Monday, 8 August 2016

Why not me?

I love parties. 

You know the ones where you put on your best frumpy pajamas. Gather chocolate, oysters and Miss Vickies Sweet Chili and Sour Cream chips (don’t judge me).  Then sit down on the couch to watch something super depressing or write yet another hopeless journal entry about how life has once again given me an ass-kicking while those around me seem to be getting all the breaks.

Oh did I forget to mention … PITY parties.  Those are the ones I love.

Or at least I spend a lot of time at them. 

I should clarify something first. It’s not generally because I want attention.  In fact, writing this is brutal because I don’t want anyone else to know. 

But I suspect, just maybe, someone else out there has felt this way.  Had these thoughts.

Wondered … Why not ME?

Why can’t I be the one to get the good break now and again?

You know, beyond what I imagined, above what I expected, more than I deserved.

But I think I’ve discovered something.  And I think it’s the reason I enjoy myself a big old pity party so much, and it’s the reason why it ISN’T ever me.

What I imagine is all that can go wrong.
What I expect is pretty much the same as what I’ve always gotten.
What I think I deserve is basically what I’ve been getting.

My thoughts on my worthiness and my expectation of greatness in life are pretty much CRAP.

I don’t sit around imagining all the great things I will accomplish and then work my butt off to get them.

I sit around imagining all the ways life has given me grief and bad endings, then work my butt off to get some more of those.

I work hard and although I may now and again try to change my conscious thoughts about my situation and what I desire out of life, my sponsoring thoughts remain the same.

I am not enough.
Everything goes wrong for me.
Why not ME for once.

I have come to realize I spend a ton more time thinking about how things can and have gone wrong. How I’ve been unjustly slammed or slighted. 
How  I work my tail off for everyone else and get nothing but grief, while others do nothing and get all this goodness graced upon them.

And a victim mentality breeds more victimization.

So what is my big epiphany?

It’s so awesomely simple in principle (but terrifyingly hard to do, so get ready for it …)

I’ve stopped saying
Why not ME?

And I’ve started saying
                                                            Why NOT me?

A simple change of emphasis.
Why the heck shouldn’t I do good work, get good breaks and find fantastic success?
Why can’t I be the one to change my habits and break through strongholds?
Why am I any less worthy of greatness in life?

I’M NOT. And neither are YOU.

We've been letting that bad boy "subconscious" beat us up for a long time now.

Here’s the cool thing though (and we have great science now to back it up). 

Emotions are a product of nervous system activity.  

Our nervous system is programmed through synapses and systems that are “conditioned” to respond in a certain way to protect us. 

But you can RE-CONDITION these responses.

You can literally change your thoughts, and change your base-level, knee-jerk responses to the external environment and life situations.

You can make a conscious plan to respond in a new way to situations that would typically throw you into a victim, poor-me frenzy.
You can re-program your mind to believe that life is working IN YOUR FAVOR instead of against you.
You can find a new and refreshing outlook that is open to great joy, peace and fulfillment.
You can chuck those pajamas and snacks and give back your lifetime membership to the pity-party association.

By definition of your humanity, we belong here. 

We are worthy of a life of service, accomplishment and abundance (in whichever ways we choose to define these things).

It CAN be you (and ME too!).

After all, it’s going to be someone.

So why the heck NOT you? 

Bravely forth my friends, 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Bravely Forth into Action

I'm a total nerd for reading motivational and inspirational content.

I love a good self-help, personal development, diet or life-altering book.

Here's the problem ...

I love the book.  I tend to avoid the "life-altering".

There is something about planning to grow, change, lose weight, get fit, get more peaceful, find more depth and become a better person that I find so enthralling. The idea of becoming a "new", healthier, more evolved me is so enticing.

But ideas don't change shit (and you know it's true).

Only action leads to change.

You might remember there's that old saying ... The road to hell is paved in good intentions.  While I don't necessarily think all my reading about finding a better life will send me to hell, it certainly won't get me anywhere noteworthy without some action.

I have to get up out of my chair and DO SOMETHING.

What does this 'action' look like?  Well, it depends on your goals.

Meditation? Working out? Diet changes?

None of these sound nearly as fun as sitting with a good book and a cup of coffee soaking up the sun, birthing plans and dreams with the greatest of intent.

But it is only in doing something that I read about in the book that I might actually get closer to those dreams.  And once I put down the book and throw the mug in the sink, it's back to reality and it is only these actionable items that are going to determine what my "reality" looks (and feels) like.

So, we get up early.  We workout. We fuel our bodies with the things it needs to be healthy, digest, lose weight and stay active.  We cheat, yes.  And sometimes we completely fail (and it might even feel really good to cheat.)

But, at the end of the day, we keep coming back and putting our ideas, dreams and intentions into action. Over. And over. And over again.

It takes courage and a ton of support.  It means putting our dreams out there and becoming accountable for what we intend to do ... so that we actually DO IT.  It takes love and patience and strength both with others and yourself.

Let me tell you though, sitting there dreaming might feel good, but seeing those dreams materialize feels a HECK of a lot better ... for a lot longer.

And all it takes is starting.  Pick something, one thing, and do it.

Are you ready?

It will take courage and strength, persistence and fortitude (and the neat thing here, is the more you do, the more these virtues develop).

I may not be there yet, but every little thing I actually DO gets me closer than reading all the books in the world would. So keep reading and keep yourself inspired.

Then go and do.

I promise it will pay off.

Bravely forth my friends, 

Burn the Boats

I listened to an NPR podcast the other day called "Backup Plans" that talked about the idea of having a "Plan B".  You know, the thing you can fall back on if your current pursuit doesn't pan out.  The plan in place to save your bacon if you just don't quite cut it where you are.

Plan B thinking seems very responsible and we might applaud someone for having a well thought out backup plan. It seems somewhat obvious that having a Plan B will give you the confidence and security you need to take bigger risks or work harder in achieving success.

Until we really study it.

The simple fact is, it appears that having a Plan B (something to "fall back" on or an exit strategy) is a hindrance to success.  It appears that having a backup plan in place will actually have the opposite effect of inspiring confidence and boldness.

Having a backup plan actually decreases motivation. 

Now of course there are times in life when we need to have backup plans, emergency strategies or contingency plans.

If I leave the kids with the babysitter and he can't get ahold of me, a backup plan or second emergency contact is a good idea.

A spare tire is probably a smart thing to keep in your car.

But what about health, lifestyle, business or job scenarios?

If I know I have other options when applying for a job, will that increase my motivation to secure the job, or make me more lax in my interview preparation?

It appears that it might be the latter.

If I am training for a race and I start to tell myself, "Well nobody will notice if I need to walk for a half a mile so if I need to (but only if I need to) then I'll just walk".

Do you think having the security of this "out" will motivate me to train harder, push my limits and reach or surpass my goals?

It's an interesting thing to ponder because I find myself making "backup plans" ALL THE TIME.

I think I'm being responsible.  I think I'm being fair and smart.

But am I really selling myself short?

Am I robbing myself of the experience of struggle, pain, courage and victory that would come only if I pushed past excuses and exit strategies and reached new levels of success?

All I know is that I've started a lot of projects and never finished.  I've worked out for a week ... then I quit.  I've passed up opportunities in favor of the less risky, but also less satisfying Plan B.

So I'm trying a new approach.


No turning back.  No exit strategy.

Just hard work.  Perseverance. And a whole lot of potential success.

Are you in?

Bravely forth my friends,