Look further down in your story than today’s page and see how you want it to turn out. What is the plot in your ideal story, who are the characters, and how does it end? Plan for the ending chapter and the twists you want to add along the way. Adding new sub-plots will keep your attention piqued. To help get you through a tough spot or difficult time in your life, page down a day, a week, a year or two from now to get perspective on how important this particular difficulty might be.
What does your ideal outcome look like and what do you have to do now to get to that point? Something that may seem unsettling or stressful at this moment may not be such a big deal after you page down a few pages to see what affect it might have on the storyline. Expand the story a bit more and make a lifeline listing the things you want to accomplish in each decade of your life.
Fast-forward to your 105th birthday and look at your life. What will they be saying at your funeral? What is the legacy you want to leave? Be aware of how you would feel about the decisions you made. Are there any regrets? It has been said that most people end up regretting the things they didn’t do more than the things they did do. What would you regret not having done in your lifetime?
If you’re going through turbulent times, remember that the hero of most stories always have to overcome obstacles in order to become victorious in the end. If you didn’t have some conflict, it wouldn’t be a very interesting story. Are you living a pager-turner life, with lots of pages dog-eared to mark the good spots, or are you living a text-book style existence with lots of dry material between the covers?
Are you as interesting on the inside as your cover might represent, or is your life more flash on the outside with some emptiness on the inside? What are you doing to make your life something others would want to read about? (As in a great novel, not the National Enquirer.) Page down from today and see if you are living a best-seller and start creating your storyline right now.
This isn’t a dress rehearsal; it is opening night every single day. Practice putting your best foot forward; little eyes are upon you. Work on yourself to be the star of the show and shine in your own spotlight. A former Parks and Recreation slogan states “Life, be in it!” A good motto for living a luscious life.
What does your ideal life look like? What does success look like to you? How would you set the stage, and what specific details and characteristics would be present if you lived as the star in your own show? Take a couple hours to be alone with your thoughts and write down in graphic detail what your ideal life would look like. Take a look at your ideal day and then take inventory of what you already have from that list, then identify the gaps.
Write down specific steps to take to attract whatever you don’t already have in your life and take note of all the things from your ideal day list that you already have in your life. Celebrate the things from your ideal day listing that you already have in your life. It means you are on the right track. This one activity of being the star, producer, and director or your ideal show is one of the single most powerful visualization techniques and life changing exercises I have encountered.
Once you have your list, you are on your way to creating the Treasure Map of pictures depicting your ideal day and your ideal life that was mentioned previously. So get ready to dance the La Vita Polka – the dance of life and get ready to shine as the star of your own show. What are you doing to prepare for opening night?
When we coast for too long, it means we are going downhill. So like a shark, if we quit moving forward, we cease to live effectively. Keeping our sights on the possibilities and discoveries ahead of us while enjoying our present helps keep us moving in the direction of our dreams. When we are hopeful about what lies ahead of us, we look forward to a new day.
When we are in charge of creating our future, we get excited about moving forward to greet our goals. Sometimes we may choose to move sideways as a form of moving forward – as in a lateral move in our workplace. At times the answer is not always moving up, but out that makes the most sense, but it is always moving you forward towards where you want to be.
Popular psychology suggests that we are either moving forward towards pleasure or away from pain – either way, we are making a positive move that instills energy in our actions and gives us the power and the confidence to keep moving forward. Go where your heart leads you, go for it, go take a hike, or go explore a new destination.
If you don’t go, you won’t know. Taking the attitude of taking off towards where your dreams and desires lead you helps build your confidence, build your resilience to stress, and build on your life experiences. Be bold and go to where you think you need to go in order to get what you think you need. Taking brave steps toward your goals gives you energy and courage to pursue your dreams with guts, grace, and gusto.
Interesting people, activities, places, books, ideas, information, and association with other interesting things gets you stepping a little higher. Energy and inspiration by association seem to kick-start your battery. The key to attract interesting people is to create an interesting life, become an interesting person, and seek diversity to get your engine humming. When your mind stops exploring new interests and discovering new ideas, then your soul withers and your brain stops expanding to take in new information.
So what’s new and interesting on your To Do list today? Get interested in becoming interesting and see what kinds of energy sources you tap into. If your life seems like Bill Murray’s in the movie Ground Hog Day, then it’s time to make some changes and include more interesting things to add some spice to your days so they won’t all seem like re-runs that run you down.
Instead of the 12 days of Christmas, we’re talking about the 12 Qualities of Happiness as referenced in the book What Happy People Know. Happiness flows as a by-product from these qualities and is a much more positive by-product than those we are generally used to. Cultivate the following qualities and you will also be cultivating happiness. The more qualities you embrace; the more happiness springs forth and the more fear is pushed out of your life.
- Love is the opposite of fear both emotionally and neurologically. The antidote to fear is love and is the first step towards happiness.
- Optimism provides power over painful events and offers power over fear of the future and over regret for the past.
- Courage overcomes fear and helps you rise above the situation. Both fear and courage are pre-programmed into the neocortex of our brains. Courage is the quality that helps us survive and thrive.
- Freedom of choice
- Be Proactive and participate in your own destiny – create your future and your legacy.
- Security in who you are no matter what. Security in knowing that nothing lasts and that security is an inside job – not anything extrinsic which can be lost at any minute.
- Health and happiness are interdependent – we need both to sustain the other.
- Spirituality and the tranquility it brings to not be concerned about death but more concerned about not living fully.
- Altruism aids in giving you purpose and getting outside yourself – giving vs. getting mind-set.
- Perspective to see shades of gray and having the sense to turn problems into possibilities by not losing sight of the big picture in bad times.
- Sense of Humor to help shift our perspective.
- Sense of Purpose and knowing why you’re here on Earth. Doing the things you were meant to do. Did you know that we are all born with a life purpose? It is established in our fingerprints in utero and can be deciphered so you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing. If you’re interested in having a reading and knowing your true purpose through your personal GPS (Genetic Purpose System), contact me for details: Gaia@GaiaHart.com.
So why not cultivate these characteristics over the next few weeks. Why not take on some of them as your New Year’s challenge and see what happens next. I’m guessing a bit of happiness will come your way.
There are lots of things to think about before you decide to jump into the deep waters of business ownership. It can be extremely fulfilling or excruciatingly frustrating depending on how you prepare for it, how you embrace it, how your personal style fits the ambiguity of it, and how well it fits into your life purpose, your calling of how you express your gifts and talents to the world. If the only reason you’re going into business is to make a profit, then stop right now and rethink your reasoning.
Corporate Structure: I was recently reading about the Deloitte Millennial survey of the cohort born between 1980 and 2000 and how 70% of them want to someday be working independently. What a change from the generations before them. They also want their businesses to be more socially conscious and give back to the community. Their civic mindedness has birthed a new business entity called Low Profit LLC which is a combination of the For Profit LLC and the Non-Profit. This new business entity makes some profit to remain solvent, but gives much of it back to the world for just causes and social activism. How cool is that? What type of corporate structure is best for your needs? Do you want to work from home, from anywhere, from a different location than where you live? Do you want employees or joint venture partners or contractors? Do you want simple or more complex? What type of corporate structure with their tax advantages would best suit your needs? Which brings us to the next of several of our High C’s of starting a business.
Clarity about your Calling and Conscious Choices: This is a “three-fer” combing your Calling and your Clarity around how you will consciously build your business at the intersection of your Calling and what the Community needs. Know WHY you’re going into business – find your Why that makes you cry and you can find your way. What are your personal and professional goals for the business and your life because your business IS your life when you own your own company. It becomes part of you – so make sure you like that part of you. Narrow your focus on what you do best and what is in alignment with your calling. Make a conscious choice about what type of business and how you can best use your talents in service to others. This is about using your God-given gifts for the benefit of humanity, not about making a buck. If it’s about merely making a buck, the bucks come and the bucks go just as easily. When you’re on purpose with your business, it tends to stick around much longer. What are your consciously creating? Be very, very clear on what order you want to put forth to the Universe and get specific on what you want to serve, how you want to serve and who you want to serve and WHY.
Community: This one is multi-faceted. Community as in where you decide to put down your roots geographically. Community as in what type of professional communities do you associate with and in what type of community do you want to become an expert? Also what type of community do you want to serve? Do you want to serve millionaires or those who are living in poverty? Do you want to work in the children’s or adult community? Do you want to work virtually, globally or locally? Decide who and how you want to serve.
Cushion: Having a financial cushion of at least one year of living expenses in the bank (not a line of credit on credit cards, not a home equity line of credit – we know what happened to those in 2008, and not money tied up in other non-liquid accounts). Having the peace of mind to make choices based on ethical decisions, sound logic and decisions based on positive energy and the path forward in alignment with your vision versus fear that the money will run out is the choice you want to make.
Create Connections: Join business networking groups, the chamber of commerce, do trade shows, and connect with people outside your normal circle to expand your network and your net worth. Stay in touch and be the one to connect others together. Be the resource for connecting at all levels and you will find others seeking you out for your contact list. As the Author and Envelope Entrepreneur Harvey MacKay writes: “dig your well before you’re thirsty”. Stay connected and create connections for the benefit of all and it will serve you well. I’ve found an amazing way to stay connected on a personal as well as a professional level while expressing my creativity in creating custom greeting cards and gifts. It also just happens to be an additional profit center as I send out positive vibes – getting paid to be nice to people. Now that’s what I call a win-win-win. Check it out and send some cards on me at www.BizBuilderCards.com. I’ll pay for the first few cards and postage to anywhere in the world. I’m hooked on creating kindness and gratitude to expand the positive vibrations in the world. Try it for yourself and see how you feel. I’ve also found a community of card senders and have enjoyed sharing stories with them on the impact of sending a little piece of cardboard with heartfelt thoughts.
Just like diamonds have their C’s for clarity, cut, carrots etc – I hope you consider the High C’s before starting or growing your business. Maybe you need to regroup a bit or started off on the wrong foot. There is always tomorrow to get it right and consider your High C’s before taking another step in the right direction. Growing your business on the High C’s will get you started in a positive way. All the best to you sailing the High C’s!
What is your function in life? Studies show that those who have a purpose, and are actively working towards achieving their goals, are happier than those who just show up for life each day. Set goals, change them, as your needs or situations change, and actively work on them. Do you have a mission statement and vision statement for creating your personal life as well as running your business or working in your organization? How does your professional function merge with your personal purpose? Writing down your goals, your purpose, and your function help to ingrain those visions into your subconscious to assist you in achieving them and giving you energy by looking forward to them. I’ve said it before in other posts – find your why that makes you cry and you’re on your way to living out your calling.
Anticipating and preparing for congruent personal and professional functions add energy and enthusiasm to your life. Knowing your function can give you the strength to face adversity in the world. Help increase your resilience to stress by choosing to align your workplace values with your personal values and purpose. When these two foundational things are congruent, you get the least stress and the most energy from the partnership. A playbook by Kathie Hightower called Your Enchanted Life: A Journal of Discovery & Delight at www.JumpIntoLife.net has tons of exercises and action steps to help you discover your function and what you really want. Spend some quiet time and meditate on your fuction and your why, then match that to how you can best serve. I find that being in nature helps me clear my head and clarify my thoughts.
As the economy limps out of the pits with so many people fallen down during the past few years; I’ve noticed how some people have bounced back quite nicely while others are still stumbling along. It’s curious to me what kind of characteristics, behaviors, mindsets and other stuff do the Bounce-Backers have that the Stumblers may not possess….or just not know that they possess?
After many lengthy conversations with clients and others who have both bounced back and stumbled back; along with more research and reading on the topic of human resilience and the art of the comeback. I’d like to share some of the findings from my hunt for answers.
Psychologists agree that some people are born with more resilience than others and they also point out that it’s within all of us to cultivate more resilience by adjusting how we view adversity. Do we let it become our total reality forevermore or do we think of it as a temporary detour, a bump in the road and a minor setback? Do we let our adversity (name your favorite: divorce, death, disease, debt, addiction, foreclosure, job loss) define us, or is it just life? I’m pretty sure nobody who has lived very long has escaped all of the aforementioned situations. Resilience refers to our capacity to deal with discomfort and adversity. It’s not just a reactive skill set, but a set of characteristics and traits that enrich our lives.
Highly resilient folk are adaptive to situations, remain flexible and even welcome and thrive on change. It keeps them on their toes, excited for new challenges and they expect to bounce back and have the confidence that they will. There is no question in their mind that they have the skill sets and the mind set to attain something bigger than the adversity flavor of the moment. They have a knack for creating good out of what may seem to others as bad luck. They can see the other side and are creative thinkers.
According to top researchers here are the 5 most powerful ways to get real about resilience and bounce back for your comeback:
1. Positive Thinking, even in the midst of adversity. Resilient people can still hold positive thoughts about positive outcomes during a negative situation while others may only hold onto the negative and really can’t see the positive in an adverse situation. Our emotional patterns are triggered by our thinking patterns. So if we want to curtail negative emotions, start with more positive thoughts such as how did this seemingly “bad” thing happen and what good can come of it – what is the lesson. One way to build on this skill is to notice, appreciate and be grateful for more positive things in your life to build your positivity muscle and build resilience and make positive life deposits, so when there is a negative withdrawal; you already have so many grateful deposits that you can balance it out.
2. Look for the Learning Point. The more you look for the lesson to be learned in adversity and how it can help you grow, evolve and become better; the more you use it as a tool for growth, then the more you will rise above the issues. When you become bigger than your problem, your ability to handle bigger and bigger issues grows as well. Learn to problem-solve as soon as you see something looming. Cultivate your curiosity about adversity issues and embrace a learner’s mindset.
3. Be in Service – Gratitude Pushes out Fear. When gratitude and service in love and kindness come in the front door; fear runs out the back door. Open your mind and open your heart to turn situations around and teach others how you got through it to help them through similar adversity. How can you pass along what you learned to others seeking help and support? Put things into perspective by being grateful for all the things that are going right in your life so when adversity strikes, there is a much bigger ratio of things that are going well. One of my mentors challenged her people to change up how they answer to the ubiquitous question of “how are you doing?” and I will challenge you to the same. Instead of saying “fine”….say “I’m grateful, and you?”. It reminds your brain how grateful you are to be alive and be in the presence of others who care enough to ask. See how you feel after practicing that little change in your life for a few weeks. It’s a reminder to yourself just how grateful for everything we are.
4. Honoring Yourself and Your Body – Taking Care of the Temple. Cultivating good health habits, eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise help make our body strong and our resilience strong…or at least easier to deal with the stresses that come with adversity. I just heard a story by Brian Williams on the Nightly News that stated 41 million Americans are sleep deprived costing companies over $63Billion per year in productivity loss. I don’t know about you but if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m worthless. My brain doesn’t fire as fast, I’m groggy, I can’t focus and my energy wanes. Good sleep is essential to building resilience. Taking care of yourself also means taking care of your social connections and I don’t mean social media and the so-called “friends” you may have online. I’m talking the real deal. The people you can call when your car breaks down or when you break down to come listen or help or lend a hand. Real friendships, love and connections help build resilience. During my world travels; I’ve always found that if I’m traveling solo and bump up against an adverse action it feels a little scary, but if I’m with a friend in a similar situation it becomes and adventure and a challenge and we rise to the occasion and start problem-solving.
5. Laugh Through it – Hold onto Your Humor. Not that it’s a laughing matter, but laughter can get you through some tough spots. It can be pain relieving – as found by Dr. Norman Cousins in his famous book Anatomy of an Illness, finding that 10 minutes of good belly laughter can induce 2 hours of restful sleep without medicine in patients. As a Certified Laughter Leader; I’ve lead groups and coached individuals and practiced laughter to reduce tension during tense moments. When you consciously choose to be playful with a situation, it becomes empowering that you do have a choice in the matter and it signals to your brain and body that you are bigger and better than the adversity – you can laugh at yourself or the situation. Laughter is a release of tension – the same as crying and sometimes you do both, but get it out of your system to build your resilience.
Those are your marching orders to help you bounce back for your comeback. I hope you find some ideas that help you get real about your resiliency and here’s to facing adversity and laughing in its face. Cheers to you for your courage to step forward from (temporary) setbacks!
So now that you’re past all the partying, whooping it up and forgetting about real life for severl weeks; it’s time to hunker down and get a little more serious about what you really, really, really want out of your life this year. I’m not talking about those crazy resolutions of losing weight, working out more and eating right…. although those may be a part of the plan. I’m talking the deeper stuff, the soul-connection kind of stuff that will move you towards your life purpose. What I call the Hot 100 list.
Writing down, or typing, cutting and pasting or digitally pasting photos, pictures, drawing and coloring AT LEAST 100 things you can do to move your life forward towards your purposeful goals this year. For left brainers and the check-listers; numer your page 1-100 and then write down your desires so you can feel the success when you check them off. For you right brainers, use the Vision Board method and cut and paste to your heart’s content. For the most bang for your buck, do both. And READ YOUR LIST and LOOK AT YOUR VISIN BOARD DAILY. Don’t sock it away on the shelf only to dust it off and look at it next year.
Studies have shown that these images get locked into your subconscious and there is a wee bit of magic that happens as you begin manifesting your list. It must be viewed often to keep it on the top of your mind and let is soak into the back of your mind. Stretch yourself to come up with at least 100. I always have more – there’s just too much to do, see, be to stop at 100. Let it simmer for a while, come back and add more. Some goals can take several years to attain and some can be done in an afernoon – write them down. One of my goals took 27 years to achieve. Don’t forget to celebrate your successes when you can cross one off the list.
As part of your assignment; take the Gratitude Challenge. I dare you to send 30 personal cards to 30 people in 30 days at http://socgratitude.com/9431
What’s really cool is that you can also create your vision board on one of the cards and send it to yourself so you have a portable version. I took a photo of mine and carry it with me on my iphone so when I’m in waiting mode; I can pull up my dreams and desires, read my life purpose, check out my life vision and then do a gap analysis and see what I already have achieved and what I still need to do.
Happy writing and card sending. Report back to me how it went. Cheers!