Who You Are Is More Important than What You Do

 

Who are you? Many of us struggle to answer that simple question. The immediate response most give is to describe their job. “I’m an accountant,” “I work in the sales division of my company,” “I am a coach.” But that’s not the question. What we do is not who we are and it’s normal for people to get the two confused.

It takes time and commitment to do the deep work of really knowing who we are.

To become someone others believe in and in order to live with integrity, you must know the deeply held beliefs that drive you. What are the values, ideals and standards that make up the essence of who you are inside? When these things become clear, you will have the courage to live them. photo_man_suitandtie copy

Performance Driven vs. Principle Driven

A person who is performance driven is focused on results. It’s all about what they do and what they accomplish. How well they do on a task speaks to them about their value. For example, If I excel on a project (or for kids, if I excel at sports, school, music etc.), then everyone loves me and I get all kinds of positive attention. If I fail, or don’t do well, then it seems like others don’t value me as much. The internal message is that I am only as good as how I perform. People only care about me when I’m a winner so I become addicted to activity.

People in this category typically complain that their lives are out of balance, they don’t have time for anything and they are burned out. Their relationships are shallow and fractured. There is little margin for personal reflection and spiritual awareness and they cope by withdrawing or staying excessively busy and distracted. I know this type of person well because this is my propensity and it’s exactly where I found myself a few years ago. It was miserable.

I learned to value myself by results and performance as a child. Many of the messages we’ve come to believe get handed down to us from our childhood. Whether our caretakers knew it or not, they taught us how to value ourselves and those internal messages took deep root.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Plato

The truth is that we are all driven by results on some level. But how results affect a person who is centered on their principles (who I am) is much different. Results are simply what they do, it doesn’t define who they are.

When you are principle centered you have a deep sense of gratitude about your life and your gifts. Therefore you steward those gifts in the best way you can and you see them through your values (which you can learn more about here.) They shape you they don’t define you. Who you are is more important than what you do.
(more…)

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…)

How to Increase Creativity in Anything You Do

 

Creativity is the key to great writing, meaningful work, deep relationships and inspiring leadership. The key to knowing how to be more creative lies in understanding how our brains work. It’s more simple than you might think.

Everyday our brains are scanning the horizon of our circumstances in order to know what to do. Every email we read, each Facebook post we scan, and every conversation we engage, tells our brains what to do next and engages the appropriate behavior. photo_lightbulb copy

Our brains are built to function in one of two ways: (1) Threat or (2) Reward. Everyday we are constantly trying to avoid threat and embrace reward. The more we condition our brains to see less threat and more reward, the more creative we will be.

There is a simple reason for this. Stress and threat release hormones that shut down our creativity called adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. These hormones are good for you when you are fighting or running for your life. But, they don’t work in your favor if you are trying to be creative.

When we see the world through a reward based framework, our brains release “happy chemicals,” such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. These chemicals help us to feel more creative and motivated. We are more likely to accomplish our goals such as, coming up with a brilliant idea, finish writing the next chapter of a book, excel at your next athletic event, or just simply having an incredible day with your family. (more…)

Does God Want Me To Be Happy?

How Positive Psychology Can Help Strengthen Your Faith

For most of my life I have struggled with negativity. I wanted to be positive and life-giving, but kept falling into negative traps I had set for myself – traps I didn’t even realize were there. I grew up in a broken home and my life was tumultuous as a child and teenager. I concluded that the world was full of idiots and most people were not to be trusted. And that view carried into much of my adult life. It was terribly destructive to me and those I cared about.

I wanted to change, but to do so, I had to come to a place where I took personal responsibility for my life – every aspect of it. As I press into becoming the person God wants me to be, I have to remember that I’m a work in progress. And one of the first things I had to do was accept that God might want me to be happy.

photo_KIKHW5NC6Y copyWhen you think about your faith, have you ever wondered if God wants you to be happy? Does our happiness matter? And what is happiness anyway?  When questioned about the greatest commandment, Jesus said, 

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Is that passage showing us the key and giving us permission to be happy? It speaks to the wholeness of a person – heart, soul, and mind. It follows with a perfect definition of healthy relationships and self-regard. It also describes the happiest people I know . 

Let’s dig deeper. Much of our “happiness” deals with two main issues in our lives (more…)

You Can Immediately Change the Way You Feel About Yourself and Others

TomDavis_Positivity_HopeChest_2 copyI’ve put together a free video that will help you immediately change the way you feel about yourself and others. This skill will help create more success in your life in almost every area that’s important to you.

Let’s be honest, we live in a negative world. There is no way around it. We have to be PROACTIVE if we are going to fight against the tide of negativity and create a more positive mindset. The benefits are countless and proven by research: a longer life, more creativity, deeper relationships, more joy, increases trust, makes you more resilient – I could go on and on. You have everything to gain when you are more positive and you use this skill. This video shows you how.

But we are already behind the 8-ball. We need to be immersed in over 100,000 healthy, positive thoughts every single day. Most of us are way below 50,000 (scientists count these things not me!) which means that we are not experiencing the quality of life, peace of mind, physical health, connections and relationships we need.

It takes time to change your mind – and increasing your level of positivity is a process. It took many years to develop the mindset you have and it will take some time to create the one you want to have. I am going to help you make simple, small steps to infuse more positivity and authenticity into your daily activities. Every teaching or video is meant to help you understand the mechanics of how your brain functions and learn new skills that help you flourish. I promise you it’s worth every second of your time investment.

This video is free to our community. If you are already a part, simply click the link above (Head over to our exclusive content area) to watch. If you aren’t part of the community, all you need to do is enter your email (above) to become part of the community and have instant access. Thanks for watching and please let me know how this skill helps to improve your levels of positivity – tom@yourpositivitycoach.com

Sustaining Personal Change in 2016

Engagement & Positive Relationships

Have you ever wanted to change something about yourself but you just couldn’t pull it off? The change you created was only temporary and then you slipped back to the old person you didn’t want to be. This has happened to me more times than I can count. Now that we are on the verge of 2016, many of us will, once again, sign up for a goal-setting course or make New Years Resolutions – only to find that in February, we’re back to the same old people we were at the end of 2016. Why does this continue to happen when we are so well-intentioned about change? 
Photo_sparkler
It’s a complex issue but the reality is that we cannot sustain change unless we change our mindset. Our mindset has to do with the thoughts that flow in and out of our minds every second we are awake, every single day. It’s the sum of our values and beliefs about how we see the world and how we interpret it. It’s our “life-filter” that tells us what we believe about the world, about others, and about ourselves.  The gravitational pull – so to speak – of our old mindset habits are just too strong to break without a holistic and comprehensive approach to how we think.

I’m teaching an online course on this topic in early 2016 – but until then I want to give you something you can use now to begin the process of sustaining change and transforming your mindset. (more…)

The Joy of a Merry Christmas

Elements of Well-Being Theory

I’m sitting in a café in Barcelona surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas (this picture is my current view). I don’t know about you, but the Christmas holidays always push my buttons. I have good memories and bad memories of holidays gone by, but it’s always the bad ones that stick out in my mind. For me and most people the pull of the negative is simply stronger than the positive (that tendency is so powerful it has it’s own name – more on that later).

Regardless of what the holidays have been for you, I want to help you with what will be. There are simple things you can focus on this holiday season, and into the New Year, that will help you to be filled with more joy, peace, gratitude, hope and all the other warm, fuzzy words that describe who you want to be and what you want to feel. This is for me too. IMG_0205One of the reasons for our move to Europe this year is so my family and I could break the cycle of negativity and excess comfort we were experiencing and cultivate more of those “warm and fuzzy” traits in our lives.

I would like to describe our adventure through something called Well-Being Theory. Well-being theory is the idea that you and I can consistently sustain the kind of life we desire. Yes, it is about being happy, but I would say it goes way beyond simple happiness. (more…)

How Positive Emotions Can Save Your Holidays

Living Positively Is Vital to Success in Life

There are times we all get tired of hearing we need to “be more positive.” Is positivity some kind of weird self-help theory that instructs us to feel “good” when things in life are painful, difficult, or tragic?

This is exactly what I thought. Strong arm myself into the person I should be by reading another self-help book, listening to a pop-preacher’s message. or brainwashing myself into believing something about my life that isn’t currently true. But that’s not positivity at all. photo - Think Positive Poster

Positivity is not about simple self-help techniques. It is about being a healthier version of yourself by building important things in your life – like positive emotions. These include joy, serenity, gratitude, love and amusement – emotions we all need more of in our lives! It’s about creating ways to make the amazing things about life shine brighter and happen more often. It’s also about a better you filled with kindness, meaning, and purpose – the version of you that creates personal fulfilment and promotes healthy relationships. (more…)

10 Great Ideas to Reverse the Negativity in Your Family

Ok everyone – for this, I NEED YOUR HELP.

My wife had a great idea this morning. She said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could gather the TOP 10 best ideas people use in their families to reduce negativity.” I thought it was brilliant. That woman’s intuition thing. 🙂 Photo-BIRDCAGE

You know, that kind of environment where you can’t get your kids to stop arguing – or your spouse is getting on your nerves so bad you want to explode – or you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have to deal with yourself before you face your family. (This happens to me more times than I would like to admit. My neuro-chemicals must be off) These real world issues are what Positive Psychology helps to solve.

So here’s the skinny – from research I know you need 3 positive things to occur in order to make up for 1 negative (more…)

ABSOLUTE GUARANTEE: Positivity WILL Change Your Life

So Why Positivity and Why YourPositivityCoach.com?

Simple.

photo-KeyholethruCarribeanThere is almost no other single issue you can focus on that will give you more powerful and rapid results in your life. Positivity is the genesis of personal transformation. We are all stretched for time and there is no bigger ‘bang for your buck’ than positivity – this is proven by scientific research.

Why? (more…)