now, you don’t have to move overseas, but you are going to have to do something radical in your life to get to where you want to go. Here’s why.

How Can I Change?

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Is Comfort Causing Slow Death in Your Life?

Comfort sounds like such a wonderful word, doesn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t want to sit in their favorite chair, wrapped in a down filled comforter, in front of a crackling fire while watching their favorite TV show? There is nothing wrong with comfort until comfort becomes a way of life. Sit in that chair for too long, and you’ve got a problem.

I want to see your leadership go to a completely different level and help you be a person of depth. So often, leadership is focused on what you are doing. Things like goal setting, vision statements, and productivity. The better question is what are you learning? How are you being stretched? What new experiences are you forcing yourself to engage in? In what ways are you breaking out of your comfort zone and engaging in learning a new skill, a new language, or visiting places you’ve never been with the people you care about? True leadership is about who you are and who are you becoming201H
Living in complacency and comfort can leave us in a place where our creativity, adventure and vision are completely wiped out. Instead of helping us to feel rejuvenated, it often has the opposite effect and causes stagnation. If I’m not learning, I’m dying. According to Robert Quinn in his book, Deep Change, we are only moving in 1 of 2 directions. We are either in the process of deep change or slow death.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

The antidote to this is to create avenues in our lives where change is inevitable. In his book, Quinn says that, “one key to successful leadership is continuous personal change.  Personal change is a reflection of our inner  growth and empowerment.  Empowered leaders are the only ones who can induce real change.  They can forcefully communicate a level beyond telling.  By having the courage to change themselves, they model the behavior they are asking of others.” (more…)

Harness the Power of the Underdog

3 Ways you can implement the power of success

We don’t speak of the underdog too often. We speak about the powerful, the influential, the idea-makers, game-changers – the world class leaders. That is, unless the underdog becomes famous, then we talk about how amazing they are because they’re not underdogs anymore.

If you are an underdog, you should be grateful. If you feel like your vision, your idea, or your call are in obscurity and that no one is listening – I have good news for you. You could be in one of the best places in life. You are a secret weapon. Why? Because you will do things differently than everyone else. You will work harder. You will do what others will not. And, with persistence and hard work, you will eventually emerge from the crowd, your vision will become reality, and you will live your passion. photo_2giant-33507_1280

I love underdogs. That’s why I’ve spent much of my life helping widows and orphans. It’s the ‘weak things of the world that confound the wise.’ And I also love researching why certain people find ways to achieve extraordinary results.

“When you are an underdog, you are forced to try things you would have otherwise never attempted.” – Gladwell

People who come from the shadows into the limelight of all apply certain principles responsible for their success – and you can too. Take Howard Shultz for an example, now a billionaire. He grew up in the projects in Brooklyn before he founded Starbucks. Or, J.K. Rowling, a single mother in England who was living in abject poverty and was laughed at by publishers for her crazy book, Harry Potter. Or a little soccer team most people had never even heard of until this year that most people can’t even pronounce called Leicester City.

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How To Make Everyone and Everything Better

We all have the same hours in each day. The question is, “What do we do with those hours?” Research has discovered that the most successful people in life do things differently with their time. Now, what I mean by ‘successful’ isn’t limited to how much money you make or the position you have. You can have success in many different areas besides work: parenting, friendship, spirituality, caring for others, being a loving spouse – and other like-minded things. How can we focus our lives so that everyone and everything around is becoming better?

What’s interesting is that successful people spend their time in different ways the most people. They are always challenging themselves and growing. They take life more seriously than most people and they end up getting better results. photo_love_ copy

Most of us are people of habit. We get up, do the same things, go to work, talk to the same people, and keep the same routines. Rarely do things change. Of course, we shake it up every now and then with some kind of trip or vacation, but other than that, not much changes. This is called, “The cult of average,” and many believe this is true for 95% of people. These kinds of people live in stagnation or what Robert Quinn calls, the process of slow death. “If we are not learning, we are dying and when our comfort zone solidifies into habits, we get trapped in slow death, which eventually turns into negative emotions such as depression.” That is what average will do to people.

What do you do with your time? Statistics show that countless hours are wasted by people each day playing video games. According to the Wall Street Journal, millennials can rack up to a staggering 18 hours a day on the internet, video games, and social media. What’s happening to people who spend that much time online? Take another example of how much time people spend watching TV every day. For many Americans, it’s between 4 and 9 hours a day. Are we going to spend the best hours of our lives stuck to a smart phone or a television?! This is what the cult of average looks like.photo_TV_viewing2

Most people think, perform, and live at average levels. But who wants to be average?! I want to be the best I can in the areas that matter most to me. As a husband and father, as a friend, in the areas of my health, my writing and in what I’ve chosen to do for a living – which is training leaders and helping to improve the lives of others.

Only 5% of the population are living their lives with excellence. They are getting results the vast majority of the population will never get. They are spending their times on the things that matter (1) Themselves (2) Their loved ones (3) Their craft, job, or business. (more…)

6 Proven Ways to Motivate Yourself Every Day

It happened to me this morning. No motivation to write, to get moving, to work on my goals – just an overall state of blah. I felt off. I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of a low-grade funk. What could I do to motivate myself? I decided to go back to the basics of what I’ve learned about motivation. I practiced what I’m preaching below – and it worked.

OUR EMOTIONS CAN BE BIG FAT LIARS

Our emotions are precarious rascals. They can often lead us astray, lie to us, compel us to give up and take the easy route. They can convince us that our dreams won’t come true, we won’t live a happy life, and that the next disaster is waiting just around the corner. That’s what emotions can do when they rule us, but we must rule them. It’s the key to seeing the most important things we desire in life become reality. photo_motivations copy

Most emotions are coming from information our brains are receiving. If we wake up dreading the day or telling ourselves we don’t want to face what is ahead, guess what the corresponding emotion will be? It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reason this is true is because of the neurotransmitters that spark the chemicals being released in our brains that tell us what to feel. The release of dopamine in our brains is a key factor in the determination of our motivation. Add these things below to your daily morning diet and you will be sure to increase your levels of motivation everyday and feel completely different about seeing your goals and dreams become realities.

Find simple ways to manage your mood.

The mistake most goal setting courses and productivity systems make is this – they fail to consider how our emotions affect every single thing we do. Why is this important? Because of how our brains are structured which I discuss above. This is also why it is so critical to learn how to increase positive emotions in our lives. These 6 simple things can be game changers to increase our motivation. (more…)

How Positivity Made One Man the Most Successful Soccer Coach in History

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Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson is the famed soccer coach (football coach to the rest of the world) of Manchester United. He is one of the most successful and longest serving managers in football, coaching over a quarter of a century – 26 years to be exact – and winning 38 trophies. No one holds a candle to his track record.

How was he able to maintain such an incredible winning record? How did he rise to the place of becoming one of the greatest leaders in the world of sport? Most importantly, how can you apply the same principles of success to do what he did?

The ‘beautiful game’ of soccer can be cruel to its players, fans and coaches. It’s a low scoring game compared to most and one penalty can determine the victor. It’s also a highly competitive business environment and losing three games in a row can cause a manager to be ‘sacked.’ Yet this man defied the odds over time and won more championships than any other.

There was always a rationale behind why Sir Alex maintained such a winning record over a long period of time. He employed a set of 5 principles grounded and rooted in Positive Psychology. These positivity principles are just recently being proven by scientific research and can be applied to other coaching environments – sports teams, business leadership, non-profit organizations and, most exciting, in the lives of those who are determined to travel the road of positivity to success.  (more…)

Stop Everything and Do This for Success in 2016

When you’ve had success, what did you do? When I look back at most of the significant successes I’ve had in life, I’ve discovered there’s a secret to the success. It’s likely something all of us have done every single time we’ve had a major win. You didn’t stumble on it and it wasn’t an accident. photo_success_go_get_it

I didn’t just decide I wanted to be an author and write a book one day. It didn’t magically appear. What did I do? I engaged one of the most powerful tools at my disposal as a human being. The people who have mastered this tool are the happiest and most successful people on our planet. They create their dreams and get to see them become reality. That tool is the power of vision. Vision is a source of hope, it tells us the impossible is possible, and when we focus on our vision we have the ability to completely transform our lives. And the best news is that we can cultivate and grow this gift.

I’ve created a 7 Step Process to Be Your Best in 2016 that will help you get the results you desire out of the next few months of this new year. Obviously, there are many factors to setting goals and achieving them. One of the most neglected factors is this – You will not be successful in achieving goals until you develop a positive mind. Negativity will kill every goal and every creative bone in your body. You have to learn how get rid of the negative patterns and replace them with positive ones. That’s one of the reasons I created this site. Positivity is your gateway to a new life, new relationships, loving yourself, and achieving your goals.  (more…)