Hurry…it’s almost February already…time to focus!

WOW…it’s already almost February and how productive have you been in achieving  your goals? If you are like most people, the power to focus is something that is a real challenge!

So, how does a person stay away from procrastination and fear based doubt? Mastering one simple saying is all that it takes for you to have the next 11 months be the best ever. Here it is…

Where your focus goes, Your energy Flows, and Whether it is positive or negative, that is what Expands and grows.

Sound to simple or good to be true? It isn’t. Most people fail to realize that it is the small, seemingly inconsequential actions that actually ensure success. Most people quote that it took Edison over 1,000 times to create the light bulb. However, what allowed him to persevere throughout those many attempts?

I find it interesting to note that no one talks about how he would have had to laboriously set up, perform and record every attempt to prevent duplication? What was the filing system he used? How did he stay organized? How did he make sure that nothing was ever duplicated? How was he able to perform each experiment one by one, focused and intentional.

If you want to master any task to create amazing results, fighting through frustration and distraction is key. Keeping your focus and energy going into a single minded endeavor, keeping a positive outlook and repeating as needed until completion is what Mastery is all about.

Edison had in his lab the following quote by Sir Joshua Reynolds, “There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” Distraction, immediate gratification and lack of focus destroy success and achievement.

Just for fun, how many times have you strayed from this article, if you have read this far? Building intense focus and single minded purpose is a learnable skill. Review your goals. Take a single, simple action everyday to move towards completing them. Rewrite your goals in the evening. Write out your action plan for the next day. Measure, monitor and reinforce every attempt to succeed. Feed yourself positive thoughts, focus on your goals 24/7, feed them, and act on them again and again and again. Take small simple steps everyday. Your future starts now, today.

To your continued success,

James

If you having challenges with focus and procrastination, sign up now for 30-Dyas for Success. Master the Simple Solution to focus and achieve today. www.30DaysforSuccess.com

Focus in 3-Steps: Executive Coaching John Wooden Style

In a previous post, I talked about the acronym F.O.C.U.S.S. and how a person can create greater levels of purpose, self-confidence, and direction. Today, I’m going to approach the concept of “focus” from the perspective of one of the greatest coaches in basketball history, John Wooden.

“In 1948, I began coaching basketball at UCLA. Each hour of practice we worked very hard. Each day we worked very hard. Each week we worked very hard. Each season we worked very hard. For fourteen years we worked very hard and didn’t win a national championship. However, a national championship was won in the fifteenth year. Another in the sixteenth. And eight more in the following ten years.” ~JW

My question is this, “Did the teams develop to a point where they could finally win a national championship or did Coach Wooden develop himself into a national championship coach?”

 

First Step: Be clear who you are and what Skill you choose to pursue excellence in (internal focus).

If you are going to become a master at a skill or craft, make sure it is one that you love and will emotionally support you for the next 20 years. Then, work to be the best!

To support this assertion another quote, “I am not what I ought to be, not what I want to be, not what I am going to be, but thankful that I am not what I used to be.” ~JW   Focus on being your best now in this moment, every moment!

“For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren’t able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment.” ~JW

 

Second Step: You must set goals that align with the expression of who you want to become and the skill you are choosing to master.

Set BIG, HUGE GOALS (external)!

For example, I chose a skill set of running many years ago. After thousands of miles of mastery, there was room for growth to always set the bar higher in terms of external goals: a 10K, half marathon, marathon, Goofy Challenge, 50-Miler, 100K Ultra and the pinnacle…100-Mile Ultra. Those goals took 20+ years of focus. As I took yoga along the way to keep flexible and train, I didn’t set a goal to become a yoga guru.

Big Goals provide the impetus to learn to perfect yourself in the execution of becoming more. They create the pressure to become meticulous because every detail counts. A hot spot on your foot in a 10K or half marathon is not big deal, on a marathon it becomes a little more important but during an ultra-marathon it means the difference between success and epic failure. Large goals are critical because they provide motivation to be diligent, prudent, and sustain a heightened level of awareness; internal and external. That creates focus.

“Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” ~JW

 

Third Step: Large goals create large obstacles to overcome.

This scares other people away from you so you have more time and energy to focus on your pursuits and not be presented with their problems.

How often during the day are we interrupted, distracted and presented with other people’s problems and life issues? People tend to conspire with others who will give them solace, empathy, and commiserate with them on their problems. The more a person commiserates with another, the more they keep coming back for more commiseration! If a heavy set person starts telling you how bad they feel, most people think it is OK to say, “I’m sorry, you know, it’s not really your fault. After all its genetics, thyroid issues, etc.” What happens when they get that response?  They keep coming back!

Granted it’s not polite to say to them, “then get off your fat buns and do something about it.” BUT, if you are setting a high goal of health for yourself, that person will naturally shy away from you. They know intuitively, as they see you pack your bag for a lunchtime workout, they won’t get much sympathy. You scare them away by setting higher standards.

 

BIG Goals scare people away because they suffer internally by comparison.

This cuts down in interruptions, distractions, and people telling you their problems. FOCUS comes from setting a higher standard than your peers. An added benefit is that the only people who will interrupt you are the people who have high standards and the exchanges will be more in the form of support, encouragement and sharing of tips that help you refine and master your craft. These can be good because they actually boost your energy, efficiency and the time spent for the interruption is time saved with what is learned by sharing.

Welcome the adversity and feelings of “being alone” in your singular pursuit. This creates focus. Here’s a supportive quote.

“When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking.” ~JW

 

Let’s recap these three steps:

1. Be clear on who you are and what skill you want to master (internal mindset)

2. Set Goals in that skillset that are HUGE, stretch yourself as high and far as you can go!

3. Get comfortable with scaring other people away and being alone…set a higher standard. Your only interruptions will be from others with high goals. Those interruptions will be fewer but very supportive!

 “The road to real achievement is usually bumpy and long, but you do not give up. You may have setbacks. You may have to start over. You may have to change your methods. You may have to go around, or over, or under. You may have to back up and get another start. But you do not quit. You stay the course.” ~JW

To your continued success,

James, Executive Business Coach

Learn more about Coach John Wooden here:  www.coachwooden.com

How to Succeed: 4 Master Steps

In the science of Neuro Linguistic Programming, (NLP), one of the fundamental skills is modeling. NLP is the study of how to be excellent at something. If someone is getting excellent results then there has to be a pattern that can be replicated for someone else to be successful too.

In looking at diets for instance, whether you are South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers or any other, the same pattern for getting results stands true. Basically, the body absorbs calories in the following order: simple sugars/carbohydrates (most processes things like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, pasta, etc.), next is complex carbohydrates that come from fruits and vegetables with higher fiber content, next is fats and last is proteins.

The common pattern in all of the diets is that you cut out the first source, simple sugars/carbohydrates, and most of the second. Then, your body is trained to use fat as energy. Hence, effective reconditioning of the body use fat as its primary energy resource.

What does this have to do with self-help, motivation and living the life of your dreams?

Every successful person has followed these basic 4 Steps to Success.  Most self help program covers many, or just one, of the following 4 Steps to Success.

1. Become Definite about your Mission, Purpose, or Path in Life.

2. Release any and all negative associations that aren’t in alignment with your Mission or Purpose.

3. Create a Master Plan to build and create something that provides an emotional experience for others that will help them to create/live their purpose. Build it!

4. Make sure the Tithe, give generously to complete the circuit of energy.

Follow these four steps and success will be knocking on your door sooner rather than later.

TO your continued success,

James

If you are stuck finding your Purpose, Clearing Negative emotions, creating a Master Plan or finding a worthwhile means for tithing, call for your “Success-Now” Session.

(919) 792-0085 

Happiness: 3 Simple Steps

3 Secrets to Happiness

Do you remember that great book you once read? It seemed kind of long when you picked it up but as you read the first page there was anticipation, excitement, and desire to find out what was going to happen?

And like most books, it started slow as the characters developed. But, the plot thickened and it got more and more exciting and it started to go by faster and faster. Until finally, the ending was in sight and you couldn’t put it down, time stood still and you voraciously relished every last word to the very end.

Life is like a good book for the “Happy Person.”

There are three steps to achieve happiness.

1. A Happy Person has a long term vision, mission, or purpose for life that is achievable. In essence, they begin with the end in mind. Knowing what your purpose is and where you are going in life has many benefits.  First, it allows a person to relax and not get stressed because they “aren’t where they are supposed to be yet.” Mission and purpose allow positive emotional states like peace and relaxation to be present when a person focuses on their long term purpose. Second, in the face of obstacles, they have all the time in the world to find solutions because they have confidence, knowing they are on the right path and doing the right things.

2. While keeping their purpose in mind, A Happy Person chunks down their goals into small measureable actions that are easily attainable. At first, learning to tie your shoes is a laborious process. You have to bend down, get the laces, work through each single step to get the knot right. A happy person can focus on one small step at a time because they are very present in the moment. They are “Happily learning” each small step of the process because they know it is their mission and purpose to learn to tie their shoes. There is anticipation, curiosity, and excitement in discovering the joys of working towards their goals.

3. Chunking down goals into small attainable moments, a Happy Person can anchor in positive and inspiring thoughts, feelings and emotions to “living and learning.” Each and every moment becomes a joy. Just like at the end of the book. Momentum grows exponentially as happy people experience success in every moment of the day. Smiles and happiness are infectious and move the world.

BONUS STEP: More Happiness Now!

Go for a walk and ask yourself these questions 3-5 minutes a piece in this order. This exercise should take about 3-15 minutes. Let you mind answer the question each time before asking the question again.

1. When have I been Happy in the past? (3-5 min)

2. How do I know I am feeling Happy now? (3-5 min)

3. How am I going to continue to be Happy throughout the rest of the day? Tomorrow? Next week? Next Month?  (3-5 min…future pace out this question, ie  day, tomorrow, next week, month, etc)

When would NOW be a good time to continue to be Happy?

Your life is one great story. Write your own book of happiness, achievement and success. Happiness is contagious and so are smiles. Wear yours proudly!

To your continued Happiness, James

Anyone you know UNHAPPY with their life? Have them call to set up their “Success-Now” session at (919) 792-0085.

 

SPECIAL UPDATE: Success or Failure as a Small Business Owner or Coach

Success or Failure? How many small businesses will fail in the first year?

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) during the Startup Awards, “Up to one fifth of the 400,000 businesses that start up each year fail within the first 12 months of operation. This gives an approximate figure of 80,000 businesses failing annually.”

I can tell in one question if you will be one of the 80,000…

If someone asks you, “What do you do for a living?” What is your response?

If you are a small business owner and answer with anything less than, “I am an entrepreneur and business owner,” you will be one of the 80,000. This is why…

I had the pleasure of a total coaching immersion with Tony Robbins for over 10 years. During that time, I coached thousands of people that were handed to me by their sales department.

When I branched out on my own, I spent my first two years trying to convince people what a great “Executive Business Coach.” I struggled everyday to convince prospective clients of my skill and experience. As I joined networking group after networking group and the ranks of other struggling small business owners; I met photographers, writers, massage therapists, event planners, financial advisors, real estate agents, website developers and even tattoo artists. And “what they did” was exactly how they introduced themselves.

I also joined professional organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) where I heard coach after coach tell me how they always knew they wanted to be a coach. They knew it since they were 6 years old helping their friends solve their problems on the playground at school. And guess what? None of them had a business, they were all coaching part time and starving for clients.

THE KEY TO SUCCESS:

My Executive Business and Coaching practice turned around 180 degrees the day I committed to be an entrepreneur who owned a coaching practice. I LOVE COACHING and I love my clients and finally figured out that I needed to be a successful entrepreneur and business owner first, so that I could have all of the clients that I wanted.

Think about it this way, if you were the greatest public speaker in the world and only focused on speaking skills, when you showed up with your motivational speech, you would be talking to empty chairs! Getting people in the seats so you have someone to speak to requires entrepreneurial skills, not speaking skills.

Being an entrepreneur means taking on an entirely different set of skills than that of your professional skill. As a person continues to develop key business and marketing skills they can grow their business. Without them, they become just another statistic!

If you are struggling as a small businss owner or coach and want a step-by-step process to learn the entrepreneurial business skills needed to grow your business, call today to find out how! www.businessmarketingforsuccess.com is a 52-week sales and marketing program to get you all the business you can handle and get people in the seats. It is the “HOW” to do it!

Visit www.businessmarketingforsuccess.com and sign up to receive 4-exciting videos showing you the first steps forward to Success Today! I WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED!

To your continued success,

James M Murphy
Enrepreneur, Owner Evolution for Success
Premier Coaching Practice

How to create raving fans that refer you business!

Emerson once said, “What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say!”

This is an incredible business insight. How many people work to promote their business by “speaking so loudly about their business” that people are turned off and never get to see what they can “do for the prospective client in their business.” There is a reason for the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Business owners today will create a lot more success if they remember that prospective clients are watching what they do, often times more than anything they say. Businesses are constantly critiqued by the small courtesies that distinguish them from their competition.

  • For example, after a lunch and a business card exchange, do you immediately send the other person a invitations through social media to stay connected?
  • If someone really goes out of their way to help, do you send a “thank you” card?
  • What is your referral bonus? And if you have one…does it include a personal touch?

I know for me personally, I network a lot and everytime I meet someone new and they say, “Let’s do lunch sometime!” I immediately pull out the iPhone and say, “Great, let’s set up a time now!” If they don’t commit or respond with “Send me some times by email and we’ll connect,” I never follow up. When I pull out my phone, I am saying in that moment, “I value you and your time and I value me and my time, do you?” If they push it off on me to follow up with them, chances are, I will end up chasing them and that’s not who I want to do business with.

  • How do you answer your phone? How do you handle a cancellation when contractually, you are right but the customer wasn’t happy? Do you accommodate them or go by the “rules?”

You would be surprised why people are turned off by using a business or company. And while you can’t be everything to everyone; remember Emerson’s quote, “What you do speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say!”

To your continued success,

James
(919) 745-7569

PS-Comment below on what you have “done” in your business that spoke loudly with a client that you didn’t need to say anything.

5 Ways to Not Achieve Your Goals This Year

Since the new year is right around the corner, here are a few thoughts to make sure that no matter what your goals, dreams and aspirations are, you can fail to achieve them all.

1.  Stop Learning & Being Curious

Success comes from being curious and resourceful. There are three types of learning a person can experience. There is educational learning which gives theoretical understanding of concepts, ideas and ideologies. Take some formal classes at your local university or learning facility. Second, is experiential learning. This happens in seminars, events, and trainings that require practice scenarios, role-playing and simulations. Third, is the actual application of the concepts, theories and ideas in real-life situations. You can read a book on sales, role play scenarios and then eventually you just have to pick up the phone and start to cold call. Experience is the greatest teacher. Understanding theory and role playing helps to build the confidence to immerse yourself in the real world experience. Learn, be curious and take action to apply what you learn.

 2.  Keep distracting yourself with TV & Internet

In 2009, Neilson ratings came out with a statistic that the average American watches 153 hours a month watching television. That is almost an entire week a month with nothing to show for it! The study also revealed that Americans spend an average of 29 hours per month on the internet. If you are what you eat, then isn’t your mindset influenced by what you put into it?

 3.  Keep up the “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking

Keep thinking that all of the little changes you could make today are not worth anything and you will start tomorrow. Many people start towards their goals and as soon as they experience an obstacle, get off track, and lose momentum or motivation, think that it is no use continuing. They sabotage their success with perfectionism. Success lies not in whether or not you fall off track, because you will, but how soon you can change, re-commit to your goal and get back on track. Nothing is too small to celebrate when creating change.

4.  Keep the Negative Messages Coming into your Brain

Are you surrounded by friends, colleagues, social media or environments that are negative and unsupportive? Upgrade your external influences by changing to more supportive people, places and things in your life. As they say in Feng Shui, clear the clutter in all the areas of your life that don’t support you and your goal. Clear the clutter in your mind by practicing to “say it the way you want it to be” in your life. Stop watching the new and feed your mind some uplifting, motivational, and supportive material.

5.  Stay Comfortable, Do the Same Thing You Are Doing Now

Most people don’t achieve something because they never stop and ask themselves, “What do I need to give up in order to make a space for this new goal in my life?” For example, if you want a relationship, are you stepping out and going different places, trying new experiences, and meeting new people? In an extreme, if you want a new car, are you selling the one you have now, have you test driven cars at the dealership and talked to your bank about a new loan? Are you willing to “burn your ship?” If the answer is no, how bad do you really want to experience your dreams, aspirations and goals? You have to make space for what you want to have.

 

So there you have it, five dynamic ways to ensure that you will be a total failure with your goals in the new year. You have, of course, my sincerest wish is for you to be a contrarian!!!  I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.

Liked This Article?  Subscribe and Get my Thought of The Week newsletter directly in your inbox!  (You’ll also get a free copy of my “Emotional Mastery” training and my Free Special Report “5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating“)

 

To Reach Your Goals, Sometimes the Trick is to Underachieve!

Easter weekend is almost always filled with sunshine here in Raleigh, NC. The warm Spring weather usually leads to planting a myriad of trees, bushes, and annuals. Keeping true to form, I spent most of Saturday creating a rose garden in the back of our home.
As I was working, I found myself enjoying the thoughts of running again. The gorgeous weather urged me to put on my running shoes again and hit the trail. After the last six months of training, it was nice to think of going for a nice leisurely jog for three or four miles with no specific outcome, just running for the sheer joy of running — no expectations.
I so often talk about dreaming big, setting a huge goal, and taking massive action but sometimes, big goals lead to huge expectations, which can get the best of us. Huge expectations can often lead to being more overwhelmed or drained of energy than motivated and energized. 
When that happens, switch gears entirely and seek to underachieve! You read right: lower your aim. If you decided back in January to get in shape and lose twenty pounds but now you’re spending more time telling yourself you have to get to the gym than you actually are, change your approach.
Decide to go walk or run 20 minutes each day. One of 2 things will happen: either after the successful small workout, you’ll feel terrific and conclude this was doable. In which case, grabbing your running shoes tomorrow won’t seem so daunting. Result: total success; you have stopped thinking about what you have to do and you’re moving! Or, after 20 minutes, you will be so into it that you will continue running for another 5, 10, or even 20 more minutes. Imagine how pumped you’ll feel then! All the extra time spent exercising is a total bonus because you have only committed to 20. No one is expecting you to do more. Everything you have done above that is for the pure joy of the experience and creates feelings of massive success.
Success has a momentum all its own and will build on itself, just like the expectations. Sometimes what you need to get you started (and get you out of procrastination mode) is setting a goal that’s achievable right now. The initial outcome is not your ultimate goal, but sometimes to jump higher you need to lower the bar a bit. High jumpers don’t go for their personal best without warming up first! Once you’re in action and the adrenaline takes effect, you’ll gain momentum and naturally move toward succeeding at your bigger goals. 
So maybe if I hit the trail, I’ll only run 3 miles, for the sheer joy of feeling alive and vibrant. But in all likelihood, I’ll keep going a bit longer. And if I don’t, that’s all right, I’ll be out running again the next day because I can fit those miles in without pressure, and experience true feelings of success.
To your continued success,
James

Do You Have a Strategic Plan?

“It takes just as much energy to create a failing business as it does a thriving business.”
My wife made this interesting comment the other day… It is true that the success of a business, or any endeavor for that matter, cannot be guaranteed simply on the basis of hard work. In fact, many businesses fail in spite of offering great products or services, and in spite of being run by intelligent, hard working people. Hard work is not enough.
I have been fortunate to bring on a brilliant Director of Marketing for my company (my wife) and upon joining the business, she decided we needed to go through the Guerilla Marketing 30-Day program by Jay Levinson. Quite honestly, the process was painful at times, but also immensely valuable. The exercises forced us to stop and think  strategically before jumping into action.
As service professionals, we often focus 90% of our time on sharpening our skills and refining the strategies and tools we provide our clients in order to continually increase the quality and effectiveness of our services. Spending time on strategic planning and business development can sometimes get lost.  We’d rather be with clients than create or revisit a marketing plan or a business plan.  We want to be doing something.  And we should.  But taking the time initially for some strategic planning is a crucial element of success.
Spending the initial time plotting your course, gaining clarity on where you are and what you want can be frustrating at time.  It can be an uncomfortable process, but that time is in fact well spent. It will ensure that you won’t expand your energy in random directions, working very hard and getting very little reward for all that work.  You will be working smarter rather than harder as a result.  
Whether it’s in your business or in your personal life, achieving any goal will entail expanding some energy. Simply rushing in and throwing yourself into action without first thinking strategically about how to go about achieving that goal won’t get you there.  Take a minute to gain clarity about what you actually want and which strategies will work best.  And then, jump in with passion!
To your continued success,
James

Are you Any-body or some-body?

Are you Any-body or Some-body Special?

Being different in life is a great way to build your self confidence. The definition of self confidence is, “You decide to take a specific action so that you can earn and deserve the right to feel good about yourself.”

I was contemplating this last weekend on my long run and started to thing about the implications of the definition. I know I have covered this in previous thoughts but some things are so important, sometimes, they bear repeating.

Do you realize the amount of freedom we are blessed to have? In America, almost Any-body can do almost anything. That is the dream and the hope that has built this nation. The sad part about America is that although almost Any-body can do anything, most Any-body and Every-body tends to do what is easiest. We all tend to take the path of least resistance in life. We see this everyday in work, finances, health, and relationships.

Any-body can do something but it takes Some-body special to do what others are not willing too. It takes Some-body special to get up on a Saturday morning at 5am and go out on a training run for 17 miles. Any-body can sneak out of the office early on Friday to get to happy hour but it takes Some-body special to put in that little bit of extra time to get the job done right before leaving. Anybody can go out and get a credit card and get in debt by overspending but it takes a special Some-body to earn, save and actually own their home and car mortgage free. Anybody can put on that extra 20 pounds by sitting on the couch every night watching TV (one statistic I read stated the average child watches 22 hours of TV per week and adults average 8 hours per week—but they can not find time to exercise or spend quality family time). Anybody can go to work for somebody else, not pursue their dreams and put in their 8 hours and go home. It takes a Some-body special to understand their interests, strengths, and purpose in life, create their own business, and take on the risks of being an entrepreneur and providing jobs to others so they can feed their families. Any-body can not be invested in their community and not go out of their way to cultivate friendships outside of co-workers. It takes Some-body to find a meaningful pursuit that helps others less fortunate than them and invest their time building relationships with others. Do you get the point?

My question to you this week is, “In your life, where are you showing up an Any-body?” Where are you doing what Any-body and Every-body else is?” Where are you buying into the status quo of underachievement, living that unfulfilled meaningless life, and believing that you can’t do anything in the current economics to make your life better? Any-body can be an ant, following the ant in front of them, going to the same piece of food, taking your little piece and returning home. It takes a Some-body special ant to break away from the status quo and go find food itself. That is what builds up the self confidence of the ant and in the end benefits the entire community! Step up, face life’s challenges, commit to something different that Any-body COULD do, and be that Some-body special to ACTUALLY do it.

Have you forgotten…Yourself?

I was focused, motivated and determined last weekend to achieve three major outcomes: finish my 2008 taxes, plant my new tree, and put up the basketball hoop for my son. I worked late into the evening on Friday night to complete the taxes, I was up early Saturday morning planting my new tree and Saturday evening I assembled the basketball hoop. Sunday morning found me grocery shopping and by 2:00 that afternoon I was wiped out, standing in the kitchen wondering what to do next.

When I was single, the first thing I would do every night when I got home was to put on some music. I did not have a TV or girlfriend at the time and jazz music was my best friend. We would have long conversations as I made dinner, returned emails and did laundry. I could never understand how I could live without it because when my condo was quiet, it was a weird feeling.

Now, with 2 kids, basketball, swimming, tennis, choir and gymnastic practices, dinner, bedtime, relationship time and work; free time is few and far between. Life just seems to continue to go faster and faster the older I get. I am not filling the quiet time with music since it is automatically filled with the sounds of a full life. But the quiet time still manages to get blocked out.

But there I was, standing in a moment of perfect silence, and thinking, “What’s next? I don’t know what to do. I’m confused.” The silence had found me again.

Are you comfortable being alone with yourself in a moment of silence? If you had 30 minutes on a Friday or Saturday evening to turn off the lights, sit on the couch and “be” alone, would you be able to do it? (No reading, TV, falling asleep, or other activity allowed!)

In quiet time, we become open to ourselves and what is truly important to us. We can let go of the errands, people, situations, and work we “must, need, and should” be doing. In the silence, we can reconnect with ourselves, find peace in the moment, and in that moment become open to what is truly important to us in our lives.

Take some time each day to stop, close your eyes, and be comfortable in the silence of your own self. Take the problems of your life there and ask for an answer to come to you. The more comfortable you become with yourself in your own silence, the more comfortable you will be running your life. Silence can be your greatest friend and the sweetest music to listen to.

I wish you many peaceful moments this week. Run your life instead of having your life run you. Enjoy those sweet moments of silence.

Be sure to check out my website, www.evolutionforsuccess.com, with details for an exciting new 2-Hour Parenting Teleconference which will be recorded on 2-CD’s in the month of April.

By the way, if you know anyone who needs support hiring the right person for the job, have them check out the Sure Hire Behavioral Assessment at www.surehirenow.com
You can receive a $25 Gift Card to any store of your choice as a “Thank You” for your referral.

Please pass this on to anyone who needs an encouraging “Thought” this week. They can sign up for the “Thought of the Week” by sending me an email at james@evolutionforsuccess.com and place “subscribe” in the subject line. I never share my email list with anyone. Your privacy is of utmost importance to me.

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Don’t Smash My Fruit!

Don’t Smash My Fruit!

My little one and I were at the grocery store the other day and had the most wonderful and frustrating experience. The gentleman in the produce section was courteous, helpful, and went out of his way to help us with our shopping. He gave my daughter a free banana and gave us a quick National Geographic lesson on how monkeys peel bananas upside down. (Yes, it was cool and really works!)

The young lady bagging our groceries provided us with the exact opposite experience. She was deep into a conversation with the cashier and as she reached out to place the bag of fruit into the cart she missed, and dropped it straight onto the floor! She picked it up and the next bag into the cart contained maple syrup, butter, and salsa. It landed right on top of my already bruised fruit! In my head I was screaming, “Don’t smash my fruit!”

I have to admit that “smashing my fruit” is a pet peeve of mine and this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. So, keeping my emotions in check I stated, “Excuse me, next time could you please not put the heavy stuff on top of my fruit?” The bagger ended her conversation, turned a quarter turn away from me, folded her arms, stared at the floor and promptly ignored me. So, I stated again, “Excuse me ma’am, next time please don’t set the heavy stuff on the fruit, that bruises it.” The lady stayed turned away with no eye contact and stone cold silence. I was shocked at her ignoring me.

By the time I reached the car I was very emotionally charged. I was frustrated at the way I was treated as a customer and mad at myself for all of the times in the past I didn’t say anything when my fruit was smashed. As I slammed the trunk closed, all I could think was, “THEY SMASHED MY FRUIT!” At this point, I was feeling a healthy amount of internal conflict between the need to gain other’s acceptance and approval or the voice that said, “stick up for what you believe in, that was horrible customer service!”

It was a perfect moment for some deep change. In any heightened emotional moment if you find a way to resolve the conflict inside, new beliefs will be formed at a very deep level.

In that moment, I made a huge decision to interrupt my old pattern of behavior. I pushed away all of the old thoughts and beliefs that were running around in my head and marched directly to the customer service desk.

I approached the manager and proceeded to tell her what was on my mind, “I just wanted to let you know about my shopping experience today. I had the most wonderful experience with the gentleman in the produce department. He went above and beyond in his customer service. My checkout experience was the direct opposite. The lady bagging the groceries dropped my fruit on the floor and then smashed them again when she put the other heavy bags on top. When I asked her as politely as I could to please not put the heavy stuff on the fruit she completely ignored me, twice. I just wanted to give you some feedback on my shopping experience today.” The manager thanked me for my feedback and said that she would make a note of it.

My voice and body were shaking with emotion as I left the store. In that emotionally intense moment I was able to anchor in some new powerful beliefs.

First and foremost, act in integrity with yourself. If I would have said something the first time my fruit was smashed I wouldn’t have been in such an intense place.

Give feedback so that others can take responsibility for their actions. Love the person enough to give feedback in a non-threatening way by addressing the behavior, NOT THE PERSON. As long as it is done without anger or malicious intent, it is for the other person to take or leave. I do not know what came from the experience for her on her end but she was the one to take responsibility for her actions from there.

Next time someone smashes your fruit, I wish you continued success in acting with integrity and giving constructive feedback to others.

If you need some support because too many people are smashing your fruit, interrupt your pattern! Call TODAY for your evolution towards greater success. Commit to 3 or more coaching sessions in the month of October and/or order a Sure Hire Assessment and receive 10% off!

Developing a plan!

Stop Thinking!

Many times in life we think about something that we would love to achieve or accomplish and then immediately talk ourselves out of it because the first thing that comes to mind is, “…but I don’t know how I will ever be able to do it.”

Most people take a great amount of certainty and security from “developing a plan” to achieve their goals. I am sure that you have heard the saying, “If you are failing to plan then you are planning to fail.” Waiting to take action until you have developed a plan sets up a perfect behavioral pattern for procrastination.

Many of the most fulfilling and rewarding goals I have achieved in life came from taking a bold, immediate action before I had a plan in place. Let me give you some examples:

• In 2007, I wanted to take a family trip to the Bahamas to visit friends, swim with dolphins and dive with sharks. Instead of waiting until I had the trip planned financially and logistically, I took the money I had saved and purchased the plane tickets. I had no clue how I was going to manage the time off work, get the family scuba certified, or make the rest of the money that would be needed for lodging. I let those parts of the plan develop after I made that first commitment. It was some great motivation to develop the plan and get it moving. We had a once-in-a-lifetime trip full of amazing memories.

• In June 2007, I had a goal to move to North Carolina. With the Phoenix housing market going downhill fast, I had to drop my tentative plan to sell my house and immediately put it up for sale. My final plan ended up including a double move with a 3 month stay in Colorado for a summer. One year later we closed on our new home in NC. If I hadn’t taken that first leap of faith, I might still be in Phoenix.

• In the back of my mind I have had a desire to run a 100 mile ultra-marathon this year since I just turned 40. You could call it the answer to my mid-life crisis. Instead of mapping out the six month training plan, core strength program, and eating regiment, I found a race that fit my needs, applied, and was accepted as one of the 250 runners of the race. Now, I have huge incentive and motivation to get my plan in place and have started running again. Wish me luck!

After you set your goals in life, sometimes it is best to sail to the new coast, burn your ship and then develop the rest of the plan on the fly. I understand this will cause a great amount of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. However, those emotions can be converted into actions and planning that will lead you to the desired end result.

If you are stuck in any of your goals, I urge you to find a way to put down the need to plan and instead take an immediate action that commits you to your goal. It is the immediate action that provides the motivation, activities, and opportunities that help you to develop the plan.

Your mind will be flooded with questions like:
• How am I going to pay for that?
• How can I make this work?
• What am I going to see and do there?
• How will I spend my time?

“Take action towards your plan NOW and you will naturally discover what needs to be planned for in the future.”

If you need some support developing a plan and taking action TODAY! Call TODAY for your evolution towards greater success. Commit to 3 or more coaching sessions in the month of October and receive 10% off!

Breaking the Rules!

Breaking the Rules

In today’s hectic world there is no shortage of emotional intensity. There is plenty of stress, frustration, depression, anxiety, and unhappiness. Fear seems to have begun to take hold caused in party by the recent fluctuations in the housing and stock markets. If you have any doubts these disempowering emotional states are present, just ask any customer service representative, listen to the news, or just drive home in rush hour traffic in the left hand lane.

Most people who come to coaching are looking for the greater empowering emotional intensity that is sometimes hard to find in our everyday life: peace, success, achievement, happiness, and love. Many find their lives have become flat, lonely, without purpose.

Having a purpose in life is an interesting ideology that many people spend their entire life pursuing. But often by living life everyday, we build our habits which develop our limitations and beliefs about what we can and can not do, without consciously thinking about it. Many of you reading this now may be saying to yourself, “I don’t have time for meditating on my purpose in life; with three kids, a full time job, a spouse that works, and a household to keep in order, who has time for purpose?”

Well, I propose we break out of that cycle. We’re going to do this in two parts: The first part is as follows – this week I would love for you to repeatedly ask yourself this question. Here is it:

“When you were younger, what was so fun, exciting, and adventurous that you were willing to break Mom and Dad’s rules, even at the risk of being punished?” When you were a kid, what did you get in trouble for wanting to become? What did you get in trouble for doing? What did you dream about and never tell anyone? What would you have done that was worth the spanking, grounding, or loss of car privileges you would have received?

OK, so that was more than one question… What came into your mind as you were asking yourself those questions?

One of the problems with living life as an adult is that many times we have become the parent of ourselves. Oh, NO. When was the last time you were willing to go out and do something so unexpected and crazy that even if you got in trouble with your “parental” self the experience would be worth it? What do you want to sneak out of your bedroom window at night to do that would be worth the risk of getting caught when you got home?

Now here’s the second part – pick one of them and go do it now. Add some joy, enthusiasm, adventure, fun, and playfulness to your life. It will make the routines of life, kids, career, and finances easier to manage when you wake up Monday morning. You will smile, feeling great inside, knowing that it was totally worth it. Live life to its fullest, dream big dreams, break your own rules for yourself and do what is worth getting in “trouble” for!

Keep in mind, however, this statement has a very important caveat: Only break the rules doing something that is truly good for you, those closest to you, your community and the world as a whole. Clearly I am not advocating the type of activities that would cause irreparable harm to your finances, your relationships or your standing in the community – and definitely nothing that lands you in jail! But lead life joyously and a little outside your self-defined lines – allow yourself to play music full blast in the shower as you sing along at the top of your lungs, eat that occasional ice cream cone licking your fingers as it melts, take the kids out in the middle of the rain storm to stomp in puddles… Whatever brings that child-like happiness and joy back into your life!

Really, it’s ok…. I give you permission! It’s time you did too!

We are two thirds of the way through this year. If you need help finding something to do in order to “break the rules that your parental self” has developed, CALL NOW! You need some support!

(303) 681-3555

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Double the Coins on Days Not Ending in “Y”

Double the Coins on Days Not Ending in “Y”

It is always interesting to go back to small town Iowa after having lived in San Diego, Denver, and Phoenix for so many years. I recently found myself back in Iowa visiting relatives and found these thoughts waiting for me.

As I was out running on a Sunday morning, I passed the local car wash which was sporting the sign, “New Change Machine, Double the Coins on Days Not Ending in “Y”. I reread the sign then mentally reviewed the 7 days of the week in my mind; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Wouldn’t you know, all of them end in “Y” – no extra coins for me! I mentally pictured an old farmer, rocking on his front porch, laughing and saying “Made you look!”

As I smiled to myself, I couldn’t help but think…”They got me – who doesn’t want the opportunity to get more for nothing?” As I continued to run, I examined my initial reaction to the sign – We all want something for nothing; the promise of a bigger return for less effort. We want huge results for minimal input into an endeavor.

I love word play and metaphors, and the more I thought about it, the less “Double the Coins on Days Not Ending in “Y” worked for me. So, I found a way to learn something from that sign – I changed it to “Double the Coins on Days Not Ending in WHY“. Why? I am glad that you asked. (I told you I loved word-play!)

The brain is hard-wired to find an answer (consciously or unconsciously) for every question we ask it. Many times in life when things don’t go our way we mentally ask the question “Why…?” This can be a pitfall in our thinking – Why questions do not serve us. “Why…” questions lead us into developing explanations, justifications and formation of belief patterns that are usually not empowering. Most of the time “Why…” questions lead us to thoughts that do not help us achieve or take action. Here are some examples of these negative questions….
• Why can’t I do this?
• Why couldn’t I remember that?
• Why does this always happen to me?
• Why do people always do this?
• Why can’t they just…? Why not?

So, I propose you can get “Double Your Coins Back on the Days Not Ending in “Why” by replacing those “Why…” questions with “How…” questions. “How…” questions lead to possibility. They trigger the mind to pull up past references to support where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Some examples of these positive questions are:
• How can I continue to feel prosperous today?
• How can I see the bright side of this problem?
• How can I feel better about myself and what I want to do today?
• How can these problems be resolved today in my favor?
• How is everyone I meet today going to support me in moving towards my goals?
• How can I find the answer to the problem?

“Why…” questions never serve us because they lead to the development of limiting beliefs and poor thought patterns, whereas “How…” questions allow us to take our personal power back and find solutions. Ask better questions of your brain and your brain will give you better answers. Have fun this week asking more “How…” questions to unleash your genius and uncover your potential!

If you are looking at the world through “why” colored glasses and need a change, CALL NOW! During the month of August, all new coaching clients will receive 10% off of each coaching session or the Sure Hire Behavioral Assessment thru August 31, 2008. We also have a great referral system, so tell your friends and business colleagues who need to get that “edge” to call now!

Check out my websites and blogs:

www.evolutionforsuccess.com
www.surehirenow.com

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