Category: Blog

Alive? Then Live.

Life begins when a person first realizes how soon it will end. – Marcelene Cox

This quote came across my Facebook page and I had to share.

Some people confuse the idea of being aware of one’s mortality with “focusing-on-the-negative” or “worrying about things you can’t control.”

It’s neither, if done properly.

Life is a wonderful thing.

Life is a finite thing.

When one accepts both of these things, and commits to living fully while alive, they focus-on-the-positive and control what they can.

We can control what we do while we’re alive.

Knowing that our time is finite gives us – if you choose to embrace the Truth of it – the context for taking action and making the most of the time we have.

Get Clear, Get What You Want

Until you commit your goals to paper, you have intentions that are seeds without soil. – Anonymous

The mind loves clarity.

Without clarity the mind – actually, our emotions – reverts to safety.

Safety, for our emotional brain (the limbic system), is habit and routines and whatever has been shown to contribute to our survival (even if such things, don’t actually serve our best selves/lives (in the modern world)).

Committing our goals to paper allows us to see the difference between what we (say) we want and what we’re creating.

Without some measure of clarity we continue to do what is safe, what is predictable – that which doesn’t kill us. (Honestly, our emotional brain is all about patterns . . . . )

What is it that you want?

In each area of your life – Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual – what do you want? Finances? Relationships? Leisure and Recreation?

Perhaps it’s hard for you to imagine what you really want. This is a common thing for many people.

Try this: allow yourself the luxury of naming what you don’t want.*

Then imagine the best version of the opposite.

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Once you’ve got the hang of naming what is it you do want. Continue by naming it all.

Sit down with a pad of paper and write down anything and everything you want.

See what comes us when you do this. If you feel guilt, or shame, or that you don’t deserve something, make a note and keep writing.

Once you’ve got your list – I recommend doing the writing-everything-you-want exercise at least three times – you can begin to prioritize.

Prioritize based on time frames that make sense. I would recommend some version of the following: near-term, intermediate-term and long-term. (For me, that would be 90 Days, One Year and Five Years).

Happy Goal-Setting!

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* Whatever we focus on expands. Thus, we need to be careful about spending any time thinking about what we don’t want. Of course, thinking about it and dwelling on it are two very different things.

What We Do To…

In Life there’s what we (really) want and what we do to keep it out of our lives.

Yes, you read that correctly.

We keep what we want out of our lives by what we do.

And what we have in our lives is a perfect reflection of what we’ve done.

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It’s quite simple really:

1) Get clear on what we really want.

2) Look at what we have and figure out why we want it more (than what we say we want).

3) Ascertain what we’re doing to create it (what we don’t want that is).

4) Figure out what we must do to create what we want.

5) Do that.

The (Seeming) Power of Habits

Habits are powerful, generally hidden, drivers of behavior.

My basic understanding of habits is that there’s a cue, a response and a reward (or result) (that is seen as desirable and/or functional).

Many habits are not, actually, good for us, and/or those around us.

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A question some coaches (myself included) like to ask in regards to non-positive habits is: if I gave you a million dollars could you replace* this habit?

Predictably, most everyone says “Sure, for a million dollars . . . ”

So, I wonder: “If this habit doesn’t serve this person, and they are open to replacing the habit, why don’t they just do that?”

Because the habit has utility. It meets a (key) need for the individual.

If nothing else, the habit provides a predictable results, sometimes even a pleasurable result (if only short-term pleasure, or relief).

My theory is that our desire for safety and stability trumps even a positive change.

The potential positive change is rejected because, even though our cerebral brain sees the change and positive and beneficial, our limbic (emotional) brain sees change as a threat (or at least a challenge) to our current safety/situation.

It is staggering how powerful the limbic brain can be in resisting change and new habits.

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But my point here is, and this is something I am genuinely curious about, is, if we can change for a million dollars, why can’t we change for our health, or a key relationship or our happiness/fulfillment/achievement?

I have my theory, but what do you think?

Let the question percolate/marinate a bit and drop me a line in the comments below.

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* Notice I didn’t say “end” or “change” the habit? That’s because habits are better replaced, than resisted.

Variations on Gratitude

Today is the day in the USA when we give thanks. When we show appreciation for all we have. (Unfortunately many (lately) see this day as a day to buy more stuff . . . )

In the true spirit of the day, I offer you some thoughts and quotes.

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Gratitude is up to each of us:

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Tecumseh

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What you focus on, increases:

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. – Oprah Winfrey

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Know that others can help rekindle your sense of thanks; allow this:

Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. – Albert Schweitzer

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The abundance of the World is not without responsibility:

We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres, or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation. – Seneca

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Awake. Stay awake:

Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. – Robert Louis Stevenson