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Archive for the ‘personal development’ 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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I’m getting ready to head off to San Diego later this week, to attend the Money & You workshop.  As part of the preparation, I had to complete the DISC profile, and I’ll be getting the results at the seminar.

Over the past 30 years, through her programs, her organization has shown many successful entrepreneurs how to discover untapped markets during turbulent financial times such as these. Many of her graduates discovered new business strategies after the 1987 market adjustment, the recession in the early 1990’s and during the high-tech bubble a few years ago.

The program is experiential, and in three-and-half days, we’ll learn 44 hours of Entrepreneurship and how to become a business leader.  If you do the math, you’ll recognize that this is immersion training, with each day going for more than 12 hours.  I’d better pack some energy bars!!  I don’t know what to expect, but I’ll be sure to write about it after the trip!

Meanwhile, here’s a video interview of Jack Canfield discussing Money & You that I dug up!

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In Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes email this morning he quotes Dan Millman from Everyday Enlightenment:

“The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.”

Not surprisingly, I totally agree.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t have any actual problems…illness, financial problems, relationship problems are all very real.  What it does mean, is how we think about those problems, how we respond or react to them, will make all the difference in how happy or stressed we are and what actions we choose to take.

If we are open to the opportunities presented by life, we begin to view circumstances as neither positive nor negative, but as opportunities for change, learning and choice.  If we choose to embrace life’s occurrences rather than resist or move into a place of fear, we allow ourselves to “go with the flow” of life, thereby reducing stress, and gaining what Millman calls “everyday enlightenment.”

Case in point:  I had a client who called me one day to tell me that she’d just returned from a business trip to find that her home had just had a major fire.  Her family was fine, but the home was in an unlivable condition.  In that instant she had a choice…to bemoan her fate, or to embrace the opportunity that it presented.  And there was a very clear opportunity for her…she could move into her weekend home and arrange to telecommute to her job part of the time.  While the opportunity or learning from every situation is not always as immediately clear, the choice to embrace each one with a positive outlook is.

Often it’s not even situations that we resist, but change of any kind, whether positive or negative.  We resist change because not only does it upset the the status quo, it also plunges us into the scary unknown.  When faced with change (like your pediatrician retiring to open a toy store in Taos, NM) our first response is to think of how that will negatively impact us (oh no, I have to find or get used to a new doctor, will they be as good, are they taking new patients, will they accept my insurance, will my child like them?)  or how that change may add an extra layer of to-dos (I have to research good pediatricians, ask for people’s experiences with them, make appointments, interview them, get the records moved…)

If instead of resisting, we seek the opportunity and possibilities in each situation, we often find that not only is it far less stressful than resistance, but there is even a benefit (the new doctor’s office is closer, they are more up-to-date, etc.) to looking at things differently.

As with everything, you need to create a new habit to replace an old one.  To create the new habit of not resisting change, start by deliberately embracing change in small ways.  Change the route you take to work, change the way you deal with emails and call someone to respond to a question rather than emailing, hold your phone in your other hand, change the order you do things in the evening.  Once you’ve mastered the art of small changes, you’ll begin to find it easier to weigh your options when situations occur.  And you’re well on your way to “everyday enlightenment.”

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I’m taking the day off from blogging, but in the meantime, here’s a 2007 morning show interview with Janet and Chris Attwood, authors of the Passion Test.

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I read somewhere that four out of five Americans are unhappy with their lives, and especially with the work that they do.  Just surveying the people around me, I can see that even if it’s three out of five, it’s all too true.  And it’s not even that they are not passionate about what they’re doing…they are downright unhappy and frustrated, and don’t believe that anything can change their circumstance.

That makes me crazy!  Change is always possible, regardless of your circumstance. The key is to 1) know what you want, 2) eliminate any obstacles (actual or imagined,) and 3) choose to take action.  My experience with clients tells me that folks can get stuck and any one of those three steps.

Knowing what you want means knowing what you value in life and tapping into what you’re passionate about.  Before our call last night, my friend Janet Attwood, co-author of Passion Test, asked me to email her the 10 things I was passionate about, starting with the phrase “When my life is ideal, I am… “

Last night on the phone with Janet, she had me refine my statements to separate what I want from how I can get it, and then compare their relative importance to me until I came up with the following top five:

  1. When my life is ideal I am living a healthy and balanced life..body, mind and spirit
  2. When my life is ideal I am laughing a lot…traveling, playing, and collaborating with my friends and family
  3. When my life is ideal I am enjoying my creativity in collaboration with others
  4. When my life is ideal I am taking time off to nourish my mind, body and soul
  5. When my life is ideal I am feeling, giving and receiving love from my family and friends

I’m still going to play with these until they are exactly right, but they are close.  And I just might share Janet’s number one statement “Being in the moment and loving what is.”

The interesting thing about the Passion Test, is that it’s not about “finding your passion” in the sense of making money, or becoming famous, or any number of things that people think that they want.  As I do with my coaching clients, the Passion Test asks you to dig deeper, and figure out why you want those things…what would having more money or being famous allow you to do?  (It’s like the story of the CEO and the Fisherman.)

The next thing she asked me to do is to come up with what she calls “markers” or “signposts” that let you know when you are really living your passion.  These are the things that happen when you are living your passion full out.

She said it’s important not to think how you will achieve those markers, just to write them.  So, for example from my number 1 entry above, my markers might be:

Others remark on my state of mind and ask for my advice on how to achieve it;
I wake up peaceful, happy and energetic each day;
I am able to run up and down the stairs with no effort.

That’s as far as we got…but the book is on it’s way here, and I’ll be working through it — creating my markers, vision board and passion pages–when I am done with Sonia’s book.

In the meantime, I think it would be helpful to also revisit my values with the TruValues assessment.  And because I appreciate your sharing my journey with me, I share TruValues with you here.  Because when you live your life in accordance with your values and your passions, you won’t be one of the four out of five that lives in frustration.  And I want that for you.

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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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