Parlay Your Wisdom

What’s your greatest business or blogging realization of 2008? Let’s give a great gift of wisdom to one another.

To realize means coming to understand something clearly and distinctly.

The time to act on a fresh realization is soon after its awakening. There’s an energy there that can be harnessed to drive positive change.  Feel the power in these synonyms for realization: enlivening, recognition, vigilance, alertness, quickening.

Yet when we fail to act, or fail to come to a decision based on the realization, it’s power diminishes.

Once aware, you have the power to act.  A realization is new wisdom, new awareness.  Realizing and not acting is walking away and leaving money on the table.

Even if your realization is personal, it can be parlayed into better business building.

What’s my greatest realization?

Getting a jump on things is essential to my personal productivity, project completions and peace of mind.

What do you need to do differently in order to capitalize on your realization? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?

My answer:

1). I’m better served to make decisions based on pre-determined, required, criteria, rather than saying yes to unplanned offers, distractions and unexpected opportunities that may not fit my criteria.

2).  I need to decide sooner, act more swiftly, and focus on chosen priorities more often.  This will help me get a jump on things and stay ahead of the game.   I need to determine how I’ll know I’m winning and keep my lead.  I function better with momentum, rather than coming from behind.  I no longer respond well to adrenaline based deadlines.

As solopreneurs, realizations are essential to business success because our personal productivity is the main driver and cause of our business productivity.

What about you? Are you willing to share this gift of wisdom?

What is your greatest business or blogging realization of 2008?

What do you need to do differently in order to capitalize on your realization? What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?

For extra authenticity credit, consider answering one or more of the above questions before reading the other comments.

What brings you alive?

What gets your juices flowing and your heart pumping? Whatever it is my friend, are you honoring it?

So what brings you alive? Is it natural beauty, a big hug, taking a risk, driving music, a crisp morning, a touching moment? What brings you alive and are you honoring it often?

Do you know what brings you alive? Do you know what makes your heart sing? Not certain? Then look at the people and activities in your life that are way too small for you.

Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
David Whyte, from his poem, Sweet Darkness.

What definitely does not bring you alive? What’s killing the core you? Take an honest gaze at what’s killing you and you’ll find what brings you alive.

Another good trail to follow is to look for what you want. Then ask, “What about what I want is enlivening to me?”

Another hint is to look in the opposite direction from prevailing wisdom. Sometimes we’ve got to be radically bad to find the boldness of aliveness. I mean, the heck with what they say. They are way too small for you. Be radically bad and declare your freedom from all those cultural “shoulds” that are weighing you down.

What rocks you at the core of your being?

Here’s another clue. Answer this question about your dreams or big life goals. What matters most to me in my life right now and am I working on it?

Self-confrontation is one doorway to inspiration.

So, my friend, what matters most to you today and what are you doing about it?

Walking this brave path means heartily welcoming all of life. It shouts to life. Bring it on, I’m ready. I am here, I am now and I’m alive!

Often by frequently engaging in smaller aliveness activities we can nudge open the doorway to greater glory and the accomplishment of dreams.

Aliveness is a choice that could move your life from “ho hum” to “ah hah!”

Gratitude, inspiration and enthusiasm are life’s jumper cables. Use them to recharge your aliveness battery.

There is no good reason to refrain from simple pleasures that bring you alive. Rejoice in your peculiarity!

In your comment, tell us three easily engaged in activities that bring you alive.

Mine are:

  1. Laughing out loud
  2. Singing my heart out
  3. Anticipating the first big hit in a rugby match

What brings you alive?

(Image by Rey Nocum on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Massive Inspired Action – a Recipe for Success

As we seize our work life freedom, it’s often necessary to achieve measurable progress so that our confidence catches up to our intentions. The most effective tool to jump start momentum and insure success is massive inspired action – because it increases the probability of success.

Massive Inspired Action is a process I developed where you engage a variety of fierce and creative actions to increase the probability of reaching an objective. Bull

We make success more likely by increasing the sheer volume and variety of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more likely as a result of the confidence one emits around the whole campaign. Five years ago, I was sitting in a weekend retreat facilitated by author Egbert Sukop when he said something like, “Results don’t necessarily come directly from the actions we take, but parallel to those actions.” (Image by pbr-angel on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

He went on to explain this observation. Cause and effect is not a sure thing. Many of our actions produce desired results, but often we can’t foretell which ones will work and which ones will not. Sometimes a method will work four times in a row and then quit working at all.

This got me thinking. Career coaching is a wonderful living laboratory because I get to experiment with so many different clients who hold multiple and varied beliefs on what does and does not work well. Over the years, after working with hundreds of clients, I developed this process to help more clients win the game they want to win.

The process of massive inspired action works so well in a quest for true calling or right livelihood because it counters all the negative energy that cautions us to play it safe and remain miserably where we are. The masses are always going to be against risk. The masses are always going to want you to stay with them so you can wallow together in the prison of employment. Freedom requires bold action; if you’re going to risk it all, why not increase the probability of your success?

Massive inspired action is a fierce excuse eliminator. It’s about the most responsible thing you can do for yourself when you’re ready to make your move. If you are going to seize your freedom, you’ve got to give it your all. It’s imperative that you go beyond what’s required. Just going through the motions and doing the minimum is an employment strategy, not a self-employment one.

You might recall from an earlier post that this is the fourth stage in my Authentic Cycle of Probability. So, first make sure you’ve run your dream or project through the first three stages, discovery, decision and focus. Then you’ll be properly aligned for action.

Why does massive inspired action work so well? Let’s break the recipe down and look at the ingredients.

The benefit of action at first appears obvious. Without it nothing happens. Yet we can’t foretell which actions will produce desired outcomes and which will not. There are too many unseen factors – like subconscious beliefs at play. That’s one reason why it’s more likely that results come alongside actions and not necessarily as a direct result of them.

The benefit of massive is twofold. Massive creates a wave of confident energy, and confidence is a natural attractor. Massive also gives us the space to be creative and to put a variety of methods, approaches and actions in play. Like the prospector who pans for gold, has a sluice running and a mine, by leveraging the sheer number and variety of actions, we increase the probability of striking it rich. Staking multiple claims increases our options when adjustments are needed – and gives us an overall feeling of command.

Inspiration gives an authentic blessing to our massive actions. Inspiration is robust and alive. It provides a level of vigor and courage that’s seldom seen in a lesser campaign. That’s why finding your work life happiness and freedom is such an individual pursuit. Not all things work for all people, and not all methods work all the time. The more genuine your approach, the greater your probability of success. Massive inspired action allows your purest flow of exceptionality to come forth – and that attracts others who want to support your drive for success.

Massive inspired action is not an everyday process. We can only do massive for short periods of time. It’s particularly powerful at the start of a project, when momentum is so critical to success. Save it for the big game that really matters to you. It’s fun to give something all you’ve got. It’s a blast to make your move in a very big way and to follow through all the way to completion.

If you read this blog, chances are you’ve been holding back for some time. Holding back is for wimps. No matter how evolved we are, we all hold back on something. Holding back squashes delight. Are you ready to fly? Might this be your time to give it all you have? Are you ready to step forth and seize your freedom? If you are, then use massive inspired action. It works!

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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A Sure Way Out of the Darkest Times

When times are tough we almost always look outside to take some action. Yet it’s often an inner adjustment that’s needed first.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening within, when times are tough.

Have you ever faced circumstances, such as growing debt, demanding creditors, major life disappointments or conflicts that are so big it’s hard to see anything else? Yet that’s what we need to do. We need to look at anything other than that big scary reality that’s blocking our vision.

What we focus on expands. What we give our attention to we get more of. What we look at, whether it is pleasing or upsetting, becomes our focus point of expansion. Even what we resist persists because we are giving it our attention.

Worry, complaint, blame and doubt are powerful forces of resistance that tend to keep us stuck within the very situations we wish to be free of. Yet there is always a way out and it always comes from within first.

Here’s the most effective inner adjustments I can offer. I found it in Eckhart Tolle’s excellent book, The Power of Now.

In all situations, you only have four choices, and the first one is not a positively productive one.

  1. You can resist, complain or deny, and remain stuck within the situation.
  2. You can remove yourself from the situation.
  3. You can work with others to change it.
  4. You can accept it.

That’s it. There are no other choices.Many times when coaching a client out of very stressful circumstances, they refuse to select options 2, 3, or 4. That means that by default they have chosen to remain in a prison of their own making. Because if we choose not to accept, change or remove ourselves from a situation we are stuck solidly within resistance.

Why blame is resistance.

No matter who’s at fault, you are responsible.Blaming others is a barrier between you and your effectiveness. When we are blaming, we are not looking at our own contribution to the situation. When we are blaming, we have, in effect, become victims – powerless to improve the situation until someone else changes first. Here’s a core truth worth adopting. If you are aware of a problem, it’s at least partially yours to correct. If it’s happening to you, no matter who appears to be at fault, you are at least partially responsible (for the advanced class, try this on: holding yourself as 100% responsible gives you 100% power in the situation). Instead of finger-pointing and whining when you see a problem, always ask these questions:

  • What can I do?
  • What else can I do?
  • What else?

Write down your answers, discuss them, make a decision and take some action. And please don’t think that acceptance is a weak decision. It’s often the strongest.

Acceptance is not agreement. It is simply your recognition that for now, you just won’t fight it. There are no other choices. Opportunity comes directly from clarity of decision and action. By deciding which of the three positive choices you are making, you increase the likelihood of greater opportunity – because you have lessened resistance.

Then you can apply a relief formula that always works:

Gratitude + Less Resistance = Increased Opportunity

Recognizing and appreciating one’s blessings gives you greater strength. What you’re grateful for may be relationships, internal talents and abilities or external positive conditions. By simply focusing on a sunny day, health or any part of your life experience that feels good, you’ll begin to turn the tides in your favor.

Remember – whatever we focus on we get more of.

In all things, you have a choice as to how you’ll respond. You can resist by hoping that another person or condition will change or you can choose to work the formula on your own behalf.

Is it Your Time for Work Life Freedom?

Okay, it’s time to put up or shut up about this business of making your dreams come true. I’m directly speaking to those of you who have believed your own excuses for far too long, or who are biding your time, waiting for your ship to come in. (Update: There are no ships headed for your port, right now. And none are scheduled.)

Today, in this powerful present moment, you’re either in active pursuit of your work life freedom or you’re not.

We work 40+ hours in this society and that’s far too much to be at the whim of someone else’s wishes and desires. It’s time for you to declare total self-determination as one of your dearest values.

Work life freedom is simply this. A declaration that you have engaged your natural ability to work on exactly what you want, when you want to, and with whom you want.

Let’s cut through the bull. When you look deep within, you know that you’re destined for something far more enjoyable than you’ve settled for. Embrace this truth. Savor its promise and then you’ll be ready for authentic action. You might ask this. If this is all true, why is it so challenging to find work that I love that also makes me financially prosperous?

I’ll tell you the secret.

You never get started. You never get started because you allow your own fears to keep you from getting started and from consistently following through.

It’s the active pursuit of work life freedom that puts you in position to see your next step.

When you follow your bliss….doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else. Joseph Campbell

The first step to the active pursuit of work life freedom is to admit that you want this freedom. The second step is to declare that now you are actively engaged in the pursuit of this freedom. What’s next? Take these two first. I dare you. Then write – by commenting on this post – and tell me how wonderful (or fearful, or whatever) you feel. Stay tuned. I’ll help you take step three, but it can’t even be seen, let alone reached, until you take the first two. Dare you?

How to Get Up When You’re Really Down

Ever been so stuck that you couldn’t see a way out? Even when stuck, we always have an optimum path to choose. If we can see it in hindsight, we could have seen it in foresight. There’s always one choice that will work best to get moving again. But how do we to find it? What’s the best way to find our optimum path when we are desperately stuck?

In 1997, I lost a business, my home, my marriage and, just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I ran over my daughter’s kitten.

For a couple days I raged from anger to sadness to every color of guilt and back. I was not yet a life coach, and I didn’t have the perspective to realize what was happening. Plain and simple, I was stuck in a deep hole. And I hated it.

When we sink that deep, it seems like the light will never shine again. If that’s you right now, then I feel for you. But is it time to quit wallowing in self-pity and start moving?. Of course, with my situation, my light did shine again. I want to share with you the lesson I learned during those dark days.

Movement works… any movement. Get up, get out and get moving! Do something differently. Anything! What did I do? I marched into the woods and played Little John by beating dead trees until I was emotionally and physically spent. That released my anger. Then I boldly marched back and forth while singing about where I was headed. It was the lift I needed to see things differently.

Any movement, even physical movement, works because it changes one’s perspective. If you’re looking from a different vantage point, you’ll soon be able to see new opportunities to which you were once blind.

Begin by walking to a hilltop or any expansive place and feel the new energy rushing into your body. Notice how your view has changed and speak about that. Out loud. Bold actions generally follow bold proclamations, and you need to be bold. You need to first stride boldly. Then you need to speak out boldly in your own name. Forget about what others want. It’s your own desire that will lift you from the pit of despair. Then naturally you’ll see an opening that just wasn’t there before.

You’ll be like the running back who keeps churning his legs because he doesn’t know when or where the opening may appear. But if he doesn’t keep moving, he’s not ready when the opening develops.

Know this. There are always five or six available options in any situation. Just keep moving with your eyes wide open until you see them. When you see more options, you can seize your optimum path. But first move your body or you’ll never see them.

Then, as you walk in bold fashion, find a bold action to take that was unavailable to you previously. Take it and realize the new consequences. Even if the action was a mistake, the realization will hold value – because you will have moved from stuck into momentum.

Momentum is energy gained by movement and it just doesn’t come from mere analyzing or planning. One must act and act boldly for new opportunities to be seen. You have an optimum path available to you right now and it will come by way of a bold action. Get moving so you can see it, and then seize it boldly and quickly before doubt comes to visit.

Really, what do you have to lose? Let go of your stale and stinking paralysis. Choose and move boldly right now and you’ll soon be blasting out of your funk.

Enthusiastically Yours,
Tom Volkar