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Are You In Control of Your Emotions or Are Your Emotions in Control of You?

We control our emotional states by the meaning that we attach to all of life’s experiences!We continually experience both positive and negative emotions. We finish a job or task at work and feel a great sense of accomplishment afterwards, or we walk down the street, remember a particular event and immediately experience sadness at the memory.

The question is, do you have a choice about how you feel?

In a word –yes!

We control our emotional states by the meaning that we attach to all of life’s experiences!

By CHOOSING to take a specific action, we CHOOSE the meaning of the event.

For example, by choosing to go out walking this morning, I chose that walking would allow me to feel happy, energetic, alive and vibrant. A different person may choose to go walking and decide it meant pain, suffering, and frustration. At the same time, there will always be external events that will trigger unresolved emotional issues from the past. These unresolved issues grow over time and get larger and larger and larger. Negative emotional states are positive because they tell us where our emotions and rational thoughts are in conflict.

Our emotional states are in a constant tug of war. People work to have more positive intense emotional states (happiness, love, success) while negative emotional states (frustration, overwhelm, sadness) keep popping up out of nowhere, seemingly out of control.

In creating more positive emotional states keep in mind that MOTION CREATES EMOTION. When you engage your mind and your body, positive things happen! My personal drug of choice: Endorphins! So, put on those great songs, sing at the top of your lungs, be outrageous in your own way, move your body and create a stronger you with more physical movement.

 

So, how can you turn loss into gain, pain into pleasure?

Put an empowering meaning to it!:

1- Identify the negative emotion you are feeling (anger, frustration, sadness, etc.)

2- Ask yourself: “What is there to learn from this, the learning of which will allow me to let go of these negative emotions easily and effortlessly?” (Thank you to Tad James for the amazing question!) “What other meaning could I attach to that event?”

3- Take action: Taking action is key! Once you understand the meaning and what there is to learn from it, CHOOSE TO TAKE AN IMMEDIATE ACTION AND DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT that will allow the more positive feelings to come out! At that point, most people resist changing their behavior because it is easier to stay in a negative emotional pattern. But the key to success is in choosing a new action and meaning, in order to break through the problem and let go of the negative emotion.

4- Celebrate your new meaning and action to anchor in the new state!

 

One of the greatest gifts we have in life is to choose what meaning to attach to the events that shape our lives. How you choose to label an experience and the meaning you attach to it will directly impact the quality of your emotional health and life. You control your emotional states.

 

How to Be a Magician…

Throughout time there have always been stories of knights, damsels in distress, Kings & Queens, Dragons and Magicians. One of the greatest magicians of lore was Merlin. And for the younger generation, I guess we have to include Dumbledore!

And inevitably, the magician always seems to fade into obscurity as humankind moves from the age of creativity, possibility and imagination to logic, reason and commerce. Did you ever stop to see how the story parallels the human condition?

As a child, anything is possible. Building castles in the sky, creating something from nothing and turning lead into gold. When I started coaching full time in 1999 with Tony Robbins Companies, my wife gave me a small Hallmark ornament of a magician, arms outstretched, in the clouds and a rainbow behind him. I have it on my desk and see it every day to remind me of certain things.

The magician is in all of us, you have talents and skills to create something bigger of yourself and your impact in life.

What is it and how can you reconnect to it? By looking through your experiences of life and seeing what no one else sees! Then asking, “where are my opportunities to create?”

My neighbor is an engineer and he is always looking at things like a simple light switch and is amazed how it works, but more importantly, he naturally sees even deeper than that. He asks, “Who was the person who was able to dream it, create it and make it work?” That is what he naturally wants to know and apply. That is how he creates his own magic.

I see people every day who tell me their problems. As they speak, somehow I am able to see the expressions, gestures, thoughts inside their mind; I can see their goals, challenges, emotions, and more importantly for my clients I can see the patterns of how it all connects. From there, I see the pathway of possibility and infinite potential for them to overcome it all. Somehow, that is how I create magic. And yet, I walk past a light switch every day without naturally noticing the magic there. But when I see it through my neighbor’s eyes, the light switch comes on and I see the magic he creates!

Being a magician and creating magic comes from being curious, learning, growing, and seeing the infinite potentiality in you, others, places and/or things in a way no one else does. It is noticing it in a way that is unique to you! Most of us shut down our internal magician with the thoughts that come right after these magic moments of awareness. Those poor questions come out like, “But how could I do that, what will people think, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the time, I’m not good enough” With those thoughts, your magician slips away and becomes a thing of the past.

Ask yourself this, “Where is the magic in your business, relationships, finances, physical health? What do you see that others don’t?”

Magic comes from knowing yourself and working what you have inside. Increase your awareness of your environment and take notice of what is important to you.

Be the magician, connect with your creativity, imagination and appreciate your special view of the world. Through that gift, work your magic. You will see a path that others don’t, be able to lead them down it, and bring out the infinite potential of yourself and them.

There are still dragons to slay, damsels to rescue, sunsets to ride off into and magic to work! And, if you look in the right place and work your magical gifts, you will find that Merlin is still very much alive.

 

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50 Ways to Get Motivated to Go to Work

Do you remember the story of the Ugly Duckling? The swan egg gets mixed up in a nest of duck eggs. After the swan and ducks hatch, the gosling keeps comparing itself to the ducklings and all it sees is how it is different and believes it is ugly. Then, finally one day, the gosling becomes a swan, sees its reflection in the water and realized it is special and beautiful.

What does this have to do with being motivated to go to work? What you choose to focus on in life, and the meaning you attach to it, determines your experience.  Are you are happy , excited, and motivated to get to work each day? Perhaps you are focusing on something thinking it is ugly, when in reality, it is special and beautiful.

Did you open this email with the intention of seeing my 50 ways to be “Motivated to go to Work”?

It would not really be right to look at mine; after all, you are a swan, not a duck!

Here is how to develop your own 50 Ways to Get Motivated!

  1. Focus on 5 things you love about your drive to work.
  2. Sit in the parking lot at work and find 5 things that are wonderful from that vantage point.
  3. List 5 things you are going to be able to do this weekend as a direct result of earning money today.
  4. Sit at your desk and before you start work, think of 5 things you love about your workspace.
  5. Think of 5 benefits you are getting from your company today. (insurance, office supplies, computer?)
  6. Who are the 5 co-workers you are going to connect to today.
  7. Focus on 5 people who you will help solve problems for today. (clients or coworkers)
  8. Focus on 5 things you are going to learn today to grow.
  9. Focus on 5 Friendly Smiles you will give to someone you meet today because of work.
  10. Focus on 5 things you are looking forward to at work tomorrow.

There are your 50 Ways to Get Motivated to Go to Work! If you were not able to list 5 of each, keep building that muscle! Nothing changed for the goose except it switched its perspective from what it didn’t have to what it did have.

Too often we take the best things in life for granted. Remember how excited you were the first day you got the job offer? Changing your perspective might help you remember what you love about your job.

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Are You Running Away from Your Problems?

…Lessons from NLP and dog training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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