Monday
Apr022012

BOLD Law - Don't Listen to Your Drunk Monkey

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an 8-week course through Keller Williams Realty called BOLD, which stands for Business Objective: A Life by Design. It was a difficult but very rewarding experience because it really called for me to play big and stop making excuses.

One of the aspects of the course was to identify and then stop the "drunk monkey" - that voice in your head which tells you what you can't accomplish instead of encouraging you to go forward even when you don't want to.

I've learned recently, too, that many people aren't ready to face the drunk monkey and certainly don't want to have their excuses pointed out to them. What I'm learning as it relates to sharing what I've learned through BOLD is that if people wanted this information, they would have attended the class themselves. It does neither me nor them any good to talk about the drunk monkey if they don't even realize they have one.

So, for those of you who are choosing to read this post, I will presume that these BOLD laws may be something you are interested in learning, so I'll share a couple of them here.

First, of course, is:

Don't Listen to Your Drunk Monkey.

Others:

People Will Grow Into the Conversations You Create Around Them.

Your Business Grows to the Extent That You Do.

You Can Have Reasons or Results, and You Can't Have Both.

If you are at the point in your career, whether you're in real estate or not, that you want to take things to the next level, there are many personal development opportunities out there which will challenge you to first identify that drunk monkey - or that victim voice in your head. Once you've identified it, it's much easier to move beyond it, and ask it to get off your back.

What are you willing to do to get what you say you want?

Saturday
Mar242012

It Is What It Is ... Isn't It?

I know several people who absolutely despise that phrase. I, personally, love it, because I can't think of any better way to describe situations that are beyond my control.

I had an interesting airline adventure this past week which resulted in me being awake (and I use that term loosely) for around 37 hours straight. There were several reactions and many more responses available to me as I found myself in one crazy situation after another. I consciously chose to respond each time, although there was one time I admit a reaction crept in. The good news is I was aware as soon as I reacted and was able to clean it up immediately.

The one phrase that kept going around in my head throughout this ordeal was "It is what it is." I'm so grateful for my awareness! Whenever I notice a reaction coming on, I'm able to recognize the feeling associated with it and THINK, which creates a response instead. Sometimes - in fact, often more times than not - the most appropriate response is silence and peace.

What do you typically do when you're upset? React from your emotional mind or respond from your thinking mind? You will be able to tell from the results. Would you rather be right than to be connected? Sometimes you have to be willing to give up being right in order to be in a positive relationship, even if that is with a ticket agent at an airport at 1 a.m. 

When it really is what it is, how will you respond? 

Thursday
Feb092012

What was Atlas' Motivation?

One of my 2012 commitments was focused reading each morning. I'm reading three works which I will complete on December 31, 2012 if not before, and I spend about 30 minutes each morning with these works.

One of them is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It's a huge book, but I find it to be very compelling, and since I'm committed to finishing it by reading a little bit each day, it's totally doable.

Another is A Course in Miracles (for the 6th time). I thoroughly enjoy this study and realize that studying this course reminds me of the saying you can never step in the same river twice; it's not the same river and you're not the same you. Although the book stays the same on the outside, I am a different person each time I read it which makes it seem like the book is changing as well.

The other book I'm reading was a gift from my coach called The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Each day's passage begins with a quote and ends with a meditation. Tuesday's quote still has me contemplating its meaning and application:

Atlas wasn't forced to hold up the world. He was convinced that if he didn't, the world would fall.

I'd love to get your take on that quote. What do you think it means for you? For others?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

 

Friday
Jan132012

What are you waiting for?

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right."

So said one of my favorite authors, researchers, and philosophers, Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich fame.

It's not like we don't know this already. Hence the title of this blog.

But knowing something and doing something are two very different animals.

What is it that keeps us from taking action even when we know better?

I know one of the reasons involves fear. Whenever I speak about effectiveness, goal achieving, accountability or any of the other topics organizations ask me to present about, the topic of fear always comes up. We can all relate, even if we haven't really stopped to identify the root of that fear. When given the opportunity to be honest with ourselves, each of us can say that that dreaded F word is alive and well in us.

When I ask audiences what they are most afraid of, the inevitable answer is "failure." In some way I understand the tendency to avoid action which could lead to failure. If we are afraid to fail, one sure way to avoid that is to do nothing.

But even more curious to me is the fear of success. Why in heaven's name would we avoid taking action that dould lead to that which most of us would say we want?

What it boils down to, in many cases, is the belief that success will lead to more work, and what we really mean when we think of success in our dream world, is less work. We just can't imagine how achieving our version of success could possibly actually give us what we say we want. So we stop ourselves before we even give ourselves a chance to taste it. We'd rather be right about not being successful, it seems.

What we forget in this twisted mind game we play with ourselves is that each step along the way to success gives us an entirely new awareness that we couldn't possibly have had prior. When we imagine how it will be to be successful in a whole new arena, we are imagining that with the awareness we have from our past experience, which has given us the results we've always gotten. After all, many of us were conditioned to believe that imagining and dreaming were a waste of time and we should "get real" about our situations in life.

I spoke for a government agency once where I was hired to talk about change and how important it is to be open to the possibilities that exist outside our comfort zones. Traditionally, people who work in government agencies are not in a position to enact big changes on their own - their positions, in some cases, are governed by situations that are totally out of their control to affect. So as I'm doing my best to inspire the crowd to embrace change and even seek it out for their own personal well being, I see a gentleman in the crowd with his chin on his chest and his eyes closed, obviously deep in sleep.

At first it occurred to me that he must be terribly bored, but upon further contemplation, I wonder if maybe he was challenged with a new thought and literally had to go to sleep because he wasn't ready to hear it. New information will create new choices and new awareness, and once the genie is out of the bottle, it's impossible to put it back. Or, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, when your mind is stretched by a new idea, it can't regain its original dimension. If we are awake to new information, there's no way to unhear it. We now are forced to examine our actions and take responsibility for our results. If we don't hear it, we don't have to be responsible.

So maybe we really don't want what we say we want when we say we want success. Because in order to be successful, we will have to take action. And maybe the success we say we want is not worth the action it will require and we would rather be lazy than get new results.

There is no judgment in that statement, just observation. With that awareness will come more choices. At least if we're consciously choosing laziness, we're no longer being victims and that's a step toward responsibility.

So maybe the question isn't "what are you waiting for?" but rather "why are you waiting?" Or maybe, once we know and understand the reasons behind our actions (or inactions, as the case may be), at least we will realize that our lives are perfectly designed to give us our current results.

And, if we individually are dissatistied with those results, we will realize that each of us is responsible for our own place in those results, and have the ability to choose differently.

That's what Gandhi must have meant when he said "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

And Yoda, who said "do or do not, there is no try."

So be aware of your actions. They are producing your results. If you want different results, you need to take different actions. Actions come from feelings, and feelings come from thoughts. To change results, change your thoughts.

Here's to bigger thinking. What, really, are you waiting for?

Friday
Dec302011

Living on the Edge

On this second-to-last day of 2011, I've been reflecting and have decided to revisit this blog, which I began writing in July of 2004.

While many things have changed during that period of time, some thoughts are just as relevent now as they were back then.

With that introduction, I would like to share a post I originally wrote on August 12, 2004. Thanks to Gail (who is in my current Saturday master mind group) for the lunch inspiration back then that continues to this day. Also thanks to Bruce, another of the Saturday master minders, for his insight in the comment he shared back then.

 

At lunch with my friend Gail today I was reminded about how important it is for me to be me. That might sound funny, but I've been struggling with what Gail helped me see to be a paradox: two seemingly conflicting views, each of which I hold sacred.

Here it is in a nutshell: I'm finding myself drawn to living my life on the edge, or, as my friend Susie says, out on a limb. When I looked up the definition of "edge," it fits so well with what I'm feeling drawn to. Here are some definitions:

A thin, sharpened side, as of the blade of a cutting instrument.

The degree of sharpness of a cutting blade.

A penetrating, incisive quality.

A slight but noticeable sharpness or harshness: His voice had an edge to it.

Keenness, as of desire or enjoyment; zest: The brisk walk gave an edge to my appetite.

The line of intersection of two surfaces: the edge of a brick; the table's rounded edges.

A rim or brink: the edge of a cliff.

The point at which something is likely to begin: on the edge of war.

The area or part away from the middle; an extremity: lifted the carpet's edge.

A dividing line; a border: a house on the edge of town. See Synonyms at border.

A margin of superiority; an advantage: a slight edge over the opposition.

A provocative or discomforting quality, as from audacity or innovativeness: “Over all, the show will have a grittier edge” (Constance C.R. White).

The other side of my paradox is wanting to hold space for people wherever they are - to accept wherever their level of understanding allows them to be. I sense that I may be making people wrong if I encourage them to come closer to the edge when they are perfectly content living in the middle. I don't want to push my own agenda, so I don't say what I feel drawn to say, and I pull back - put up and shut up - or worry about what others think of me, or wonder if I've said too much.

As Gail reminded me today, edges can be sharp - and if you live on the edge, you run the risk of getting cut.

But I'm also reminded that there probably are far fewer rules for living on the edge because far fewer people have been there to offer their experience or advice. When we're living on the edge, we make an agreement to make up the rules as we go - to roll with the punches, to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again, but with new determination, and new avenues to explore. There are no promises that anything is going to be right or perfect or successful when you're living on the edge, only that you have a personal stake in the outcome because you're creating it.

So what's the answer to the paradox question? Can you hold two seemingly contradictory beliefs sacred? Time will tell for me. But the clarity I gained from having this conversation is priceless. Thanks for lunch, Gail - and thanks for the food for thought.

I love blogging for so many reasons, not the least of which is the dialogue it can create. So here was a comment from Bruce on that same post from August of 2004.

Allow me to offer this observation: living on the edge and pulling people out of their comfort zone toward the edge are quite compatible. The magic ingredient that makes the two mix together is passion. People are naturally drawn to your passion, Jodee. I don't have to share your passion initially, only your interest. It is the nature of the human spirit to accept a passionate person as a leader, and seek to emulate that person. Name leaders in any field of knowledge. Name leaders in history. Were any of them devoid of passion? I don't think so.


I prefer to visualize "the edge" as a a merry-go-round, the kind you could once find near every country school house. Some people are content to sit in the middle. Some venture out to the mid-range of the circle and hang on for dear life. The truly brave souls grip the pipes on the perimeter and extend their bodies beyond the "edge" of the circle. Passion is what makes it spin. If you are content to sit exactly in the middle, the centrifugal force of passion has very little effect on you. But once you venture out even a little bit from center, you begin to feel drawn to the edge. One other point: Those on the edge of the spinning disk actually get to travel the longest distance. Those in the center truly go nowhere.

Ah ... dialogue at its finest. Let's create many more opportunities to share our thoughts and explore the possibilities together in 2012. Are you content to live 'in the center," as Bruce points out? Nothing wrong with that. Or are you wanting to experience the "hanging on for dear life" perspective from the edge? By allowing yourself to at least consider all the perspectives, you will attract a wider variety of ideas and people into your world.

Let's venture out together.

Happy New Year!

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