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Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Money & You and all personal development programs are obviously about change.  In coaching, we say that for a client to be able to change, they must first be aware.  Aware of their patterns, aware of their blocks, aware of their goals, vision and destination.

For some people, the desire to change, learn and grow is innate.  There’s an ever-present desire to improve.  For others, that desire doesn’t come until there’s enough pain or a big enough reason that creates a NEED to change…right…now.

The next step is to take stock of where you are right now.  If you want to become financially abundant, the first thing you need to know is what your current financial status is.  If you want to want to lose weight, you need to know what your current eating habits are…how many calories you typically eat in a day.  You get the idea.

Once you understand your starting point, it’s time to pick a destination, some milestones along the way, and chart a route.   Let’s say you want to be earning $100,000 a year, and your current income is $50,000.  Your milestones might be 60K and 75K.  Your route is the financial model you’ll use to get there.  What are your revenue streams?  What might you add?  What can you do to increase your income?  This is the time to not censor yourself and think creatively.

Now do your homework.  Decide what you need….what kind of support, funding, partners, resources, training, services?  This step is important regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, change a habit, learn a language or make more money.

Finally, it’s time to take action.  Start with little steps.  Don’t get stuck in the trap of endless preparation. Stop trying to change. That won’t move you forward.  Take action, and then take another, and another.    As Jedi Master Yoda said, “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'”

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I returned from San Diego, where I attended Money & You, late last night.  Several people have asked me if “I had fun”?  That’s not exactly the right question.  While yes, there were times when we were having fun, there were many more times when we were stretched, perturbed, moved, and running through the entire gamut of emotions.  The right question is “what did you get out of it?” And the answer is too long to put in one post.

The M&Y methodology is not about lectures.  Participants are run through a series of games and debriefing where the learning comes from their experience coupled with some strategic lessons.  It’s a total learning environment which accelerates learning by “appealing” to the right and left sides of the brain at the same time.  [What would the world be like if that’s how our children were taught in school?  While you’re contemplating that, it’s the reason that many home-schooled children excel, because for many that’s the environment instinctively created by their parents.]

One of the ways we learned was by trying and failing….and then trying and failing again, until we got it right.   ————>   Failure = Learning   <————  Of course, we already knew that didn’t we. 😉  https://glimmers.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/commit-to-failure/

Many (most) of the lessons learned at M&Y are based on the principles of Buckminster Fuller.  I know some of what Bucky (as he is affectionately known) taught, but these last few days were like walking through a portal into another world, and have added yet another layer to what I hope to read and learn this year.  And share with you, as I will also in the ensuing days, share some of my take-aways from the most interesting experience that was Money & You.

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Patience is the greatest of all virtues. Cato the Elder (234 BC – 149 BC)

Last week, I wrote about starting where you are, and from there, taking it one step at a time as you begin to gain clarity and evolve.  The challenge for many, me included, is to take it slowly and not get impatient because the pace of change is not fast enough.

It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of wanting instant gratification even with our personal growth; but it’s important to remember that we shouldn’t rush things and allow them to blossom in their own time.  You wouldn’t run a marathon without putting in the necessary hours of training, nor should you push yourself to make changes in yourself or your environments too quickly.  That’s true whether you’re trying to perfect a new skills, lose weight, find a mate, or change an environment.  You have to give yourself time.

Take me for example…and my impatience with meditation.  Even though it’s just been a few days of listening to Zero Limits, I find it’s getting easier to allow myself to relax and focus my attention in the present (most of the time.)  I’m tapping into my long ago TM training, and when I find myself slipping into thinking about what I need to be doing instead, I gently bring my thoughts back to the meditation.

When you practice patience, whether it’s with yourself, other people, or even technology, you give yourself the space to breathe, to notice your surroundings, to listen intently.  To be totally and completely focused on the moment.

There are other benefits of practicing patience.  You’ll find yourself less stressed and less frustrated.  You’ll make fewer mistakes, and make better decisions, since slowing things down gives you time to see other possibilties.

So the next time you’re feeling impatient, whether it’s with your computer, the sales clerk who is waiting for a price check, or with someone who is irritating you, take a moment to stop.  Recognize what you’re feeling, and take a few, slow breaths as you consciously tell yourself to relax and have patience.  And have patience with yourself as you practice being patient.  You’ll like the result.

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I took a “Saturday Stretch” class today.  At first it’s slightly uncomfortable, but then it feels really good to stretch out the kinks and body tension from a week of sitting on the phone or at the computer in my office.  Stretching is really good for the body…elongating those muscles and opening up the joints is so important to improving muscle control, flexibility and range of motion.

And so it is with getting out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself!  At first it may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but as you stretch it feels really good to be growing in new ways.

What I am NOT talking about is just filling your mind with new information.  While I’m a big proponent of reading and adding to your memetic environment, that’s not stretching yourself.  What I am talking about is doing something different.  Trying new things.  Being open to new opportunities.

For me, taking on “My Quest” is a stretch, perhaps not so much with the subject matter, but certainly for the public way I’m going about it.  For you, it may be something entirely different, such as:

Getting into conversations with people you ordinarily don’t talk with
Learning to play the harp or speak Chinese
Going to a concert or movie by yourself
Going to a personal growth seminar if you’ve never been to one
Getting a coach [of course!] to make huge shifts in your life  😉
Registering with an online matchmaking service
Training for a trek to the North Pole (as my friend Raymond Aaron did!)

The result of stretching yourself will of course depend on how far out of your comfort zone you go.  But even a small stretch is likely to give you a sense of achievement, self-confidence and satisfaction.   And the more you stretch, the less you’re likely to experience fear of change and the more you are likely to want to stretch and grow even more.

Your idea of what is possible for you will likely stretch as well.  What might that lead to for you?  If anything is possible…what will you do?

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Passion is the driving force that has you doing things without any thought to whether or not you will fail.  It’s the force that compels and inspires you to go after your dream, to commit and follow through to taking action and making changes.  It’s what causes photographers to stand on a rocky ledge to get that perfect shot, actors to go from audition to audition in search of a role, writer’s to withstand countless rejections and keep on writing.

My first two “assignments” from the preliminary work prior to The Passion Test and in Your Heart’s Desire start out by asking basically the same question:  Think about all the areas of your life and list the top ten passions or priorities.  Each asks you to write it down  with slightly different phrasing, but essentially the exercise is identical.  And…very similar to coaching homework assignments I use with my clients.  Essentially, tap into the major focus areas of your life and state the most important element that would make that area perfect.  Those focus areas, or environments include (with slight variations– not all of these are included in each program or coaching homework):

Financial
Relationships (family, friends, peers, close colleagues)
Your surroundings (home, car, nature)
Your body, health and physical appearance
Your Self (skills, strengths, talents, character, the “essence” of you)
Your Spirit (connection to the universe, spiritual practices, faith)
Your Memetic environment (ideas, learning, beliefs, what you read and watch)
Networks (Professional Connections, Community, Social Networks)
Fun
Career
Education
Creativity
Travel and adventure
Possessions

Most pundits say (and I agree) that the first step to change is embracing exactly where you are today.  So start with where you are and then (in the areas you choose from above) decide which of the areas are your top priority to change?  What are you finances?  What shape are you in?  What do you like about your self?  What puts a smile on your face?  Where does your creativity show up?

Next, for each of the areas you are choosing to work on, write down what you want to change…in other words: how you intend for it to be. Take relationships as an example.  It may be that you already have a great relationship.  Still…what might it look like if you kicked it up a notch? Or perhaps you don’t have one, or have one that could improve.

Sonia says to write three powerful and very clear intentions.  The Passion Test asks me to list ten items, beginning with the phrase “When my life is ideal…” and to phrase them in the present tense.

I recognize that for many, that may be easier said than done.  What I know to be true (thank you Oprah) is that while many people can easily whip off a list of clear desires or intentions, there are an equal amount of folks who haven’t got a clue.  Many of the clueless (no judgment intended here) know very clearly what they DON’T WANT, and that’s a great starting place too.  But there are a large number of people who are totally blocked from telling themselves the truth about their life.  For those folks, I offer the following questions to begin tapping in to what you want for your life:

What brings you great joy?  What are you doing in those moments when you feel happiest or your heart swells to overflowing? When are you at your most creative?  What are you doing when ideas flow effortlessly and time just zips by? Is there a particular topic you like to read about?  Talk about?  Watch movies about?  Internet surf to learn more about?  Do you have a hobby you are passionate about?

I write my intentions/goals for the year annually.  I’m going to update mine, and I’ll share them with you when I do.

Anthony Robbins says “Passion is the genesis of genius.”  Isn’t it time to find yours?

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Thank you to all who recommended books, websites and programs.  (Keep the recommendations coming!)

I’ve decided to begin with the Joe Vitale “Zero Limits” DVD mornings and evenings, “Your Heart’s Desire” by Sonia Choquette, and Jack Canfield’s Effortless Success CD Program.

For those who know me, while I’m not exactly a multi tasker (I focus on one thing at a time as I am working on it), I am someone who likes to read multiple books and tackle multiple projects at one time.  I think doing that allows me to let my subconscious digest what I have just done/read/heard/seen as I work on something else.

I’ve also scheduled a call with Janet Attwood for next week to do the Passion Test with two of my friends and partners (Bobette Reeder and Guy Stickney), and as I mentioned earlier, at the end of the month I’ll be attending DC Cordova’s Money and You, and my dear friend Cherie Clark will be coming along to support me (or kick my butt if she feels I’m not digging deep enough.)

I know it seems like a lot (too much?) but as I tell my clients, if it’s too much, scale back…there’s no harm in experimenting.  And perhaps I’m mistaken, but I think that I already work with a lot of the material, so (false expectations?) I’m thinking that I’ll zip through some of the material having already done it.  I’ll let you know.

One of the things I’m curious about is how (or if) I’ll integrate the new awarenesses and knowledge into my life.  Up to now, much of my knowledge has come from my upbringing and life experience.  Yes, there was a lot of personal growth work in my coach training, and yes, I’ve read a lot of books.  But most of what I’ve learned from those has been affirmation of what I’d already learned, with a few tweaks.

Full Disclosure time:   I’m a firm believer that you can only take things so far with seminars, assessments, books etc.  Learning is one thing.  Awareness another.  But taking action is the part most people fail at, and the reason that coaching succeeds.

In a way, I am viewing you, my readers, as part of my support system.  Writing my thoughts and experiences here, knowing that you’re reading, will certainly help to inspire action on my part.  And of course, I have the most supportive system of friends anyone could hope for (keep that encouragement coming…)

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Fear is paralyzing.  Not just genuine, “fear for your life” kind of fear.  But the every day fears like “I can’t dance, everyone is watching” fears.  In working with clients, and in observing myself and others, I see fear of looking stupid, fear of failing, fear of people not thinking I’m smart, fear of rejection…all among the major reasons not to do things.

When I thought about undertaking this quest, among the first emotions I had was fear.  What would people think?  They’d know I’m not perfect.  What if I didn’t change at all? What if I didn’t get what I was learning?  All perfect examples of
F- alse
E-vidence
A-ppearing
R-eal

Of course there are real reasons for FEAR, healthy ones that keep us out of dangerous situations (when we pay attention.)  But most often our fears are just huge boulders getting in our way of doing what we want to do.

I read something astonishing. It seems that the top two things people fear are the threat of pain or death, and the fear of social rejection. We’re all so busy trying to have people like us that we tip toe around, rather than embracing life and the pursuit of happiness with gusto.  We do the right thing, say the right thing, wear the right thing…rather than being true to ourselves.  (Caveat for my husband…I am not saying you should do anything, say anything and, especially, wear anything!)

So I’ve decided to be fearless.  No, I am not rushing out to go skydiving or bungee jumping.  It means I’ve decided to stop worrying if I’m getting it right all the time.  Instead I’m going to be REAL

R-eally
E-mbracing
A-ll
L-ife

Join me?

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