This is where the exerpt goes, I still don't know why the whole blog is showing up though.
After my post the other week about how my routines have become disorganized since I’ve started working more, I’ve made some improvements. I feel like I’m balancing what I’d like to get done much better along with my physical health. Check out the recent changes I’ve made that could help you as well!
Problem: A few months ago I decided to increase the intensity of my workouts, and I eventually fell off doing them. Before that, I had been exercising both first thing in the morning and before bed in the evening. Simple things like push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks for about 10 minutes.
Solution: I went back to exercising for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening. It was easy to maintain, and provided the results that I needed.
Learned: Bigger is not always better – and you don’t always need to increase things. Sometimes, things are perfect how they are. Entertain yourself in other ways.
Problem: I kept pushing off going to the Zen Center and also increased my meditation time to 15-20 minutes in the morning and at night. Both the Zen Center and meditation became non-existent in my life.
Solution: I went back to my usual Wednesday and Sunday schedule and stayed committed. I also reverted back to my preferred 10-minute meditation time.
Learned: Again, you don’t always have to race to the top. I’ve done longer sitting at the Zen Center, but I learned at home it’s not the place for me to do that. Everything is trial and error, and it’s okay to go back to what you were doing.
Problem: I attempted cooking fresh meals, buying all organic, and even having a meal plan I followed. Overall, I’d end up with food rotting and sitting in my fridge. I tried to convince myself to cook but that didn’t work out well. Great idea, but it just wasn’t working for me. At least not now in my life.
Solution: I now purchase frozen meals and heat them up. I just have to make sure the ingredients are healthy and not doused in sodium.
Learned: Some ideas are great in theory, but it’s okay if I’m not following the crowd. Turns out, some frozen meals are almost as good as fresh.
Organizing my day|ToDos
Problem: I’m always trying ways to make sure I focus on what needs to be done yet not overburden myself. I have yet to find a real way. Either I end up with many sticky notes or everything gets lost digitally.
Solution: I’ve started using the calendar app on my phone to only put meetings or specific times of things. So I look at that to see my day planned. For my daily to-dos like paying my bills, I put a reminder in my phone in the reminders app. For business and projects, I use Asana as a project management tool.
Learned: In my mind, everything has a separate type of use. A to-do is far different than a project so I shouldn’t mix them. I also need to be able to see my day. I’ve tried one of those calendars that combine everything, but it feels so cluttered on the phone and iPad.
So here’s something to think about: The higher standards you’re holding yourself to, are they necessary or are you simply entertaining yourself instead of really “growing?”
I often talk about having a vision and moving towards it. Filling in the details as you move along. This is me filling in the details and learning myself better. What’s strides are you making as you create a vision for the life you would like and want to move towards?
When I found out I was asked to present my TED Talk a few weeks ago, I immediately began crafting and practicing for it. It’s as if all good things began to collide that month and have continued that way. First I was asked to do the TED Talk and then all of a sudden in the same week, I started getting more requests to go on dates. Great! I’m down to the wire practicing for a presentation and no time for dates. Ugh…
That was just the start of it though. All the things that I have been working towards and building over the past year, began to come into fruition too. And it’s some of my best work yet!
- + Teaming with web designers and copywriting for the sites they work on
- + Helping develop Google Glassware with an augmented reality focus
- + Putting the finishing touches on the soon to be first product on my site - A guide to help you identify what you were taught growing up that may actually be hindering your success. So you can change your approach to life to reach your goals
- + Began Start-Up Concepting for beginner entrepreneurs and Life Concepting for people who are trying to figure out what they really want out of life.
- + Getting my MBTI certification and creating sessions around Extrovert and Introvert Collaboration and Group Dynamics
With all of these new opportunities, I began to feel overwhelmed. And it was easy for me to see.
I stopped working out, going to zen, and my meditation practice fell off. My apartment, it was a mess. Dishes started piling up, mail and papers all over the place, and I wasn’t cleaning like I usually would.
When I get super busy, I can sometimes operate off the belief that when something absolutely has to be done it will, otherwise it’s not a priority, at least in my personal life. Which is true, but it doesn’t necessarily make me feel great. I’m all about feeling good. I was able to manage the work, but not manage myself. That’s why I’m starting to make some changes.
I honestly haven’t had so much work to for the past three years. I used to do event planning and presentations and would be running around the clock. I took a break for about 2-3 years though. Things have been steady and I continued to pursue my personal work, but not like this. I noticed it, and I have to whip myself back into shape - literally and figuratively!
In the past, I mainly focused on the work, but now I want to be able to do both. There doesn’t always need to be a 50/50 balance, but I can’t only focus on one area of life.
For now, I’m starting to incorporate one area of life back in my busy schedule at a time. This week, I’m focusing on bringing my physical well-being back into the picture. I got back into the meditation and I’m going to start working out. I don’t have tips for you just yet. There’s a couple in mind, but I want to see how they work.
I always love diving in and figuring out how to remedy a situation. What has worked for you so far or what areas of your life are you feeling lack?
That’s right! I just lied to you. However, I did officiate a wedding for the first time last year – and it was one of the best experiences of my life. In fact, I like to try new things all the time. As Alan Watts would say, “Variety is the spice of life.” And I’d have to agree with him. This is not just about me telling you, though: I’ve had a lot of people ask me about this. I figured, with me speaking lately about sharing yourself with others, it’s time I share the sermon I wrote for the ceremony. Maybe someone else will want to officiate a wedding. Most importantly, the words ring true whether you’re in a relationship or creating stronger friendships. And it all has to do with sharing who you are.
As the days were counting down to this divine event and I was frantically trying to decide on a sermon that would be appropriate for such a special occasion, the days drew closer and I became even more frantic (not a pretty picture). Then, as I read over the passages again and reflected back on the years spent with Michelle and David, I realized that what this whole event is all about was already right in front of me.
A piece titled “Allow us to live together to a happy old age”. I mean, that’s what’s on the couple’s mind up here, right? That’s what’s on everyone’s mind! Not only are you going to grow old together, but will you have a successful marriage? Many say marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. That no ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as life-mates and partners. Success does not come from simply a number of years; it comes from the work each individual puts in (in any life). Whether you’re alone or with someone else or working as a team.
As I've grown to know the bride and groom, I realized that there’s something extra special here that I often don’t see with others. I like to refer to it as the Impression Factor. It’s that time in relationships when you’re so focused on impressing someone or worried that they’ll find something strange out about you and runaway, that you have all these walls built around you. So many walls that it takes years to truly see the real person.
I’m not sure how many of you know the bride & groom, but they are both direct and open. Instead of having to spend years to even get a true glimpse of someone, they let you see the friendly exuberant people they are. To be vulnerable and share yourself with someone, saying “this is who I am” is one of the most courageous acts someone can do. Allowing yourselves to understand one another. See that, hey, we really are compatible together. Understand how to work with one another, instead of being left wondering. Sharing yourself and being who you are is the real way to impress someone, it takes away that extra step of having to try and wonder down the road what will happen after someone gets through all your walls. Now, you can focus on having a truly wonderful life together with the person you already know and already love.
I also want to take a moment to recognize everyone gathered here today to witness this moment. The love created and shared between the two of you has brought us together from all around the country to celebrate your special day. Your love has extended each of our families and together we are also joined as one. As we move forward, I decided to choose an insight, quote, poem (just one, but you can call it what you want) on life that I felt the two of you would love and I hope you realize, it is life. And here goes...
'We’re all a little weird. And life is weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love.'
To this, I say let’s begin!
If you’re wondering how the wedding went, it was a success! In an effort to share myself a bit more as I ask all of you to, here’s a glimpse of me at the reception. If you ask me, I’m not too shabby for only dancing on occasion.
In life you need to have fun. After all, why would you want to do anything else?
What’s an experience you’ve had and loved?
PS – Expect to hear more on the TED Talk in the coming weeks!
Well, it’s the day of my TED Talk and I’m as nervous as can be. At the same time, though, I’m completely ecstatic with the fact that I’m speaking!
At first, everything was calm this past week. But I think it has finally hit me: I’m doing my first filmed talk and I will be discussing some intimate details of my life. I’m actually sharing myself more than I ever have.
I went from just going with the motions to preparing, and now it’s like I have all of these emotions jolting through my body. I keep repeating to myself the line that I tell others when they feel this way:
“When you’re nervous and excited at the same time,
that means you’re doing something worthwhile!”
And now all I can think of is, “shit, I hope that’s true!” At least I’m going to tell myself it is.
See, I’m not nervous at the fact that I’m speaking in front of people; I’m nervous at the fact that all my hard work over the years has finally paid off: and I’m starting to see results! This talk is more than just a talk. I’m making it memorable, and that means surprises!
Tonight, the plan is to do something that no one in the world has ever done for a TED Talk. I can’t tell you what that is yet, because that would totally ruin the surprise! What’s helping (and intimidating me at the same time), however, is the support I am receiving. People are actually taking time out of their day to come see me speak. Me! … Speak!
I’ll be honest: I have no other reason for writing this post other than to update you on where I’m at and how I’m feeling about this new adventure. However, I would like to encourage you to really go after what you want even if you don’t see the results immediately. One day, opportunities may just start popping up out of nowhere!
Thank you for supporting me!
I was recently chosen by a leading edge business, developer for Google Glass, and "smart design" company to help them grow and expand to support all the work they've been receiving. What I'm excited to do and to share with all of you is that I've decided to bring you all along for the journey with me! I will be sharing new projects and concepts we're working on. That way, you can see just how fast technology is moving in business. I will provide you with ideas that you can implement into your own business or place of employment.
Ready for a mind twist?
Augmented reality (AR) is happening! That's where you can layer the digital world over your reality so the two come together. I know: it's a lot to take in and it sounds like the strangest thing ever. But I don't want you to miss out or fall behind. That's why I wrote this, to help you see the way I’m incorporating it into businesses and websites already.
It's just a taste, but I think you'll like it.
I keep trying to explain to people what we’re on the verge of with Glass and the use of Augmented Reality (AR), but it’s so foreign to them right now I think it’s going to blow people’s minds when they experience it. AR is where you layer the digital world over reality. So when you pick-up a person’s product, business card, or see an advertisement it’s on a whole new level. Imagine seeing an advertisement or business card and when you look at it through Glass the Twitter and Facebook symbols appear over it. You can reach out with your hand and touch the network you want and immediately “follow” or “like” without having to do any extra work. It’s that simple and only the beginning!
The best part, I’m already doing it and creating for clients. The look on people’s faces when they use it for the first time is priceless. That’s why I love providing experiences for clients like no one else. It’s real and it’s happening and I’m excited to share with all of you soon the projects I’ve been working on. To the new reality!
Keep an eye out soon for this addition to JMWightman.com so you begin keeping up!
Are you actually leading at your job or managing? I've been lucky to have gained amazing mentors throughout my life and every day I notice that what they have taught helps me to excel at being a leader and continue to develop my skills: not only in life, but at any job I hold. It becomes pretty apparent to me that people who haven't been fortunate enough to have such influential mentors may need more guidance. You can't expect someone to know something they've never been taught, right?
That's why I’m providing some simple tips that have helped me succeed in every position and make a positive impact wherever I'm at. I often find that people not only in the department I work in, but across the whole organization, at times seek me out for insight and advice to both complex questions and procedures. I learn from others, but I am also grateful when others trust me enough to make themselves vulnerable and able to open up. It can be difficult at jobs and certain environments, especially in today’s world where most people operate off a “Cover Your Ass” (CYA) mentality. You become afraid to try something different, for fear of being chastised or written up.
Many organizations preach innovation and thinking differently, but they don't really know how to handle those people when they arrive. The idea of it appeals to them more than the actuality of it. That's why you have to be influential and practice positive leadership wherever you go and cannot let those people limit you when you're the one who thinks different.
When I think of leadership and management and what has helped me, here's what comes to mind:
Trust - You have to build trust. Not only for you to trust others, but for others to trust you. Trust is when you can make yourself vulnerable and the other person will take what you're saying into real consideration. As you work together longer, that trust should grow – especially amongst co-workers. Trust grows by including many of these traits I am listing.
Lead - You set the tone. It's different than managing: management is the organization of things and people. Leadership, however, is the development of people and of providing a vision. Helping them grow so the organization can grow, too. When you lead by serving the people you work with, they really do end up helping you beyond what you'd even expect.
Develop - To help employees grow you have to cultivate them. That's not implementing required training programs or forced meetings. It involves taking the time to actually get to know who you work with and helping them learn how to improve and develop their talents and skills and manage their weaknesses. Whether that's in the current position and business or they're leaving to go somewhere that is a better suit. When you build that strong bond, they may even recommend someone better to replace them.
Protect - As a leader, you have to protect those you trust and are part of the project or organization for the right reasons. That could mean teaching them “combat” so they know how to confront or defend in the most tactful way using proper communication techniques when friction happens. While leading, you may also have to protect your team or those you trust and at the same time serving those trying to accomplish their task on the opposing side as well. Confrontation is not a reason to become timid, but to change tactics and communication style so both parties can collaborate and achieve goals.
Honesty - Along with trust, you have to be able to share yourself to support one another. Nothing forced, but to have the opportunity to actually state what is on your mind and, if needed, what is going on in your life. There should be strong communication and feedback going both ways. When you have the trust to do that to help each other grow and the organization, you’re able to achieve a stronger unit.
Mistakes - They happen! You might as well make them while doing something you like and a goal you’re trying to achieve together. You have to understand that a person isn’t doing them to purposefully cause problems, but perhaps doesn’t understand why something could be a mistake or not the right way and needs to learn how. That’s how they grow in their position and into a new one.
Passion - People either have it at their job or they don’t. If they don’t, find out why. I have no problem asking people why they may not love their job. If it can be fixed then it gets changed, if it can’t I help remedy the situation or understand what they really want and help them achieve that. Even if it means them getting a different job they’d prefer. They get what they want and I get to help onboard someone that is energized to help. There is no problem with people coming and going from an organization.
You aren't special, but if people who support and respect you happen to find you to be special. That's a different story.
Don't get caught in the trap of being satisfied (or drained), from people coming to you with their problems. I don't take on others problems, I teach them how to manage theirs and excel at what they do.
What are your goals? Is it:
- + Money
- + College education
- + Living on a tropical island
- + Visiting every country
- + Dreamy Job
The traditional concept of achieving goals was created decades ago. Those old ways are well on their way to fizzling out and it’s pretty clear.
- + Colleges are declining and becoming more expensive
- + More students are getting degrees and acquiring more debt than ever before
- + At the same time, the middle class is depleting and more people are becoming poor
Seriously, more people are becoming poor and it’s because they’re operating off old beliefs and trying to work within a decaying system of how to work. It’s not time to be a victim, ask for a handout or blame the 1% or someone else. You can do that, but if you’re not where you want to be, don’t expect any changes. You need to make those changes. In fact, you need to look at yourself and ask - “am I falling victim to my own beliefs?”
Where do you fall in the mix?
Are you trying to fight an old fight working your way to the top at the expense of your dreams and becoming poor? Ironic, I know.
Are you willing to bend your mind and the way you view the world so you can actually be happy or are you so stubborn you’re willing to stay stuck?
I may focus on helping people bring their goals to life, but the way I do it is not a traditional approach. Just look at the testimonials on my site, you’ll see.
Being poor is not just about the money, but it’s about your mentality and the way you live your life.
As such, being rich is not just about the money either, but the way you think and lead your life.
These changes go deep and I’m going to let the person who explains it best do so. This is the article that made me aware of how many people are not aware.
- + Plan it out - When you know what to expect, it doesn’t make what you're doing as exciting.
- + Look at the time - You end up feeling rushed or trapped forever.
- + Check-in online too often - You’ll miss the whole world around you as it's happening. You are the leader of your life and are not to be dictated by the messages of others. You are living your life, not theirs.
- + Worry - You are the conductor of life: you can either change what’s causing anxiousness or you cannot. In that respective order, take action or let go.
- + Become attached - What is in your control now may not be in your control in a split second. Enjoy what you have while you have it: you need no more.
- + Overlook the familiar - There’s a reason why you’ve kept it in your life.
- + Seclude yourself - Balance time both alone and with others.
- + Be open to new experiences - That’s where your vibrant energy comes from.
- + Live in the moment - This way you can enjoy the thrill of where you’re at.
- + Let go - You cannot dictate the future. The past is gone and there is only right now.
- + Have gratitude - Be thankful for what you have today, not what you’re expecting tomorrow.
- + Explore what you know - There’s something special about the essence of what once had us in awe.
- + Share adventures with others - It makes the experience even more special and memorable.
When it comes to being high, I’m simply talking about living this thing called life. Nothing more and nothing less.
If you spend all your time working towards your goals and dreams, where's the excitement? You have to live life while creating what you want. Endlessly looking to the future causes you to miss the present and the opportunity to create something even more perfect. And when you are striving towards a goal, immerse yourself within it.
Go live and fill yourself up with the high of life. Really breathe it in.
What’s one thing you’re going to focus on this week? One decision and one action is all it takes to make a difference.
What happened after I shared MY STORY the other week was beyond what I could even imagine. To be honest, I had NO idea what to expect. I had some major butterflies fluttering around and I found myself quadruple checking everything to make sure I didn’t mess up something before I hit “send.” That, and I wouldn’t make a fool of myself!
Some pretty wild effects happen when you’re completely authentic and put your life out on the table, saying, “take it or leave it: this is who I am.”
The amount of people that personally wrote me, commented on my post, and shared their stories with me was exhilarating. Pouring out their hearts to me, telling me how they once had some (or all) of those feelings. And a fair amount still do! Others reached out, just to tell me how much they cared.
It made me realize that a wise man was right when he told me:
“There is no such thing as love unless you show it. You may feel it,
but it does not exist until the other person experiences it.”
Do you ever hear a phrase and it sounds warm and fluffy, but it doesn’t really hit you until you can directly relate? I think those responses pouring in are what made me realize that you cannot simply think something and expect another person to know it, as much as we wish that were possible.
Do you have a friend, lover, family member, or some other individual that means a lot to you? Show them, tell them, or do something for them in the best way you can. Trying to make something bigger than it needs to be is what hinders us. Try keeping is simple:
- + Tell your friend you love them.
- + Write a card for someone you care about.
- + Say “hi” during the day!
- + Let a person know you were thinking about them.
- + Grab some lunch.
- + Give them a hug.
It’s your actions that matter: your thoughts can only bring you up so many steps. You’ll never make it to the next floor if you’re waiting halfway up the stairs.
When you share yourself, somehow others begin to feel comfortable doing the same thing. If not with everyone, at least with yourself.
And if someone makes fun of you, gives you a hard time, or does anything else that’s inappropriate, they are what is known as an asshole.
“Someone being arrogant, rude, obnoxious, or just a total dickhead....
Sean is the biggest fucking asshole I've ever met in my life!”
- The very reputable, Urban Dictionary
The best part? You don’t need to even take what they say into consideration.
So whom are you going to reach out to today? What are things you’ve done to show someone you care?
Those feelings, thoughts, and kind words don’t exist until they leave your head and are shared with that person.
If you’re anticipating some inflated piece about why you need to follow your dreams and can somehow be the exception to life’s difficulties because you’re “different,” this isn’t that piece. In case you haven’t noticed, that exception is just about every single person on this planet, trying to convince themselves of a lie to make it through the day.
By trying to achieve your dreamy goals and battling your way through the day like a ninja warrior, you’re causing yourself endless amounts of unnecessary discomfort, stress, unhappiness, depression, and lack of self-worth.
How’s this sound for familiarity?
- + Constantly striving towards your goals, but ending up more disappointed for your lack of progress.
- + Spending more time always working on something for the future rather than actually enjoying where you’re at right now.
- + Always coming up with a reason why you aren’t doing what you love now because it will come in the near future; yet it never arrives.
- + Setting goals for your future self rather than your current self?
That sounds almost as depressing as those starving children commercials, right? It doesn’t have to be.
I hope you’ve taken your Xanax today, because what I’m about to say may make you a little anxious:
You need to kill your dreams and you need to kill them now.
I mean, let’s really take a look at this. What is a dream? Better yet, what are your dreams?
> Probably something along the lines of those “familiarity” points above. A goal you’ve set for yourself, the fairytale ending, or the perfect job perhaps?
Maybe it’s the career you envisioned for yourself out of college or 20 years later. Perhaps the body you wish you had or snappy personality and style that will make you so sophisticated others will be groveling at your feet.
All of those are ideas of perfection.
However, I was once told that perfection doesn’t exist because it can’t be measured – and there’s some truth to that.
So what is perfection, other than your idealistic dreams?
Perfection: The condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. - My friend, Google
What I’m trying to politely (and not so politely) shove in your face is this: don’t get so caught up in your dreams that you get stuck.
When you only focus on those specific dreams and goals, striving to be perfect, you become narrow-minded in the process. You begin to only go after past thoughts, rather than living in the present and letting your goals naturally unfold.
Perfection may not be measurable, but you can feel it.
You can feel the way the sun sets and the moon glows, or how the tide goes in and out.
It’s in the way flowers bloom and seasons change.
The way a mother gives birth or the way you change someone’s life by saying a few words at just the right moment.
It’s even in the way a person follows a dream and falls into something even better than they ever realized existed.
Moving forward, you have to believe in yourself and learn from your decisions. What will unfold for you ends up being so much more than could even be conceived. Because as you move along, you learn more and more about yourself and the world.
This is much better than those preconceived notions and desires you originally catapulted yourself towards – this is much better than your past thoughts.
There is such a thing as perfection, but not in the way you traditionally see it. Those ideal thoughts, dreamy goals, and visions you have are just a few ideas of perfection. Although the ideas rarely turn out exactly as you pictured them, they are what drive you and help you to set the next bar. As you move towards those thoughts, that vision develops and changes in line as you develop. The perfection lies in the process and the connecting of the dots, not in the desired result.
So yes, to trust in connecting those dots is to trust in yourself. When your intentions are clear, the vision will unfold: not always in the way you desire, but in the way that truly works and from the groundwork that you have already laid down.
So kill your dreams, move towards your vision, and let your life unfold. You will be happier, better enjoy where you’re at, and love yourself more. That sounds pretty damn perfect to me!
This is not just a glimpse into my life, but this is me really walking up to the ledge, thinking: “am I really sharing this with everyone?” and “am I about to do this?” The reality is that I am really sharing and I’m nervous as hell. Part of the reason I’m even writing this is to bring to light a men’s coach who has really helped me and many others through his work. In honor of how authentic and loving he is with each and every person he comes in contact with, I thought I would try it for myself.
I’ve always found it amazing how one can look to the past and see the parts that have hurt them the most, see their insecurities, and pinpoint their struggles. I’ve never been one for the past, though; I’ve always found it important to move forward beyond those pain points. Even when you move on, the effects of those personal struggles linger as you evolve.
There are many areas where I see those effects in how I am today – whether it’s a change I’ve made or am trying to make.
+ In middle school I used to have “friends” that would often say they were coming over and would end up ditching me to do something different. This especially hurt me at a young age as it was just a short time after my parents’ divorce. Going through those transitions wasn’t easy: do you know how exciting it is to prepare for people to come visit – snacks, games, movies, trips, and more. Then they don’t show up after everything’s been put together.
> I wonder if that’s why I prefer going to other people’s places? > Maybe that’s why I have amazing and dependable friends now? > Perhaps that’s why when someone needs me I’m there for them?
+ During that stage of having a poor group of “friends,” my thoughts and ideas would often be disregarded or made fun of simply because they were different.
> I think that’s why I sincerely listen to others. > I try to focus on being a “we” person and not and “I” person. > I love even the most outlandish and creative ideas.
+ I’m very perceptive to the feelings of others, so I don’t like when I see people in tough positions and feeling lost or trapped.
> I think that’s why I love to help others and connect them to resources and people, whether it’s for business or something personal. > That’s probably why I love working with college students, helping them find their way. > I’m able to connect with others and I actually feel what they’re going through, even if I haven’t personally.
+ I used to be so shy that I’d turn red even before I said “hi” to a girl, hell even if I saw a girl. And this happened all the way into college
> That’s probably why I had sex much later in life. > That’s why I have had to learn to share myself better with women. > This is most likely why people see me as calm and collective. It’s taken practice!
+ Years ago, I was often told that I had a higher register for my voice and therefore people would perceive me as being gay. That bothered me, mainly because I’m not!
> I used practice vocal techniques to deepen my voice, and I still use them today. > Now I often hear that I have a soothing voice, and people enjoy listening to me talk.
+ I used to be overweight, wear baggy clothes, and really lack self-confidence
> I learned to dance when my parents got divorced to occupy my mind and time since I was often on my own; eventually it helped me get in better shape > Now, I exercise and stretch when I wake up before I go to bed and often walk all 50 blocks of central park when it’s nice out. > As for self-confidence, I developed an entrepreneurial mindset and now live life to the fullest mentality. I am often taking risks to challenge myself, my thoughts, and my habits.
+ A few years ago I fell into a depression for a few months and often thought about suicide. Wondering what it would be like, why people do it, and if it made sense since I was feeling stuck. Sometimes you feel there’s no way out or you’re hesitant to make a change or decision. In fact, you can often get caught in a negative thought loop focusing on all the wrong aspects of your life. When you focus on those negative aspects, it can become a downward spiral. Thankfully, I eventually was able to step out of that.
> I thought, “this is stupid, who would want to live like this? And who wants to be dead?” > What did I learn? If you don’t like where you’re at, change your life. I’d rather make a dramatic change, face a person, and start over than be dead. > A lack of decision making is what causes disharmony in life, negative thought loops, and feeling trapped. If you’re making decisions, even a bad one is temporary and a new decision can be made. Lack of decisions leads to poor decision making.
+ The hardest thing for me to do is share myself with others and I want to so badly, but it feels like there’s a void. In fact, as I’m writing this piece, there are tears welling up in my eyes.
> I’m working on it and Mike Hrostoski’s work and recommendations are the best I’ve found. > I give more hugs now even though it still feels awkward to me. I can only imagine what those receiving them are thinking! > I just want someone that I can share myself with, that they know I care about them and I know they care about me in return. I’ve achieved that with many of my friends, but never intimately with a female. One day.
I’ve been studying Zen Buddhism for about a year now and recently have been going to the Zen Center in New York City more frequently. In fact, I’m at a place where I believe I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
I still wish I could express to people how much I really care about them, but it’s during those times I revert back into the shadows and simply smile or act like I wasn’t paying attention. I know it won’t last forever and I’ve grown considerably compared to where I was at a year ago.
It’s like we are born open and willing to share our true self, get closed up along the way, and then have to decide if we’ll take the steps to reopen who we truly are and share that. Acknowledging both the compliments and the negative remarks from others and learning how to handle those.
You can accept a situation, change a situation, or leave it. You choose!
Mike Hrostoski has helped me learn and discover how to become better at sharing myself with others and creating better relationships. I encourage you to check out this site - if you don’t, I’ll beat you up!
And if you’re interested, I highly recommend this conference because with him, it won’t be anything less than amazing. – Check it out here
If you know someone that feels stuck, share this with them. If you’re feeling stuck, it can get better.
*The link above provided for the conference is an affiliate link, but I wouldn’t even take part if I didn’t approve. If you would prefer the direct link, that can be found here
When you grow up, your parents say that you have to do certain things or they try to give you advice. Most of it doesn’t really click until you begin to go through the experiences yourself. Hopefully we remember what they said (or maybe not). Other times, people give advice and you sort of get what they mean, but then when another person says it, they were able to connect the dots for you somehow. Pow! A surge of lightning hits your brain and it all makes sense. The other week I received an early US copy of Free Range Humans, by Marianne Cantwell. I’ve read so many books on creating your own business and the whole shebang, but something doesn’t always jive with me. I love the materials, which provide great resources and baskets full of goodies. When I picked-up Free Range Humans though, something was different. That past advice began to click, there was something about the way she described and spoke through the pages that completely made sense.
Cantwell directly addresses so many of the pitfalls people come across. She points out that it wasn’t just about what someone should be doing or what the vision should be. She actually provides steps to help counteract what really needed to be tackled - the route there. Forget easier said than done, she helps with both.
In this day and age where we all love everything spoon fed to us, when it comes to entrepreneurial ventures, you can only do so much. Cantwell did just enough, and boy did she do it right.
The chapters are short, but there are plenty of them. You get bursts of information that are extremely useful, but won’t overload what you’re doing
Each chapter has a recap and action steps. I don’t know about you, but I get lost in what I’m reading sometimes. Simple action steps help you start right away instead of having to wait for the next (Insert excuse - paycheck, know how, day off, etc)
The book is a building block. Everything interconnects and teaches you in complete and minimal (but powerful) steps how to be a maven at what you’re doing. Even if that’s figuring out exactly what it is you’re doing. Sometimes we just want to escape where we’re at and Marianne helps you do that.
I’m not ashamed that I get antsy reading, the fact that someone communicates in a way that I jive with, I LOVE. Instead of wondering, take the action and forget the excuses.
Go to store (Amazon?) > Order > Read > Do = Simple Life Change with dramatic results.
Here, I’ll help get you started - Free Range Humans Book
Why do what everyone else wants when you can do your own thing(s) and love it!
A few months ago my grandmother passed away, and on that night I decided to do what any normal person does. Hop on facebook and share my true feelings on death. Let me say, they aren't typical. Before I get right into what I wrote, what's most important is what another reader wrote. Let me say, you never know how what you say or do will change the life of another person. So as you read on this site, take what works for you and move on from what doesn't. Don't be afraid to go back though. Most importantly - share with me how you're feeling and what you enjoy here.
Original Facebook Post:
Last night my grandmother passed away.
Eerily enough though, over the past few years, I have learned that I'm pretty comfortable now with death. Simply viewing it as one state of energy moving into another. (That's some "new agey" shit)
However, I have learned, that's not why people cry and have so many mixed emotions seeping out of them. In fact, death is pretty natural and we all know it's coming. That's why I'm always striving to create great experiences for myself and others. It's why I love to write - for others.
So why do we have such a bag of emotions? - CHANGE. Oddly, we love change. What we don't love, is being changed. When someone leaves us, we don't know what we'll do with that extra time or space, who to have those types of conversations with, be treated in the way only that person treated us, or have that connection that was shared and so special. In fact, that change can come through as fear.
Instead of trying to face fear or run away from it, become friends with fear. When you can do that, life never looked so beautiful, savoring every moment.
What we so often forget, is those special conversations and moments we've had with someone. The fact they've had such an impact on our life. They've become a part of us. Maybe it's in the way we talk, favorite topics, food we eat, or even the colors we love. Everything about us comes from something else.
So Remember - That person who has left you behind, a piece of them is still with you until it's your time. The time where you leave a piece of yourself behind as well. Those days you spend sputtering around on your phone or not accomplishing the things you truly want to in life, that's what really needs to change. When you impact others and create, you're passing those pieces of yourself and the others before you on. Our names eventually forgotten, but our impact still alive.
Before you give-up on your goal or decide your life is worthless, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
In our quest of purpose, goal achievement, adventure, or even plain old happiness we can get lost. It’s like we were going from our house to a good friend’s down the street and in between during out daydreaming we realize we’ve entered the wilderness. No idea where we are!
It’s that shattering moment in the pit of your stomach of nervousness and frustration on our mind. We thought it was all planned out, had the right steps, and here we are at who knows where.
You know? You want to pull your hair out and just say WTF!
So that’s why I’m here to remind you. That getting lost thing, happens more than you realize.
When you’re in the wilderness, lost, and looking for help. You aren’t the first and most certainly won’t be the last. To keep yourself grounded, remember this about yourself
- + You’re searching for an answer and reading this post, it’s all a part of the process
- + Just because your lost, doesn’t mean you’ve disappeared. It just means you need to understand where you’re currently at. Don’t just retreat.
- + It’s been proven that when most people feel lost and turnaround or give-up, that’s when the next achievement is right around the corner. Most people just don’t realize it. The successful continue to push forward even though they can’t see the full staircase.
- + Trust yourself. The fact that you’re thinking about this and trying to find the answers means that you’re on track.
I’ll admit that at times I felt lost with this site in the beginning . I got messages from people stating how much I’ve helped them and interest has increased on the daily insights page, but in my quest to achieve more and help others I reach the point where I seem to be right in the heart of the wilderness.
Although I have continued to move forward, I could settle and know exactly where I’m at and what to expect. That wouldn’t be staying true to myself though. So when I feel lost and am trying to figure out how to achieve what I really want I have to remember: Although I’m exploring, sometimes I need to gain a little ground and then regain my foundations, and repeat. Continuing to focus on the core of this site.
Helping people wake-up from how they’ve been taught to live, and do it in a way they truly believe in.
“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now. And when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
- Masaru Emoto
“Good judgment comes from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
- Will Rogers
As we grow up, whether we’re 15 or 35 or 55, the Will Rogers line directly above still applies. There will be many times that we have bad judgment, but then learn from those experiences. However, most people don’t ever brush over what they’re getting out of those experiences. Sure, we use what we learn in other situations down the road (hopefully), but when you’re using what you’ve learned do you think about whether it’s relevant?
Just because you learned a lesson from one experience doesn’t mean it applies to all situations in directly the same way. For instance --
- + Someone being “walked over” because they were afraid to speak-up or be more assertive. They often walk away hurt and feel like people are trying to take control of them. They start trying to control situations and being stubborn. What they really need to learn is simply when it’s appropriate to confidently voice their opinion and when to go with the flow and how to do it tactfully. Not everyone is “out to get them”
- + A parent talking about how they were raised and therefore raising their child in the exact same way. Or kids talking about what their parents do differently and it’s like a little competition. What people forget is that every child is different. You don’t get chocolate chip cookies out of the recipe for peanut butter ones. Even then you’re most likely going to adjust it a bit to make it more to your liking. That’s why there’s more than one recipe for chocolate chip cookies!
- + When a new employee starts where you work, they are going to be on a thin line. If they were going to do everything the same as their old job, then they would have stayed at the same company. They aren’t though; this is new. Each unique situation requires a different response. A person from Microsoft would not do things the same way at Apple and vice versa. Each culture is different, just as each situation is. Sure, their knowledge will be there, but the way in which they utilize that knowledge is very different.
Although we can learn from our experience, we have to remember (and realize) when it’s appropriate to transcend what we learned into other life moments. Don’t let permanent changes take control. What do I mean by that?
“There must be a happy medium somewhere between
being totally informed and blissfully unaware.”
- Doug Larson
Simply because we learned a lesson or were hurt or overjoyed by a specific experience doesn’t mean we’re going to need to apply what we learned for the future in the exact same way, or that we’re going to feel the same way in a similar situation. Everything is a learning experience, but every experience is not exactly the same. Therefore, be aware of every situation you’re in and adjust accordingly.
Remember - Apply your wisdom wisely, not as an end all, be all. There’s always a learning opportunity!
I’m going to step out on a limb here and assume this has happened to you, or you’ll at least relate to it in some fashion. When I went on my recent trip to the west coast I had an amazing time. I returned refreshed and invigorated, full of fresh new ideas, and I was feeling on top of the world (minus the jet lag). I truly noticed a huge difference in myself, even with my usual routines and the changes I was making. Then something happened - the workweek!
I swear, that is the ultimate thorn in a person’s side. I mean, I enjoy my job, but I think there’s more to it for everyone. Not just the workweek itself, but you’re getting back into how things were done before, and it doesn’t make any sense. We left to go on our dream vacation and came back revived, yet we return to do the same things again. I guess it’s that Einstein quote on insanity...
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The point is that I, and I’m going to include you, need to do something different! That’s why we read these posts, love the daily insights, and really try to get our mind in the right place. Awesome! But we’re missing the rest of the puzzle. The silly part is it’s not even that difficult to figure out what goes together, it’s figuring out how to change the areas of your life that really need changing. We know what we need to do, but it’s actually how to do it.
We go on vacations, to conferences, take a trip, and have new experiences. You turn over a new leaf and then you come back. So how do you maintain that goodness? Not just through reading and absorbing, but truly changing your life. That means you need to change what you’re doing. I need to change what I’m doing. EX - You can think of being as healthy as you want, but if you don’t exercise and change what you’re eating you aren’t going to be in shape.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” - Buddha
First and most importantly - What changes do you really want? Without direction you’ll stay lost forever. How do you know what to be happy about if you have no idea what your moving towards?
I’ve also provided this solution before. This is the formula I use:
"What works and what doesn’t? Get rid of what doesn’t and add more of what does."
This can be applied to your overall life, a specific setting like school or work, or to a facet like your relationships. Most of the time I start with a specific scenario or setting and make sure I’m doing my best to make it work. Sometimes it’s just one minor thing that throws everything off, so when you go through the process lots of changes can begin to happen. That’s why I always say first - Try and learn to be happy where you are in order to move to where you want to be. However, some are a lost cause and I remove them completely - ending a relationship, changing jobs etc.
When you go to make these changes there will be three groups that you are most likely going to interact with - Friends, coworkers, and family. Let’s be honest here, it will be awesome when they support you. The real thing you’re worried about is when they don’t, and call you out. I call that Combat. I’m no expert, but here’s some thoughts on how to deal with it.
As for friends and family that’s where you will probably get the most flack for your changes. It’s not that people don’t like change, in fact they freakin’ love it - that’s why they’re always buying the latest product. What people don’t like is being changed, and when you change what you do they get nervous and wonder what’s going to happen. Are you still going to be their friend, have your movie nights, or in what way are you going to play a role in their life? They love you, that’s why they can present such a challenge, but you also have to do what’s best for you.
So what exactly are you combating when it comes to friends and family?
People will come out of the woodwork as naysayers, or you’ll have people asking you a billion questions to try and make you feel like you’re wrong. Perhaps they just want to feel like they’re right. I could provide some tips for arguing, and you could answer them and try to stick up for yourself, but you know you’re not really convincing them. As well intentioned as they may be, we don’t always have all the answers we need, and sometimes we don’t even have a plan lined up at the moment. We just know we want something different. So how do you respond?
Honestly, I ignore them. Yes, I can be stubborn, but if you never try you’ll never know. If people really get on my nerves this is what I say(Although I think you should start with this instead of waiting like I usually do):
“I really appreciate your concern but I’d appreciate it if we didn’t talk about this anymore. I know you’re looking out for me, but I’ve already decided I’m doing this. If you have suggestions from your direct experience then I’m all for it, if not then let’s talk about something else.”
*Side Note - Remember that it’s better to go through the momentary awkwardness than live a life of what could have been.
Remember that - Direct experience. You either have supportive people in your life or you don’t. Get advice from people who have done it before. If they haven’t, do they really know what they’re talking about? This reminds me of the scene from Thank You For Smoking at around 1:02 when he asks about the girls mother. If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out. You’ll definitely learn some tricks! Check this clip out.
Update: Link no longer works, but you should definitely watch the movie.
So how do you deal with coworkers?
The question is - what are you dealing with at work? Are you changing careers, your processes, etc? There really is no one way I deal with coworkers. You know whether you’re leaving your job or trying to get people on board to an idea. My suggestion is, if you’re trying to get people on board, start with why. Not the results you’re trying to achieve, but why you’re trying to achieve it. That’s the real way to gain support. It will help you realize who’s on the same page. If you’re just changing the way you do things personally at work, stay with it. It can take awhile trying to find a new groove, but trial and error is really key. Don’t resort back to an old way just because it's comfortable, use the formula I provided and move forward!
When it comes to changing your daily routines or processes at work. We try to do so much at once that when we make a mistake or get stressed we revert right back. So there are two options: go all in or gradually make a transition. Write down your goals/changes so you can remember them down the line. Here’s a post that speaks more to this occurrence http://www.thechangeblog.com/firm-limits/
Move forward with confidence. Now we have to be honest, that’s not moving confidently forward, knowing exactly what to expect. What I really mean is you need to be able to trust yourself and believe in yourself so that when you don’t know the outcome you can still move forward confidently. The picture is rarely ever clear, but as a wise man would say....
“I have learned, that if one advances confidently
in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
- Henry David Thoreau
I’m finding that to be so true lately! So what are you moving towards, or what great experiences are you coming back from?
Have Fun In Combat and Changing, let me know the results!
“We inevitably doom our children to failure and frustration
when we try to set their goals for them.”
- Dr. Jess Lair
That’s pretty spot on! In fact, I would like to take it further and say that it not only applies to children, but everyone. No matter who you are, if someone tries to set goals for you or you try to set them for someone else, you are essentially leading them to failure and frustration.
You may have the best of intentions, base your advice on your past experience(s), or have connections to help someone do better than they currently are. When you get down to the basics of it, it’s like when you were little playing games. The square block goes into the square hole, the triangle into the triangle, and the circle into the circle. Any other way would have created frustration and failure, and that’s exactly what happens to everyone, including myself.
In this world as we’re trying to find our shape and discover where we go there’s people trying to “help” us, but many of these people make us feel like we’re wrong or they’re so opinionated and confident in themselves that we feel like they’re right. (I wish they had a warning label!) Eventually, we simply stop discovering and start listening. We really do believe them. I have this crazy idea though - when you explore, you discover!
The introvert is an entertainer - Michael Jackson
The quiet slender old man is a jolly writer - Dr. Seuss
Continue to explore and discover what’s best for you. Believe it or not, everyone else isn’t always right. They may have some great ideas to listen to, but they’re exactly that - ideas. Take them as that! They are not facts set in stone, or instructions handed down from the heavens. You did not come with a manual or directions for how to live your life (I’m still working on those - coming soon...)
Don’t get me wrong though, we all could use some good lessons from others. These lessons are often about how things run at work or in the world, not really on life itself. All of them are manmade. As we all know, almost everything manmade has a very short lifespan. Much of the time having multiple problems.
So, although this post is to encourage you all to explore and discover instead of getting caught up in others doing it for you. Remember - just as this applies to you, don’t do it to others. You may have a vast array of experiences, strong thoughts, and the urge to help others. All in all that’s great, but utilize them tactfully when helping others and don’t make them feel pressured. Yes it’s true, sometimes, even older people still listen to their friends or others they respect. It’s human nature. Just don’t take advantage of that in the wrong ways.
Amazingly, most of the time when people come for advice all they’re really looking for is someone to listen and support them, even if you disagree. That’s why we all go around and ask people multiple times until we get the answer we like, right? All to know someone supports us or has been through it before.
With that in mind, do not let someone disagreeing with you deter you. Still listen to what they have to offer though. It’s a fine line, but that’s for another post.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
- Einstein.... Or is it?
“Don’t Believe Everything You Think”
Think about that! I saw it on a bumper sticker a few weeks ago on a bathroom mirror. Ever since, it’s been rolling around in my mind like it’s been paid to do so.
I once thought that Santa really snuck down my chimney to deliver tons of gifts to me because I was that awesome; and that my teeth were actually worth money and a fairy collected them. For that, I wanted to find the man and ask him for more! More! More! Why not? I baked him cookies and cleaned my room in exchange. For the fairy, I tried taking out my teeth so I could get more money. I even made sure they were in mint condition!
The more I think about that now I realize I was wrong on so many fronts, all because someone gave me the wrong information. There was, and is, no man going down chimneys because everyone is awesome. If there was, he must certainly be suffering from obesity and chimneys would not be an option; I don’t care how strong his magic is. As for the one going around collecting teeth, the joke was clearly on me. I should have charged more! Teeth are a rare item to be giving away and I was going through pain for a $1?! I will say those tiny treasure chests that the school nurse would provide were very cool though.
So what if you’re operating with the wrong information today? Not because you want to, but because somebody told you the wrong thing or you don’t have all the facts.
- + Is the world flat?
- + Does the sun revolve around the earth?
- + Did Thomas Edison invent the light bulb?
- + If you go to school, get a good education, and get a good job you’ll be fine? (That’s wishful and presumptuous)
All of the above are false. Not true at all! People thought them to be at one time, or perhaps they were true then, but not anymore. Whatever the case, if you believe in something that isn’t doing you any good today, take the time and really think about what you believe and what you’re operating on.
Learning new information is the reason we read books, watch videos, and try to obtain facts in our best interest - Sometimes; this can help us be successful. Remember - over time what we know and once believed changes, so continue to be a lifelong learner.
I hear so many people say “that goes against my values” or “that’s against my beliefs”. Well.... Examine your beliefs! That’s all your values and opinions are, simply beliefs. I have breaking news though - Just because that’s what you believe doesn’t make it right, as much as you would like that to be the case. Sometimes, quite frequently, we’re wrong. So think twice when situations like that come along. Perhaps you are wrong...
How about everything I just wrote? Should you believe that?
“Don’t believe everything you think” (or see!)
“Believe nothing, no matter who says it, even if I say it,
unless it fits your own reasoning and common sense”
- The Buddha
“If they write a biography after you die, will anyone want to read this chapter?”
Every time I read that one line it stops me in my tracks (partially because I can’t read and walk at the same time. I have yet to master that...)
I really do wonder - Would anyone want to read this chapter? I know life isn’t living up to other’s expectations, but the point of it is to make you bring into reality what you’re currently doing.
Is it fulfilling?
Are you following your heart?
Do you wake-up each morning stoked for the day?
(That stuff doesn’t have to happen every day. I’ve had some shitty days myself. But it’s good if the great days outweigh the bad, preferably by a lot)
I wrote this article to help you realize and question - Would I even want to read this chapter of my life?
When it comes down to it we’re all writers of our life, some of us better than others. If you want to continue to improve, now is the time to continue creating and taking those risks. Practice makes perfect, right? (At least that’s what everyone says)
Our first pieces are often rough drafts: this holds true whether we’re writers trying to write the next great novel, musicians attempting to get that catchy tune or chefs flipping an omelet so it doesn’t crumble! Our first tries are usually, almost always, hideous and far from a masterpiece). We have to edit what we’ve created and sometimes throw out what we’ve done and start from scratch. You know! Those twists and turns in life, rerouting of the GPS, spontaneous adventures, and the quitting of the secure job on a whim (Although we know that crap has been simmering in your mind FOREVER. It’s just come to a boil.)
Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but don’t be afraid to begin again or make changes. When you realize you’re not where you would like to be in life, rewrite/edit. Otherwise, throw it all out and start from scratch. Remember that making your dreams come true takes time; your story is not written in a day. But without any work, you’ll end up with a very boring life and piece of “art” (or POS - Piece of Shit)
So if your life were a book, what would your book be called? What would your current chapter be titled?
Whatever it may be - if you don’t like it, just make those changes like I suggested and the wise people before us have done and even the ones after us. It works!
Another wise one.....
“If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy reading,
Or do things worth the writing.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Someone once asked me “what about people that want to live a quiet life?”
I think you can live a quiet life (Dr. Seuss was an introvert), but you should still live a life worth writing about.
What are you known for or what’s your impact? Are you helping people?
Surely you weren’t put on this earth to be ordinary! We all have something to offer. Even if it’s not changing the world with a huge movement, you can change the world by helping a single person, adding your 2 cents in, or whatever. Just DO SOMETHING and RE-DO if you need to.
REMEMBER - If you don’t like where you’re at in life, or headed, you have the ability to change it. Thinking about it doesn’t get you far, actually change your life.
So what was your reaction when you read that line at the top? Where are you in life?