How to manage time…1 Simple Solution

Over the weekend a friend asked how business was going and I heard myself say, “I need the world to stop for 4 months so I can get everything done I want to…and then have it re-engage.” I got to thinking about what I said later that evening and I realized if that was truly the case…I wasn’t managing time effectively at all. How does an entrepreneur/CEO/Executive manage time better? Here is one simple solution…

First, accept the fact that you can not manage time. It isn’t time that needs to be managed but your mental focus and actions. A persons mental focus will always be in one of three places at any given time. the past, present or future and each one has a definitive purpose.

Looking back to the past allows us to reflect on successes and failures (which are just opportunities to learn). Understanding the successes and failures of the past allows a person to take useful strategies forward and find new ways to use and apply them. It also allows us to identify negative actions and behaviors and reframe them into positive “learnings” so any negative emotions disappear and new possibilities for how a person “could choose” to do things differently in the future are uncovered.

Focusing on the Future is crucial because it allows a person to focus on one of the greatest human needs…becoming more. If we are not growing we are dying, it is a fundamental law of nature. The challenge is that some people focus on growing more that is positive and some people get into the trap of growing more of what they don’t want. A positive future opens the door to possiblities, growth, and “more” of life. The negative future, signalled by statements like “I don’t know or want…” only perpetuates negativity, scarcity and disempowering emotions.

And last place your focus can be is in the present, being immersed in the exact action, thought, belief and feeling right NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW…and NOW. The present is the hardest to focus on because the mind is constantly pulled between the past and future.

THE SIMPLE SOLUTION…HERE IT IS!

Future—Past—Present

Focus on exactly what you want in the future…(not what you don’t want, but what you do)
Think about what tools, strategies and resources you need to be creative, industrious and solution oriented FROM THE PAST
Combine both into ACTION NOW in the PRESENT clear of any distractions.

Oh yeah, celebrate your success from doing something different today! When applied consistently, you will find yourself more motivated, inspired, fearless, and results will start to show!

If you find yourself lacking focus, a fearless attitude, or clear direction forward…call today for your “Success-Now!” Session. (919) 792-0085.

In the month of August, email me at james@evolutionforsuccess.com with the word 30-Day Challenge. I will send you a 30-Day Success Sheet and two complimentary 15-minute checkin’s, personally with me, as my way of saying thank you for your support over the years!

To your continued success,

James

Happiness Formula Revealed…

If you are looking for the magic formula for more “HAPPINESS,” look no further. Like all new ways of thinking and believing, they stick around longer when they are anchored into our neurology. Take this 31 day Happiness Challenge everyday in July and see how your life changes in the next month. Here are the steps:

1. Journal:
A. List three problems that you are thankful for (the reasons you are thankful must be to remind you something you know you are in the core of your being or what there is to learn from the problem, the learning of which will empower you with a new belief that will better you. Example, “I am thankful that I am scared to death of making these business cold calls this week because it will help be breakthrough my fear of being good enough, overcome caring so much about what other people think of me, and allow my business to go the next level by brining in clients and revenue so that I can take another vacation and help another person change their life)
B. Journal any other thoughts, ideas or concepts worth nothing and thank your unconscious mind for giving you those ideas and insights (regardless of if they are negative or positive)

2. Exercise: Put some form of physical movement in your day. A minimum of 20-minutes out in the sun for some vitamin D. Anything to get some additional oxygen to your mind and body, get your lymph system going and get those natural feel good drugs released (as my daughter says, “get those ‘indoor-friends’ moving” (endorphins)

3. Meditation: Meditation is proven to support a healthier immune system, relaxation and stress release. To get in the habit I suggest just meditating to your favorite song without words. Or, sit in your car before or after work for as little as just two minutes and clear your mind, practice turning off your brain.

4. Perform one meaningful, random act of kindness. It has to be meaningful which means it involves something that is emotional. An example, everytime I take my kids to McD’s, I ALWAYS put my change and a few dollars in the Ronald McDonald box because I know what they did for one of my clients who they supported when his son needed a brain operation. It immediately fills my heart with thankfulness and I think of the families in need who will have kids in similiar situations and all the good it will do for them.

Feelings need to be cultivated. They need to be cared for, watered, nurtured and supported so they can grow and produce fruit! Try this challenge for 31-days with me and see how it changes your life.

TO your continued success,

James

PS-Email me at James@evolutionforsuccess with the word “Happiness” in the subject line and I will gladly send you a daily “Happiness” form you can use for the month of July.

You have problems, compared to what…?

Bad Monday

Are you having a bad day? I thought I was one day last week. I was going to be late for an appointment and I was really frustrated since being late is one of my pet peeves. My frustration level grew as I turned off the highway and my forward progress came to a screeching halt. In front of me was an accident and a long line of backed up cars. As I took the detour in front of me, I snapped the picture you see in the post above. An interesting thing happened as I drove past this accident. Somehow, seeing the plight of this truck driver, putting myself in his shoes, and thinking about the phone call he was going to have to make to his boss put my problem (frustrated by being 10 minutes late) into perspective.

One of the greatest questions I ask clients when they are frustrated and angry at a problem in life is, “OK, its bad, but compared to what?” As human beings, it is easy to get wrapped up in OUR life, OUR problems, OUR perspectives, and OUR beliefs. To jumpstart the process of getting a person out of their OWN way so they can work to a solution, just ask, “Compared to what?” When we shift our attention to the plight of others, the challenges of others, the life circumstances of others (that we can relate too) it helps to put things into a different perspective. When you can shift your “referential index,” how you are referring to something, with a different perspective, it lessens the emotional impact so you can think more clear and see the opportunities to think or do something different.

It is not to be used as a justification for NOT doing something different but a means of getting unstuckk so you can find a new solution and take action to achieve a different outcome. Next time you are stuck and think something in your life really stinks…just state the problem and then ask yourself, “Ok, this stinks but compared to what?” So you thought you were having a bad day, compared to what?

In the end, my ten minutes late was nothing compared to the delays this driver faced, his boss faced, and their clients and their customers may have faced. It’s good to keep life in perspective.

If you are feeling stuck and frustrated with your job, career, relationships or finances…CALL today to schedule your Introductory Strategy Session to start moving forward again. (919) 792-0085

To your continued success,

James

Use Adversity As a Stepping Stone: The Parable of the Wise Old Mule

Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records. William A. Ward

We all have challenges that crop up, we all hit roadblocks or situations that seem overwhelming or even hopeless.  And in each instance, we have a choice. We can give in to the fear, the frustration, the sense of hopelessness or we can use each difficult situation as a springboard to rebound and come out stronger.

One of my favorite parables is the one of the farmer and the wise old mule… It’s been told and retold countless times, but it’s a great reminder that often the problems we face also have the potential to benefit us.

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ — or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer felt sorry for the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened and asked them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery. 

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back: he should shake it off and step up! This is what the old mule did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself. 

No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up! You guessed it! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him, actually end up blessing him. – Author Unknown

And how often does it hold true in our own lives? Sometimes, it’s not easy to see that silver lining.  And often, to see it, you need to look at the adversities you face from a completely different angle.  So next time you feel discouraged, ask yourself how you can use adversity as a stepping stone to success.

Do you have a parable or story you love or that inspire you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Trouble Staying Focused on Your End Goal?

It’s easy to loose focus on your end goal when all you see is obstacles in front of you.

When we lived in Arizona, one of my neighbors was a firefighter for the City of Tempe. One day, we started reminiscing about our respective training experiences; my Marshal Service days, his firefighter training. One of the training exercises they conducted was to place a dark gray cover on the inside of their air mask to simulate being blinded by smoke and then practice moving in buddy teams to clear a home, conduct a rescue, or practice putting out a fire. They had to rely on something outside of what they could immediately see, in order to succeed.

I guess that is true in many professions, take airline pilots for example. Have you ever really noticed how small the windows are in the front of the plane? When it is raining, dark, or they are in the clouds, how functional are the windows in helping them stay on course? Many times they have to fly blind.

Invariably, these same challenges happen in the pursuit of dreams and goals. Our vision can become blocked or clouded by obstacles and we can not see where we are going. What is there to rely upon in these times of need?

Staying focused on several things will allow forward movement towards our dreams.

* First, stay focused on the end goal, NOT what is blocking the line of sight. Expect and anticipate the moment when you will lose sight of where you are but don’t lose sight of the end goal. Anticipate the challenges.

* Second, focus on core training principles, habits and behaviors that have allowed you to succeed in the past.. This helps to control the fear, anxiety, nervousness, or other emotional states that may be experienced when obstacle blocks your view. To keep your focus, remember your support team, your co-pilot or buddy you are entering the burning house with.

* Third, rely on the fundamental instruments of your profession. Revert back to using the basic tools of your trade to stay on track and measure success. The firefighter relies on his boots, jacket, helmet, and breathing apparatus. The pilot relies on the compass, altimeter, fuel gauges, wind gauges and communication equipment. What are the instruments of faith you can rely upon in times of need?

When you are lost suddenly and can not see where you are going in pursuit of your goals. STOP, take a moment and reflect on what you can rely on. Who can you turn to in your buddy team for mental, emotional and spiritual support? No one ever achieves a goal without the help from someone who believes in them. What are the tools of your trade that you can always rely on without hesitation? Is it your brilliant mind, your technical aptitude, your emotional intelligence? What are your unique abilities that you take for granted everyday?

And, lastly, as you move through the inferno of obstacles or are blinded by the rain, clouds, and storm, keep faith and focus on your end destination. No fire can rage on forever and every storm eventually brings sunny days.

Remember, there are so many more resources available in the world to achieve your goals than are in your direct line of sight. It would even be exciting to put the screen in your visor and move into your obstacles once in a while. There is newfound confidence and freedom when the exercise is over and it has been a job well done.

 

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Are You Running Away from Your Problems?

…Lessons from NLP and dog training

How do you deal with challenges? Do you face your problems head on or do you pull away from them?

Richard Bandler, the father of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), once said that everything he learned about human behavior he learned from his dog. I thought that was a very peculiar statement until I took a dog training course a few years back.

Do you know what to do when being attacked by a dog? Often, in a moment of fear, we react in a counterproductive way. This is also how we sometimes deal with challenges in life.

What would be your first reaction if you were outside, a barking dog was running toward you, and it looked like it was going to attack? The normal reaction would be to turn around and run. Many times in life, when confronted with our problems, we turn around and run. However, all that does is encourage the dog to attack, and in the end, your chances of being bitten just skyrocketed. A better strategy is to turn sideways to the dog, freeze in place, and slowly put out your hand for the sniff test. Why? Because this behavior tells the dog that you are not a threat. It is not an aggressive stance. By taking a quarter turn away from the dog you are still looking at it but not facing it in an adversarial position.

Many of life’s problems only require us to stay put for a second, take a deep breath, turn a little to one side or the other, adjust our perceptions, and then slowly extend ourselves to the problem in order to find resolution.

If the dog continues to charge toward you and bites down on your arm, what then? What would you do?

Panic and fear usually kick in and we try to pull away from the biting dog. Wrong idea! If you follow that instinct, instead of only getting a few puncture wounds from the teeth, you will end up ripping the flesh on your arm as you pull and jerk away.

The appropriate strategy is to “Make him eat it!”

If you move into the problem with aggressiveness and shove your arm deeper into the dog’s mouth, the dog will end up choking on your arm and will have to release its hold on you. The energy you spend by giving the dog what he wants will actually cause the problem to stop.

Many times, our problems are the same way. When we move into the problem, use its energy in an effective way to move through it, instead of pulling back, the problem loses its grip and you may find yourself free of the challenge.

As you think of the problems and challenges in your life, are you running away or pulling away from them?

Remember, the first step is to just stop! No emotional state lasts forever. Turn sideways a little bit to see it from a different perspective. If the problems and challenges already have an emotional hold on you, STOP pulling away from them, take a deep breath and push forward into it with all of your might. You may find that the problem will lose its grip on you. You can set yourself free.

 

 

Set Bigger Goals This Year!!!

Overcoming obstacles is in our make up!January is a time when memberships to local gyms skyrocket, New Year’s Resolutions are made, and peoples’ attention shifts to what they want to achieve in the next year.

Most people get excited about setting goals but few maintain that excitement through February and March.

I have a favorite saying: “When you set a goal, you automatically put all of your obstacles in place.” That part is not as exciting since the bigger the goals, the bigger the obstacles.

 

But, what if overcoming obstacles could be exciting?

 

What could a person achieve then?

What if people were made to overcome obstacles?

What if it was our natural instinct?

What if it was really all about overcoming obstacles to have a great life instead of achieving the goals?

The loggerhead turtle is only about two inches long at birth. It is stuck at the bottom of a hole two to three feet deep in the sand. It has to find a way out of the shell, past 40-60 other turtles, and dig upwards in the sand to open air. After it reaches the top of the hole, it has to orient itself to the water and travel up to 50 yards to get to the surf. Then, it is washed back up onto the beach an average of three times before it makes it out to sea. And that’s on a good night; If they don’t make it to the water before the sun comes up, they can become dehydrated and bake on the beach, get disoriented and go inland, or become breakfast for seagulls, vultures, and large fish. Less than 1% of all hatchlings will make it to adulthood. And yet, they can’t help but meet every challenge with excitement. As they make it to the ocean, they actually speed up!

It is that excitement that allows humans to feel alive, get strong, build confidence, and achieve greatness. It is how the 4-minute mile barrier was broken, the space shuttle was developed, the Berlin Wall came down, and the pyramids were made. It is how you learned to crawl, walk, and read this letter. People are preprogrammed to thrive on obstacles, overcome them, and have dynamic lives as a result.

It is not how long a turtle lives that makes a difference in life, but the difference he makes by living every second of life. Living a true life means living a life of overcoming obstacles to achieve and become more. It is a part of our natural instinct. Success in life is directly proportional to the obstacles that are overcome. So set some bigger goals this year! Set some fantastic obstacles for yourself!

Set your goals and reach them! What is Goal setting was exciting?

Loggerhead Turtles hatchlings.  Kiawah Island, SC.  Chances of seeing them hatch…one in a million!

How to save a Drowning Rat!

Would you be interested in knowing “HOW” to save a drowning rat?

There has not been much positive news for the past couple of years. The media seems intent on presenting everything noteworthy that is the opposite of empowering or positive.  …unemployment, foreclosures, budget cuts; it’s all around us.  Even putting the media aside, when we look at our personal lives, at our neighbors, family or friends, it’s clear that for many this is a stressful time.

By now, you probably want to quit reading this and get back to the news – after all, it is more cheery than my Thought of the Week! My mood is becoming depressed just writing about this. However, I may have a suggestion that may help us all cope with the negativity, But how does this relate to saving a drowning rat?

There was an experiment conducted where scientists put a single rat in a container it could not get out of and then filled it with water. They placed the container in a completely dark room, and timed how long the rat swam before it drowned. How long do you think it swam? Well, it lasted a little more than 3 minutes.

For the second part of the experiment, they placed a rat in the same container in the same room with the same water level, but this time they had a bright beam of light shine into the darkness for the rat to see. Guess how long the rat lasted before it finally drowned? This time it swam for over 36 hours.

When I was in US Army Airborne School, the Army Chaplain said a prayer with us before we loaded up for our first parachute jump. He stated that we had nothing to worry about, as the jump field we were about to fly over was the most holy place in Georgia. According to the chaplain, more people prayed flying over that small piece of land than anywhere else in the state. He encouraged us to add our little part to the holiness of the jump field site.

In life, if someone wants the identity of being an honest person, they have to experience a moment where the opportunity to steal is present and choose not too. If you want to be a person who is able to find new opportunities as we work through the changes in our world right now, you are going to be tested. We are all being tested, NOW.

It is hope, faith, and optimism that keep us from giving up when things seem hopeless, that keep us believing in opportunity and the promise for a better tomorrow. That is what brings us through dark times when we feel like we are swimming for our very survival. That is what makes the difference between making it 3 minutes or 36 hours, 3 days or 36 days, 36 weeks or the next 36 years. A person of faith is such because they have been tested and overcome. That is what gives you the courage to jump into a new experience, be a person of character, and keep swimming when everything around you seems dark.

What is the beam of light that gives you hope, faith, and optimism? Now is the time, more than ever, to feed your mind positive messages, drop on your knees and say a prayer, do whatever you can that will strengthen your sense of faith and hope for a better tomorrow.

There are always two things we can focus on; the darkness or the light. Engage in finding new opportunities. Engage your mind in what is bright and good. In order to focus on the light we need to engage our sense of hope and faith in a better tomorrow. I know you can last a lot longer than you think. Keep Swimming.