Why you can’t tap into your motivation…

Did you ever say to yourself, “I know what I need to do, I just am not doing it?” As a result, that book isn’t written, that vacation isn’t taken, that report isn’t done on time and the scale shows a number that depresses you.

The Cause of lack of Motivation…No Purpose.

The Key to tapping into Massive Motivation comes from taking your purpose in life and linking it to every action that you take during the day. The process to create those links are as follows.

1. Associate and recall your Purpose. Remember, a purposeful person works in every moment to build and create an emotional expression of themselves internally and externally that will influence and inspire others to do the same. Ask yourself every moment of the day, “Is this action right now purposeful in building and creating the person I want to become and the life I want to have?”

2. Associate into the Emotional ‘Why’ of your Purpose. After Purpose is engaged, a person MUST work to integrate the emotional component, or fully associate into it, what they are working to build and create. If your Purpose is to build and create an incredible level of physical health, associating into what you will feel as a result; the energy, vibrancy, power, strength and confidence if essential. Where purpose and emotion are joined together, a tremendous force and energy is created.

3. This tremendous force then needs an outlet. It needs to be consciously directed into an action that is congruent in moving a person forward in what they are building and creating. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the action is. What matters is that it is congruent in the short and long term, in moving the person one step closer to the successful completion of their purpose. At this point, taking action is very easy. Motivation has kicked in full force.

4. Appreciate the results no matter how BIG or small. Most people fall short of their goals because they don’t remember that cause and effect are instantaneous. All they see is the gap between the small step and the HUGE lottery win they want to have. So, they give up in frustration and think nothing has happened. You never see the change in a person eating one extra pat of butter a day in their diet. However, at the end of the year, they would be 2 pounds heavier. Everything, big or small ads up! A person must trust and have faith in their purposeful actions generating results.

So, if you are wondering, “how can I get more motivated? How can I be more fulfilled and happy in my life? How can I be self directed and self driven?” Here is the magic question. Ask it frequent and often!

“Is this action right now purposeful in building and creating the person I want to become and the life I want to have?”

If the answer is yes, it passed the test. Take the action and the next and the next.

If that answer is no, let it go! Refocus and ask a new question, “What can I do right now to continue to build and create the person I want to become and the life I want to have? What is purposeful for me right now to accomplish in my work? What is purposeful right now for me in terms of health, my relationships?” Remember to associate into the ‘WHY’ you want to build and create…for energy, love, confidence, etc. and celebrate your results.

You will find yourself saying, “I know what I need to do and I’m motivated to do it!”

To your continued success,

James

PS-Looking for define your purpose? Check out www.30DaysforSuccess.com It’s all in there waiting for you to discover, now!

Happiness Project App Announcement

HAPPINESS! Could you use a little more of it in your world?

In an article by Rob Silverblatt, “The Science of Workplace Happiness,” April 14, 2010, “a recent study…indicated that just 45 percent of American workers are “satisfied” with their jobs” and “the lackluster economy has put a damper on upward and even lateral movement, leaving many workers feeling trapped in their current positions.”

WOW, that means that an estimated 55% of the American workplace just aren’t happy. In addition, the one key step that is needed for happiness, “the ability to be purposeful, grow, and achieve” is missing in the workplace today.

What is a person to do?

Well, there is a solution and it doesn’t entail quitting your job. Take a look at this new app that I have the pleasure of being a part of. It specifically addresses the Happiness Factor.

The “I Am Happy Project” is launching a mobile app called the “Happy Button” to help users improve their health, relationships, work and life by boosting their happiness. The app is free and will be available for download on October 1 at www.iamhappyproject.org and on Apple iTunes.

The Happy Button App has several functions to help users boost happiness:

  • A daily inspirational message to boost their happiness level.
  • Video messages about happiness from experienced life and business coaches.
  • Audio messages about happiness from experienced life and business coaches.
  • Blog posts about achieving happiness written by life and career coaches.
  • A simple question to measure where you fall on the happiness scale for the day.
  • Your average daily, weekly and monthly happiness measure.

I decided to be part of this project because after working with people for over 14 years, it amazed me how people value achievement, learning, growth, and prosperity but many times forget to add Happiness to the list. When I was contacted by Edwin about the Happiness Project, it resonated with me personally. In today’s world, there is a huge undercurrent of uncertainty and fear. Happiness is a lifeline for people struggling with career changes, financial stress and lack of a clear future. The purpose of this app is to help people work and live happily achieving with less stress, frustration, and anxiety, both at home and in the workplace.

 The app will be available for download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store as of October 1 and later on Blackberry and Windows phones.  

About the I Am Happy Project: The I Am Happy Project is a non-profit organization with the mission of spreading happiness globally, one person at a time. In early 2009, Edwin Edebiri set out to shift people’s minds to happiness from the gloom and doom that dominates the news. The nonprofit is having an impact on our communities around the world, from Davis, California, to Chicago, Illinois, to orphanage homes in New Delhi, India and Benin City, Nigeria. I Am Happy Project groups are in 63 cities and 18 nations, representing every continent.

Join the Happiness Movement today and I look forward to hearing your feedback!

To your continued Happiness,

James

Need more happiness in your life? Call for a “Success-Now” Session and Change your happiness levels!  (919) 792-0085

10 Reasons You Need an Executive Business and Life Coach

“Coaching” has been the buzzword in the business world for many years now. Just like “financial investor” or “consultant” used to be the latest and greatest, you can now add “coach” to the list. Whether a person has an instant positive or less than favorable reaction to the title, the fact is that hiring a professional, results driven “financial investor,” “consultant” or “Coach” will help you get everything you want in life faster and easier.

But, how do you know if you are ready or not to build that coaching relationship right now?

Here are 10 Key Indicators that you may be ready to hire a seasoned, motivated Executive Business and Life Coach.

1. Facebook, Twitter and social media pursuits take up the majority of your time and energy; along with an almost phobic need to check emails and “be connected” online. While business owners and executives may not be motivated to play online games like XBOX, social media can be an alternative that is just as dangerous. It can cause a serious lack of focus, the ability to effectively prioritize, drain the most precious asset of time and impede the development of strategic business relationships.

2. Panic and anxiety come crashing down upon you when you think of marketing your business. Every business needs a short and long term marketing strategy. Every SEO person will tell you that the best way to get on the first page of Google or any other search engine is consistently develop and publish your thoughts, ideas and create products. There is no “overnight” SEO Magic pill. Your businesses success depends on a solid short and long term strategic marketing plan.

3. Self help is your middle name. If your self help library contains more books, executive book summaries, podcasts and CD’s than you could ever read or listen to or if you have logged more seminar time than vacation time in the last year, you may be distracting yourself from really growing your business. Education is important but if it is excessive, there may be a real imbalance between education and effective action.

4. Following on the heels of self-help overload comes “buying overload.” Do you keep getting seduced by that next best thing or opportunity to grow your business? Do you spend a large portion of your income on “get rich quick” opportunities, hoping for that magic pill to fix everything? If you keep “buying into that next opportunity” before mastering the current one, that spells trouble and shows a lack of commitment and focus.

5. Working hard with no results. Results are great and the best results also include growth. Are you living comfortably in complacency? If excitement in your job has been replaced by stress from more and more demands to produce results, fear of being downsized or replaced by a younger “you” or feeling disconnected from the company you put your heart and soul into, an Executive Business Coach can get you results. And, if you are contemplating something BIG like a finding a new job or even a new career path…support is critical.

6. The question, “What’s wrong with me?” invades your mind throughout the day. Some of the greatest indicators you may need an Executive Business Coach can be found by being aware of your thoughts and the questions you ask yourself everyday. If you find yourself thinking that no matter what you do it will never be enough or you daydream of that secure 8-5 job that doesn’t carry any stress, those are the forerunners of depression, stress and low self esteem. Be careful and aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotional states.

7. You walk in the front door at home feeling angry and want to metaphorically, “kick the dog.” Are you feeling proud at the end of the day because you did all you needed to do to support your family? Do you have a loving relationship where you walk in happy, proud, and excited to be home? Or, are you moody, critical and grumpy because you just brought the stress of work home with you? Successful people are able to work hard when it work time and play hard when it is play time. They have work-life relationships that are balanced, harmonious and work well together. One does not suffer because of the other.

8. You feel trapped and alone. The higher an executive rises in a company or the longer an entrepreneur owns a company, the more isolated and alone they can feel. As responsibility increases, it is harder to take the problems and concerns to upper managament, they can’t be shared with people or employees below them and taking them home to the spouse only means disaster. The most unconditional form of support any business executive or entrepreneur can have is their coach. The ability to hear yourself talk things out is one of the greatest aspects of the coaching relationship.

9. There is a lack of mojo. Top entrepreneurs and business executives lead fearless lives. They are movers and shakers, drivers of business, creative stimuli that stay flexible, dynamic and are always on the move. If you have lost your energy, motivation and drive to be successful, you need some serious help. Being at the top means being at the top mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Being able to move and motivate others is key for a successful entrepreneur and executive.

10. You are asking, “what is this all for, anyway?” Do you lack purpose? Are you truly fulfilled? Do you dream of early retirement so you can just quit? (Did I just really type that word?) Many people forgo their dreams of writing that book, starting a side business or just “doing what they want to instead of what they have too.” It is never too late to integrate dreams and goals instead of seperating them “until later.”

11. BONUS Indicator: You read this article. The simple fact you were led to this article and read it, means you may be ready for coaching. So many of my clients are drawn to the coaching process due to an “emptiness” or feeling of “wanting more.” They don’t know how to fill those needs or experience the peace, relaxation, or happiness they so desire.

How many of the above Indicators could you relate too? If you or anyone you know wants to experience “Success-Now,” call to set up a complimentary 1-hour session to explore how a motivated, seasoned Executive Business and Life Coach can dramatically help change your life. Not ready yet? That’s OK, sign up at www.evolutionforsuccess.com to receive weekly tips on motivation, healthy thinking and a better life.

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

“How Can I Get Motivated?”, You Ask? –7 Steps to Get You Pumped Up



7 Steps to Get Motivated to Take Action and Reach Your GoalsFeeling unmotivated? Uninspired? Emotionally or even physically tired at the very thought of rolling up your sleeves and taking action?

Here is a classic situation. You want something or you know you need to do something –whether it’s to get in shape or redouble your efforts to network in order to nurture more leads and grow your business. But no matter how much “you get it” intellectually, you’re in a slump. The drive’s not there. You can’t seem to get pumped up to tackle your goal with any energy let alone passion.

We’ve all been there at some point. But getting motivated is actually not as hard as it may seem.

Here are 7 simple steps to get motivated to kick ass and take names!

 

1- Change your physiology! Motion creates emotion, there is no two ways around that fact. You need to get some oxygen pumping in order to feel motivated. So straighten up in your chair, shoulders back, take some deep breath in and out. Or better yet, get up, move around the room. Turn on some music; go for a run; do anything to wake your body up and to “get in a peak state” as Tony Robbins would say. Now that you are awake and your blood is pumping…

 

2- Get associated with your goal! Put some emotion into it! Take 2 minutes and visualize yourself achieving your goal; dropping those 30lbs, winning that contract, landing that new job… close your eyes and feel what it will feel like. Really see it, hear it, feel it! Give your subconscious something to look forward to! The more senses you get involved in this process, the better.

 

3- Make a plan. Sometimes, the lack of motivation comes from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved in accomplishing the task you set for yourself. If that’s the case, then it’s crucial you chunk down or break down what needs to be done into manageable “bites”. But even if overwhelm is not the main stumbling block, don’t skip this step. Make a plan with clear action steps and benchmarks so you can clearly assess your progress and celebrate all your “mini victories” on the way to your final destination. Success builds on itself, and by leaving the celebrating to the end, you rob yourself of the momentum the feeling of victory provides. So make a plan and celebrate as you go!

 

4- Commit and get leverage on yourself. Commit to yourself, commit to your loved ones, commit to your business partner… back yourself into a corner if you must; give yourself no other option but to do what you said you were going to do. Fo some, committing to yourself is enough, for others it means making your commitment public so you place additional pressure on yourself. And for others still, making a commitment can take the form of a competition, a bet with a friend or colleague, or even a stranger in cyberspace. If you are dealing with a fitness goal, get on Nike + and sign up for a challenge on their website in which you keep track of your mileage and compete against other runners. If you are looking at a business situation, make a bet with one of your peers. Apply enough pressure on yourself that you feel like you can’t back out. Speaking of peers, colleagues, and friends…

 

5- Get support! Some goals are such that they lend themselves to setting up a buddy system to create some accountability and maintain your motivation. But even if your specific goal doesn’t really lend itself to that type of support, find a different way to get it. Find inspiration from others who have succeeded at that specific task. Get pointers from experts in the field, or model others who have experienced massive success in that area. Surround yourself with a peer group that supports your endeavor. Hire a coach, enlist the support of a religious figure if that’s appropriate, seek out a mentor, or get support from your spouse. Get support somewhere!

 

6- Stay excited! In order to get motivated, you need to get associated with your goal. In order to STAY motivated, you need to stay associated with your goal. Reserve a few minutes each day to get your blood pumping, reconnect with your goal and see where you are in regards to your plan. Experiment with what works for you: I have clients who use affirmations each morning or each evening, others use their morning workouts to focus their mind on what it is that they want, why they want it, how they will feel when they get it, and review their plans. See what works for you, maybe it’s turning on some heart pumping music in your car or in your office and spending 10 minutes pumping yourself up.

 

7- Once you get there Celebrate! You’ve celebrated (hopefully) each intermediate steps on the way, now is time to celebrate in a big way! Anchor your victory and reinforce your internal belief that YOU CAN get motivated, YOU CAN succeed and in fact, YOU DID!!! It’ll make your next challenge easier to tackle as you start associating goals as opportunities to succeed rather than insurmountable or exhausting/intimidating endeavors.

 

Ready to jump off that couch yet? Excited to make things happen? Getting motivated is simply a matter of tapping into the emotions you will experience when you achieve your goal.

For more tips and strategies about increasing your motivation and personal effectiveness, boosting your self confidence and developing a clearer focus go to www.evolutionforsuccess.com. James Murphy is a personal development expert and executive coach. He can be reached directly at 919-745-7569.

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 Success Plan?

The gun went off at 6:00 am, Saturday morning, April 2, 2011. Twenty seven hours, 44 minutes and 34 seconds later, I crossed the finish line completing my first 100-mile Ultramarathon. What allowed me to succeed? Two things: a plan and my word!

It seems surreal even now. As I have gone over the event in my mind for the last few days, I think about the key factors that enabled me to reach my goal. It certainly was not all due to my training because in all reality, I trained harder and more consistently for the fifty mile race that I completed last year. It was not due to my superior health because I weigh a little more than I did last year at this time. So what was it? 

First, I got clear on what my outcome was.  I decided I wanted to complete the race in under 30 hours.  I did some research and I found a plan I could follow to do just that. Provided I ran the first 50 miles in less than 13 hrs, I could complete the race in twenty eight hours with two to spare for unexpected emergencies. I printed out the plan and put it in my race belt. It became my bible during the race. It broke down the lap times so that I had smaller goals to accomplish on the way to the bigger picture. I set small steps and overachieved each lap by about fifteen to twenty minutes. I used these minutes to take care of my body: changing shoes, shirts, and socks, using a full jar of Vaseline, and getting medical support. When I lost the map after the 6th lap, I felt like I had lost my best friend (I later found it). The plan saved me from destruction. It allowed me to focus on the small consistent actions that made the difference between success and failure: filling the water bottle each station, eating at each aid station, taking my electrolyte caps each hour, and consistently checking my watch to measure my progress versus the plan. 

The second thing that kept me going was my word. I created a tremendous amount of leverage for myself to accomplish this goal. I told my friends, my family, my clients, and everyone on every social media network I am involved with, that I was going to do this! Most importantly, I told myself that I was going to give this everything that I had! I did not give myself an escape route anywhere. 

There were times I could have quit. Before starting lap seven (after 75 miles) the Red Cross Medic looked at my feet and told me there was nothing they could do for my feet since the pain did not come from an external blister but an internal separation of skin. If I wanted to continue, all I could do was to slap on some Vaseline and suck it up. There were also several times in lap eight when I actually stopped and told my pacer that I wanted to quit, period. I was done. And, even as I said the words out loud, doubled over in pain, I knew that I could not look at myself in the mirror when I got home if I didn’t give it everything I had. And, unless I blacked out and they took me away in an ambulance, I could not stop. In those moments, I looked down deeper into myself than ever before, checked my handwritten plan, pulled myself together, and kept on going. 

It is ironic as I look back on my life, that 21 years ago, I could not run a mile.  It’s clear that if a person wants to have a full life they are proud of, success takes work and effort. It took just as much work and effort emotionally 21 years ago for me to push myself to run 8 laps, walk 4, run 4 more; to tell myself that I could run three miles and then keep on doing it every other day for the next 6 months. The only difference between then and now is that I have conditioned myself to take on bigger goals. My first 10K seemed like an eternity.  The first marathon I signed up for I never ran, but I signed up again and the next year I ran my first ˝ marathon followed by my first full marathon.  The first 100-miler I signed up for I cancelled but the following year I ran 50 miles. This year, I learned everything I needed to learn to complete a 100-mile race and accomplished something that had enormous meaning for me.  The road to succ ess has not come in a straight line.  I’ve tried and “failed” at times, I have fallen on my face and come short on some of my goals.  Yet, I have gotten back up and tried again, and again set in the conviction that our past does not equal our future.  By having a plan for success, a system to follow, and by putting enough leverage on myself to accomplish my goal, I put all the chances for success on my side.

Whether you are reaching for a small goal or a big goal, whether it has to do with your personal life or your business, success will always take work. To achieve all that you want in life remember that having a good plan that you can rely upon and keeping your word –to yourself and others– will always serve you well, even when all you want to do is quit!

To your continued success,

James 

I welcome your feedback!  What other topics would you like to see covered?


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“5 Steps to Break Through Overwhelm”




Fear, Anxiety or Excitement –which is it?

You will have to forgive me again for talking about running this week! This weekend is my big 100-mile race that you have all been reading about for the last six months, so bear with me one more time.  Well, perhaps I will give a recap on what I get from the race next week and then I am done talking about it, I promise!

Anyway, I as I was packing enough clothes and food for the entire crew of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier tonight, I am feeling a mixture of excitement, fear and anxiety. I always tell my clients, “If you are looking for financial planner, get one who is debt free and works because they choose to”. Same for a coach, “Get one who says I am my own best client.” 

I have been coaching myself hard tonight. On the eve of big life events, it is just like a ride on a roller coaster. There are only two main emotions on a roller coaster…fear and excitement. Picture the people on the ride…clenching onto the shoulder harness in fear and putting their hands up and screaming, “Bring it on!!!” at the top of their lungs.

What allows a person to let go of the shoulder harness of fear and scream with excitement is letting go of expectation and the “What if’s…”, along with having a little bit of faith and trust. Trust that the ride will end safely, faith that it will stay on the track, so you can enjoy the rush of adrenaline that each new exciting experience in life brings. 

Some fear and anxiety is healthy. It is what motivates me to remember to run upstairs and pack my rain jacket just in case. Being able to manage those emotions and put them to good use is critical. It allows you to feel prepared for the ride so you can let go, enjoy it free of expectation and trust that it will be a great ride. 
  
In the end, you will be living a life of events and rides that are thrilling. AND, you may find that you are addicted to the ride. So, I may have to go back on my word that this is the end of my writing about running for a while. After all, there is the Marine Corps Marathon in October with one of my Marine clients who will have just came back from a tour in Afghanistan (Stay safe brother!). And, I just planned for another possible marathon in France in 2013 with another fantastic friend. They serve wine at every water station and everyone dresses up! Life is full of such wonderful rides! 

Enjoy your life since you only have one. Live it fully doing what you love. Have a life full of wonderful tales to tell your grandkids as they sit on your knees! I hope you continue to ride the ride and remember that it is only a slight adjustment to go from fear and anxiety to excitement and fun. Enjoy the ride!

Take Control of Your Life

My daughter was telling me that other day that it seemed an eternity going from 6 to 7 years old. For me on the other hand, the older I get the faster time flies by. As things move faster and faster in life, finding a balance between work, health, finances and career becomes harder and harder. It is easy to start feeling powerless and out of control.
It is easy to blame feeling out of control on the events and circumstances of life; the boss is too demanding and does not care, the kids’ activities after school are just too much, or stress from your relationship causes you to overeat and drink.  
There are always two ways to take back control of your life. 
The first is to shift your procedures and take control by changing the events and circumstances of life. A person can change jobs to get a new boss, sign the kids up for one less extracurricular activity next season, or join Weight Watchers and start counting points. These procedural changes we all know how to do, but still have a hard time implementing. Most people know what to do, they just don’t do it. 
Your second option?  Change your perception. “Changing perception” involves changing the way a person thinks.  All learning, change, and behavioral shifts happen at the unconscious level. 
Asking yourself better questions and adopting a different identity will help change your own perceptions of who you are and what you believe. The above examples of being stressed presuppose an identity that a person who can’t handle the stressors of life.  If they wanted to, one could choose to adopt different beliefs, such as, “The more energy I put out, the stronger I become”, “The busier I am, the more organized and the more efficient I become”,  “I thrive on life’s challenges: the faster life goes, the more momentum I have”, or “It is good to have a full life of opportunity.”
Implementing new procedures can change your life, and many times, that is precisely what is needed.  But sometimes, the solution lies in changing your perceptions of your identity and adopting a different internal beliefs system.  Those new beliefs are what will allow you to take control of your life!  
What is a more empowering identity and belief that you can adopt? Are there some areas of your life where you need to change your procedures?  Are there some areas of your life where you need to shift your perceptions? 
I look forward to hearing your response and comments! 
To your continued success,

Are You Doing What You Love?

Overnight, the death toll has risen from 800 to over 10,000 in Japan. I think of all these people who started that day like any other day.  They got up, fed the kids maybe, kissed their loved ones goodbye, and got in their car to go to work? 

  

Out of those 10,000 people who lost their life, I wonder how many people died doing something they loved? How many jumped out of bed that morning and lived that day like it was going to be their last? I know it is very cliche’, but seriously, how many died that day doing something they totally loved?

  

Katherine Mansfield once wrote, ” How can you hesitate? Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”

  

My junior high band teacher, Mr. Bob Brown, died while out on a run. I have several other family members who have died doing what they loved or died coming back from doing something they loved. I am almost certain my Grandma Nora died with a crochet needle in her hand because other than playing Kings Corners with her, she was always crocheting another afghan for a loved one!

 

No matter when I die, I want to die doing something I love! I hope I die right at the end of a marathon, a great run, after telling my kids how proud of them I am, after a million dollar coaching call, watching a brilliant sunset or sunrise, or some other life event that is meaningful. I promised my wife I would live at lease one minute longer than her so she would never be widowed. No matter when it is, I want to go right after a moment that is larger than life.

 

The challenge is to live life as consistently as possible in the pursuit of everything that is meaningful to you. Horrendous tragedies like what many in Japan are experiencing remind us that you never know what will happen when you walk out the door in the morning. But you always have control of how you say goodbye to your loved ones before you leave, what you do during the day, and how you help others along the way!

 

Regardless of when that is, end on a high note doing what you love, and make sure you always make others aware of their worth. Tell the important people in your life how much you love them. The only comfort they will have when you are gone is to know that you loved them and that you died doing what you love and living a life of love!  Take control of your life. Choose to make each day count! 

My day is looking pretty exciting all of a sudden! How about yours?

 

To your continued success,

James


Emotional Success

Emotions vs. Logic

Well, it finally happened. As I was walking my daughter to school the other day, she became very disappointed because in a moment of fear, she realized we had left part of her first grade project at home. I could not pass up the opportunity to console my little one, so I scooped her up in my arms, held her tight and told her how much I understood her disappointment. 
By the time we got to the school, she was begging me to put her down since other kids were looking. I had to put her down because she is not a toddler anymore, and carrying her is not as easy as it once was. The parent behind me must have noticed my pain because their comment hit me like a ton of bricks, “You won’t be able to do that for much longer.”
It was a very true statement; my baby girl is growing up fast. Change is always interesting; we resist it and fight it often.  Mr. Spock from Star Trek stated, “If change is inevitable, predictable and beneficial…doesn’t logic demand that you be part of it?”  Yes, logically I suppose it does.
However, we are much more emotional than logical beings! Deep down, I want to be the loving, protective daddy who scoops up his baby girl in her moment of distress and makes all of her pain go away with my hugs and kisses! 
The bottom line is that everything we do in life is guided more by emotions than logic. There are positive and negative emotions. Positive emotions we want more of, and negative emotions less of. The true way to have all you want in life is to make it your purpose to meet others’ emotional needs; not logically but emotionally, through experiences, shared moments of happiness, love and joy. 
In these challenging times, the people who will shine are the people who make the greatest emotional difference for the world. Remember the words of Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Live the emotional states that you want to see in the world. People will be drawn to you like bees to honey. To change around a quote from one of my most important mentors, Zig Ziglar, “You can get everything you want in life, if you just help enough people get emotionally what they want from life.” If you still don’t know what you want emotionally from life, let me give you a clue: everyone wants love, peace, happiness, prosperity, and everyone wants to know they are helping others to achieve the same!

Do You Need to Stretch?

The Boring Life of an Office Supply 
If you are like me, you may be scared to open the desk drawer that holds all of your office supplies. All of those jumbled up rubber bands, paperclips, staples, thumb tacks, and the pad of sticky notes that has become torn apart and has desk lint stuck to the back. If you were one of these poor mixed up office supplies, what a boring life you would lead. They just sit there all day in a jumbled up mess, ignored and waiting to be used. 
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt all jumbled up and confused? Have you felt bored, ignored by others and waiting for something to happen? Have you felt you were living but not really fulfilling your life’s purpose?
There is a solution. Rubber bands need to be stretched in order to hold things together that would otherwise fall apart. Paperclips need tension put on them to hold important papers together that have innovative thoughts, stories and ideas on them. Staples need to separate from the group and be bent in new ways to link thoughts and ideas together long term. Thumb tacks need to be focused and pushed into a specific area to keep things in the line of sight and visible to others. The sticky notes need to be written on with ideas, moments of brilliance and reminders of what is important in life. 
Office supplies take on an exciting life when they are used for their intended purpose. The only thing keeping office supplies from having a life of meaning and fulfillment is that they are dependent on others to use them. 
Thank goodness that we, as humans, are not dependent on others in order to be stretched and used for a purpose! What a gift it is to be able to choose the purpose of our life and how we stretch, put tension on ourselves, and use the gifts we inherently have! 
It is up to you to choose a meaning and purpose for your life today. Let that purpose guide you to make a difference by uniting people or ideas together for a common cause.  Put some tension on yourself, separate from the pack, bend yourself and stretch in a new way, and write down your important thoughts and ideas for later reference. Take action to get yourself out of the drawer and do what you were meant to do. Be free from living the Boring Life of an Office Supply. 
To your continued Success,
James
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Is Your Message Not Getting Through?


Effective communication is one of the most challenging issues for anyone working in a team such as a business or organization.  With so many different personality types working together, trying to tailor your communication strategy to each one can be daunting.

The Compliment Sandwich method is a classic and effective tool that we often forget to use.  It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate anything to any personality style.  The conversation will feel genuine and flow smoothly provided that the positive feedback/compliments are genuine and related to your concern(s), and that you do not overuse that technique so that your words don’t seem contrived.

The idea is to start with some positive feedback (the bread), followed by the issue you need to address (the meat of your message), and finish with another compliment or positive feedback (the second piece of bread).  The part that is most overlooked however is the verbiage you use in between the compliments and the main message itself.  Stay away from words like “but”, “although”, or “however”.  The immediate response to those words is defensiveness.  They directly void any positive feedback —however sincere— you started with.

Let’s say that you are having an issue with a team member spending an increasing amount of time at work on personal matters.  You might approach the person this way: 

“John,  We love having you as a part of this team.  Your idea at yesterday’s sales meeting was right on point! AND in fact it’s clear that you have a real impact on our corporate culture in the office; a lot of the junior associates take their cues from you.

So it’s crucial that you limit the time you spend on personal matters whether it be on the phone or online to the times when you are officially on break.  

I know how committed you have been to this organization and I appreciate all your work especially for this last project.  It made a difference.”

Now, let’s add one more concept into the process. There are three different types of postures you can adopt when communicating with someone: authoritative, participative, or subordinate. An authoritative posture is always direct and to the point: “it’s crucial that you do xyz”.  Your main message —the meat of the sandwich— is ALWAYS authoritative so the corrective action is clear and concise. The positive feedbacks or compliments —the bread— are  ALWAYS participative: “We love you being part of the team”.  You are not posturing down or up, you are simply delivering a genuine compliment as one person to another.

We always have a choice on how we

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.

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