Archives for February 2008

Seize Your Personal Greatness!

Are you willing to stop playing small and get on with seizing your certain greatness?

“I’ve often said that the only thing standing between me and my greatness is me.” Woody Allen

Warning! At the end of this post is a somewhat brutal exercise designed to shock you into uncovering years of garbage so you can see your greatness. Do not read all the way to the end unless you are ready to courageously face what you’ll discover.

Have you always believed that you are destined for personal greatness?Eagle

Regardless of your answer. I’m asking you to go for your greatness without delay.

If you are not yet taking steps towards your greatness – what are you doing with your life? What’s the point in continuing to live safely in mediocrity, fear or confusion?

“People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be – whether they will admit that or not.” Earl Nightingale

Personal greatness is a choice – and we even get to choose what it means to us.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness; and to realize that greatness, it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity. Standing at the threshold of that door is when you’ll feel your strongest fear.

Are you choosing your greatness, or are you afraid of it?

When you ponder the idea of personal greatness, what fears arise? Are they fears of success or of failure? Imagining these fears does not allow you to be powerfully present. These fears shackle you as the victim you’ve become, in a future that is yet to be.

“Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great.” Fernando Flores

Consider this. If you aren’t deliberately working towards your greatness, then you are holding it away from you. There is no middle ground here. Your greatness is waiting for you to bring it forth. You either believe that it’s possible to be great in your chosen work or you do not.
You are either embracing your greatness or resisting it.

It’s astonishing that we all aren’t already on a definite path to greatness, because personal greatness is completely subjective. Whatever it means to you is the version of it you get to go for. You might covet the fame of celebrity, or a more personal excellence. Our uniqueness allows us to choose the version of greatness that brings us most alive.

Greatness is found by walking down the corridor of your uniqueness and to realize that greatness it’s necessary to smash through the door of conformity.

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

It’s often our fear of standing out that keeps us from embracing our uniqueness and realizing our greatness. Conversely, the surest and swiftest route to greatness appears most readily to those who are comfortable flaunting their wildness. Not convinced? Then try making a case for being tame and appropriate. How has that served your deep delight and the world’s deep need?

In every aspect of living your greatness, you’d be aglow. You’d feel frequent flashes of personal magnificence while in the midst of your delightful work.

Friends, we all hold back – and as a result we end up far less than we might have been. I wanted to design an exercise that would shock me into rapidly shedding all the accumulated dross of life, so that I could see the gold buried beneath.

This exercise may seem unnecessarily brutal to some. That’s why I warned you. But its built-in urgency makes it highly effective. If you’re ready, you’ll need pencil, paper, a timer and 10 minutes to identify your buried greatness.

Imagine being locked in a room with 32-inch thick stonewalls and no way out other than a solid steel door. A ticking time bomb is set to explode within 10 minutes. It’s counting down giving you an alert every two minutes. There’s a laptop connected to the door lock and it will open if you answer correctly. You get five chances to walk out alive.

If your life depended on your ability to go within, ask for guidance and hold nothing back, what five answers would you write down to this question? Frame your responses to be about specific professions or businesses.  Dig deep for the most radically honest stuff because that’s the only way you’ll save you life!

What could I become or do that would sprout a definite seed to my certain greatness?

Go! Start the timer, pick up the pencil and write your five best guesses now. Then imagine entering them into the laptop to open the door to save your life.

Did you make it out alive? I got so viscerally absorbed in this experience that I hit a winning ticket on all five answers. I must confess that I was not taking action on any of them before this exercise. Three were old dreams and two were new realizations.

Now, what are you going to do with those answers? May I suggest that you select one and pledge to take action on it within the next 24 hours? Then take that action and you will be on the verge of seizing your greatness.

I’m challenging you to do the exercise and then comment on the accuracy of what you came up with. What did you realize as a result of being forced to save you own life?

Actually, by choosing your greatness – you truly will save your own life.

Are You Sure You’re on the Right Path?

To successfully reach an objective, we need to clearly know our exact destination and our exact starting point. Most do well enough choosing a destination. But when it comes to the starting point, have you ever started walking down the wrong path because you really weren’t sure where you were?

CompassCan we get to where we want to be when we aren’t sure where we are? Sure, we do it all the time. But that’s the struggling, costly, “wait until we hit the bottom” route. There is an easier way. A really good business startup compass would be able to point us in the right direction and start us out on the right path.

(Image by mellowhummer on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

I use a focusing technique that’s a great right business compass if you pause long enough to check it. When we’re lost in the woods or in life, it’s wise to check our bearings before we move. Do this at the beginning of your journey and you won’t be so tuckered out at the end. Whether it’s in designing a life, finding delightful work or building a business, this method will get you started out right so you’ll have more time to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset.

Let’s say that the key to everything you needed to be aware of, work through, realize or take action on, could be found at the source of one of three paths. If that were true, wouldn’t you want to be sure of your path before starting out? Here they are.
Path in Woods

Personal Awareness Path
Personal awareness could also be described as personal enlighten-
ment, evolution, mindfulness, growth or conscious-
ness. Use the term that resonates for you. On this path we courageously work through our personal points of discomfort. Andrea Hess, Empowered Soul has written an excellent post on engaging consciousness.

(Image by Vortech on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Personal Productivity Path
Personal Productivity is a willingness to create and honor an accountability structure that increases the probability that you’ll frequently complete key results-producing activities.

Business Mastery Path
Business mastery is our learning path where we demonstrate a willingness to observe, evaluate, learn and adjust whatever methods, language and skills are essential for success in our chosen field.

Here’s how to read the compass.

Select a current objective where your progress might have slowed. While considering where you want to be, ask. Which path, right now, would move me closer to my destination?

Although it might seem like we need to simultaneously walk more than one path, don’t do it! That’s a sucker’s route that will weaken your focus and get you lost.

Tips & Shortcuts
If it’s a really big question or resolution, you probably need to walk the path of personal awareness. Same thing goes if you are uninspired. Get on this path and question yourself intently until you have a clear focus on what you want.

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Lack of action is an excellent sign that you are on the wrong path. A path can be perfect one day and a total dead end the next. As with using a compass, we need to pause frequently to check our bearings.

If you keep telling yourself you don’t know how, then jump on the path of business mastery. It begins at your search engine. Get online and find what you need to know to make a sound business decision.

If you procrastinate or are lacking energy, validate your destination by asking questions while walking the path of personal awareness.

If you can’t seem to complete, then build a better personal productivity structure by working with an accountability buddy or a coach.

Especially in the discovery stage of seeking delightful work, business discovery hikers sometimes think they need to go back to school or somehow learn how to function in a new career – before they decide on it. These folks jump on the path of mastery before they’re sure what their destination is. That’s definitely the wrong path. It’s like studying how to ride a bike for four years before you jump on and ride.

Beware of the advice of others because they always see things from their own perspective. If they got where they are through hard work, then they may suggest that you stay on the path of personal productivity. But if you’re on the wrong path, working harder at what doesn’t work won’t get you were you are going.

Which path are you on right now? Is it the right one to get you were you want to be?

You Are WHO You Hang With and WHAT Hangs Around You

It’s much easier to change our environments than it is to change our behavior. The first step to improving our environments is be aware of their existence and how they influence us.

One of the nine ingredients of finding delightful work is: Discover and create environments to thrive within. Read this post to see all nine ingredients. Like all the ingredients, our environments are constantly influencing our pursuit of delightful work; sometimes apparently and sometimes without our knowledge.

Environmental life design is the process of deliberately constructing our environments so that they positively influence us in the way we want them to. Conditioning from our genetic makeup, and the influence of previous formative environments, created the person that we are today. But the world is getting smaller and, with the new dizzying speed and quantity of information, the influence of our social environments has grown stronger. Thus, it’s become even more important than ever to consciously choose our molding influences.

The good news is this: environments make it easier for us to live the fully alive life we most want to live because their pull is like a strong current that carries us along. It’s much easier to go with the current than it is to fight our way upstream.

We’ve all heard the adage, “you are who you hang with.” This is a statement about the power of our Relationship Environment. But are you aware of how all eight environments are molding you? According to my coach training from CoachVille’s Graduate School of Coaching, there are nine in all.

  1. The Memetic Environment is made up of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and knowledge.
  2. The Body Environment is our physical body, its health and energy.
  3. The Self Environment consists of our intangible assets, including strengths, values and feelings.
  4. The Nature Environment. If you don’t know what this is, you’re not out in it enough.
  5. The Spiritual Environment is our connection to the Divine and the invisible connection we feel to one another.
  6. The Relationship Environment is made up of our connections to those closest to us.
  7. The Network Environment consists of our larger communities and associations.
  8. The Financial Environment includes our money, as well as everything that supports our financial well-being.
  9. The Physical Environment consists of our physical surroundings and tangible stuff.

Fork in the road

As these environments are all interconnected, I wonder. How does the rise of social networking today influence who we have become? We are at choice – For example, some folks have gotten rid of their TV in order to have better control over the barrage of “dark energy.” However, even when we are consciously aware, look how much uninvited information seeps through. But we don’t have to allow it. Any of these environments can be strengthened to have an overriding positive influence on the others, particularly the Memetic environment.

Even greater news is that the purpose of deliberately designing environments is to inspire enthusiastic living in every regard. Which brings me full circle to my intention to help people with deliberately designing their environments.

A couple of months ago, I was inspired to create an Unconditional Support Experience. This was a direct result of observing the harmful influence of environments on so many wonderful clients who wanted to live more extraordinary lives. I wondered, could a small group of individuals come together for the soul purpose of providing total unconditional support for one another? In other words, could we experience the ultimate connection, our oneness, within such an unconditionally supportive environment? I say YES!

What do you think about the influence of your environments? Which of your environments are you most inspired to change? Which are you very delighted with? Which are slowing your pursuit of work life happiness? Please choose to inspire the environment of this blog with your comments.

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Seven Things That May Surprise You About Money

These are things I’m pretty sure about regarding money. If anyone speaks with greater certainty on the subject of money – run like hell!
Sometimes it seems like money comes more out of the blue than as a result of the work we do.

I am deeply influenced by the teachings of my friend Egbert Sukop. If you dare, read his groundbreaking book The Money Adventure.

  1. Confidence attracts more money than hard work earns.
  2. When we feel really good, we tend to get more of it. Thus our real work is to do things that make us feel good. What delightful work actions can you take now that really make you smile?
  3. A little financial reserve takes away the stress and causes us to feel better. Even though it may be challenging to build a reserve, nothing takes the pressure off like having a reserve.
  4. Money doesn’t necessarily come because of direct actions, but more often parallel to those actions. Without any action, it seldom comes at all.
  5. Any new movement works. When we take new and different actions, we can see opportunities we were previously blind to. We then, of course, must seize those opportunities.
  6. Just as much money comes by mistake as comes by any intended action. Thus we’d better get over our phobia about making mistakes – and get comfortable making them! When it comes to money, it’s the frequency of attempts that count, more than the certainty of them.
  7. “Money cannot solve money problems.” -Egbert Sukop — Whatever we think we’ll get by receiving more money will not come as a result of receiving more money. Money more often provides more relief than resolution.

If we take into account all of the above, it makes a lot of sense to frequently engage in what I call, Massive Inspired Action.

This theory says that we can increase our probability of success by increasing the sheer volume of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more as a result of the confident vibes one emits around joyfully taking a variety of actions towards an objective one is passionate about.

I’d like to know. Which of these seven points surprised you? Intrigued you? Infuriated you? Which point will you begin to employ in your pursuit of delightful work?
Stumble It! Stumble It!

Answer this Question and Change Your Life

What really matters to me that I’m not doing anything about?

You might as well pause right here and answer before reading on. It’s such a significant challenge to self-truth. Just the whisper of it will come back to haunt you if you don’t acknowledge your answer right now.

So what did you come up with? Was it a dream you’ve put aside? Was it something new? Something surprising?

Each time we acknowledge that something’s important to us, and then pretend that it isn’t, we poke a little hole in our souls. How perforated do you think your soul might be? Well here’s the good news. You can make yourself whole again by answering this question and then following through with any meaningful action.

We’ve got to play in the big leagues of bare-bones self-honesty occasionally or we begin to settle for a smaller life than we could live. Be bold. Your authentic self will be there to help clear the way.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Johann von Goethe

The participants in an unconditional support group. I facilitated,  made real progress towards magnificently living that objective.

After selecting an objective, they’ll align their thoughts towards the accomplishment of that objective as they feel the powerful support of their fellow champions. If something calls out to you when you answer this central question – join us. Just take this survey to begin the process.

Here are many good tips on how to dream big in this blog post What Will I Be When I Grow Up? I Wonder…

Isle of Delightful WorkIn that post, we imagined that we had move to The Enchanted Isle of Delightful Work. We imagined work that made our heart sing. Take a moment now to read that post and imagine extraordinary support while you move forward on what really matters.

Here is your call to action. Answer this question: What really matters to me that I’m not doing anything about? Imagine that you are delightfully taking action. Then pick one small step and take it without delay. You will then have changed the course of your life towards larger living.
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