The Tragedy We are Living that We are Blind To

I had this great epiphany while peeling carrots yesterday; yes, carrots. When you are open for change and growth in your life, even carrots can coach you! You need a little background first, however. My family has gotten very healthy since February. Together, we have lost almost 150 pounds, 62 of those are mine. We have stopped eating processed food and have embraced a nutritional cleansing program that is LITERALLY changing our lives. We feel and look amazing. We have so much energy and feel so vital that our once chaotic life has fallen into a routine… a FAST routine, but still a routine. We are, like most families: busy. Busy, Busy. BUSY. It was only when I was peeling those carrots yesterday that it occurred to me how much “busy” is costing us… and not just my one family, but what “busy” is costing us as a nation.

When is the last time you peeled a carrot? I bet it has been a VERY long time. You know why? Because we all buy baby carrots now. They are cute. They are fast. They are easy. They don’t make a messy pile of peels and junk up your kitchen. You can just reach in the fridge and grab a handful and go. It is SO great. We are SO smart. And we are SO healthy and prepared, aren’t we?  NO! We are not. We are BS-ing ourselves. Baby carrots are HORRIBLE for you. They are just REAL carrots, cut into little uniform pieces and shaped pretty. They are soaked in chlorine bleach and then served up to you wet, in a bag. Gross.

Baby carrots are the perfect metaphor for most of our lives: they are cute with their little, perfect, rounded corners and their grab-and-go ease, and we are tricking ourselves into thinking we are making a healthy, educated choice. When, in REALITY, we are opting for a fast, toxic substitute to the REAL thing that only makes us LOOK and FEEL like we are doing well. There is no such thing as a “baby” carrot. They are not even real!

This is OUR life, America. We are constantly opting for a cheap, toxic substitute because we are unwilling to stop our frenetic lives for a moment and do the heavy lifting. And, really, the heavy lifting isn’t even that heavy! Do you know how long it takes to peel a carrot? THREE SECONDS. I timed it. For three seconds, we are willing to sell out our health and ingest toxins, just so we can check off the next thing on our to-do list THREE SECONDS sooner.

“We are a mess and we are sacrificing quality for quantity every, single day.”

And it’s not just the carrots, trust me. Look at YOUR life. Our schedules are over-filled to that point that our priorities are upside down. We have no time for family dinners, game nights or REAL conversations. We replaced these things with tv dinners, fast food, television and texting. We fill our lives with clubs, sports, kids’ activities and technology and we are become zombies in the midst of this one amazing life we have been given. Look at who we are becoming as a country–from rampant obesity, to presidential candidates that are corrupt cartoon characters. We spew mean things anonymously all over the internet instead of creating teams and real solutions to solve global problems. We’d rather inhale a drive thru crap burger in the front seat while we continue on to our next agenda item, than STOP, plan, connect and nurture. We are a mess and we are sacrificing quality for quantity every, single day.

I have a challenge for you this week: STOP BEING BUSY. Literally, sit down and cancel all that stuff you are running to and from after work. Unless your kid is a soccer prodigy, one week of missed practices won’t hurt her. SLOW DOWN. Breathe. Re-connect. Peel REAL carrots.

You are asleep at the wheel of your life and you are missing it — ALL. OF. IT.

Wake up.

 

 

The Power of Choice

I’ve been wildly successful on a nutritional program I started 10 weeks ago. I have a lot of weight to lose (like 160 lbs. and I’ve lost 40 so far!) I lomediocre or memorableve this program and I often tell people how “easy” it is. However, this really doesn’t tell the whole truth and doesn’t always equip other people to be as successful as I am being. I want you to know that while it’s easy for me, it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle and make imperfect choices sometimes.

I have been addicted to food since I was 6 years old. Someone I trusted would sexually abuse me and then take me to McDonald’s to “heal the wound.” This went on for years and I learned that the more I ate, the better I felt. Food became my drug of choice to push the pain down into a place where I could no longer feel it for awhile.  As an adult I’ve been in therapy, grappled with these issues, gotten mentally healthy and have triumphed over the abuse. However, my relationship to food, almost like a lover, has never changed and I have remained obese for 40 years.

It wasn’t until I tried this program that I began to have power over food. While I have been “awake” to my patterns for decades, I have had little ability to adjust my choices and avoid being controlled by compulsive eating urges. For me, this program has been a game-changer. While I still have cravings, they are muffled. As I make better nutritional choices and feed my body dense superfoods, my body is getting balanced and the cravings no longer have hold on me. I am in charge of my choices rather than being swept up by the food craving like a wave crashing a buoying seashell to shore.

Part of my health transformation is the following: I think it is important to realize that changing the way you eat is a LIFESTYLE, not a diet. It’s about making better choices every day to build the best version of yourself. This truth applies to EVERYTHING in your life you want to change, not just weight loss. It applies to exercise, productivity, nurturing talent… This applies to anything you want in life, that you currently lack.

I’ll give you an example: I haven’t eaten through a drive-thru window for almost 3 months; something I did almost daily before February. Yesterday, I sat in the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken for about 10 minutes considering whether taking a lunch home would be feeding my soul or feeding my demons… yesterday the verdict was demons, so I drove away. Another day, picking up KFC and going on a picnic with my family might result in a different answer. But the fact that I’m AWAKE to my automatic ways of being and consciously choosing is a symptom of transformation.

The point is that SUCCESS is a result of CONSCIOUS decisions you make in your day, moment by moment. And each day, those decisions become habit. And, after weeks, those habits become who you are and how you live. This is not just in relationship to food.

Don’t sell yourself short because you ate popcorn last night. But, in the same breath, don’t give yourself room to eat popcorn today. You are stronger than you think and can do MUCH MORE than you allow yourself. BE STRONG and don’t let food (or whatever YOUR vice is) control you.

Be awake and make sure your NEXT decision always builds a better YOU.

APPLY THIS: What is your biggest vice/bad habit from which you want freedom? In the next 48 hours, notice how it uses you and stop before you do it an consciously CHOOSE whether or not you will continue. Please share in the comments what you discovered.

The App that Saved My Life

Frankly, I hate Twitter.  I don’t really understand it.  I do use it, but I don’t really get it… after all, it’s not like Facebook–now, THAT I understand. On FB, you friend people and discover all sorts of interesting things about their lives.  You see pictures of their kids and their vacations… sometimes even what they’re eating for dinner.  And then, you share the same.  I like that–I UNDERSTAND that.  But to post something amazing, or even slighting interesting, in 140 characters or less… well, that seems impossible to me and, dare I say, irrelevant.

Yet, every guru in social media says that if you want to maximize success, you have to get OVER it.  Evidently, I MUST use Twitter.  So I do, but I’m VERY inconsistent with my tweets and I really don’t know who to “follow,” what to say, etc.  How do you even GET one thousand followers, let alone tens of thousands.  After all, I’m no Nick Jonas or Britney Spears.

feedsumo-twitter_400x400ENTER FeedSumo… my savior. This tool lets me load links to all my great content: my posts, my promos and all of the other people’s posts that I think are really great to share and help my clients move their lives and businesses forward.  And, the great thing about FeedSumo is these posts don’t disappear! They are stored in a library and repeat every 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on how many I’ve loaded.  This way, my great content doesn’t get lost if it’s not widely viewed the first time it goes live.  My followers will get a chance to interact with it again in 90 days. And, if I decide I no longer love the content, I can remove it and load something else into my rotation.

FeedSumo is sheer genius. I have been lucky enough to beta test it for a couple months.  The first month I used it, it boosted my profile visits 1,600% (NOT A TYPO!) and my tweet impressions from 194 to OVER 9,000.  I could hardly believe it!  Now (9/2015) I have over 600 followers and am heading straight up!  And, the craziest part is, believe it or not, I’m actually enjoying interacting with Twitter on a daily basis!

I cannot say enough about this tool.  Check FeedSumo out today and try it for free while it is still in its beta stage: www.FeedSumo.com.

(And, just for the record, this is not my product, I’m not an affiliate trying to sell you something… I get nothing from promoting it except the satisfaction of remedy-ing a headache for you! #GoBeProductive)

 

A Perfect Solution if You Are a Slave to Email

emailI have a past client who is easily one of the most focused and productive human beings on the planet… and this isn’t because of me, it is his “auto-pilot” mode.  Like many of you, his business is fast-paced and full of interruptions.  It began as a one-man family business and has grown into a multi-million dollar organization with a clear, well-respected regional brand.  In the past, there were very few experts on his team. He was constantly a victim of people knocking on his office door, requesting him to solve their issues. We worked hard for several years to reorganize his management structure and empower people to own their departments so he was not always the “go to” guy for every answer.

I recently sent him an email link to an article I thought he’d appreciate and this was the auto-response I received:

Greetings,
Your communication is important to me.  However, due to the nature of my workload, I am currently checking and responding to email once daily at 12:00 P.M. CST.

 If your email is time sensitive please call the office at XXX.  If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is an emergency – it cannot  wait until 12:15 P.M.) please contact me directly at XXX.

If you would prefer an email response below is a list of specific departments and contacts that meet your exact need:
Scheduling Estimates: Sam Smith – sam@anybusiness.com
Scheduling for Installs & Installation Issues: Joe Clark – joe@anybusiness.com
Purchasing: Rick Jones – rick@anybusiness.com

Thank you for understanding this move towards more efficiency and effectiveness.

Sincerely,
Ima Genius

Brilliant!  Just brilliant.  So many of us are slaves to email and we find our days being sucked up by things that can wait.  I always recommend that my clients check email no more than twice a day, but actually having an auto-response that informs people of that is an awesome solution.

Your knee-jerk response might be “Well, that won’t work. My customer will go elsewhere.” FALSE! What actually happens is that your customer respects your priorities and better trusts your follow up. (Though you have to be skilled at keeping your word, following up and being reliable in order to put this in action effectively.) You STRENGTHEN customer relationships because you are trustworthy and reliable.

Setting priorities is the number one failure of most people, not only in business, but also in life.  If we all completed things based on their importance to us, we would be unstoppable result-producers!

CALL TO ACTION: Begin with setting up no more than TWO time blocks on your schedule each day where you will check your email.  This works for personal email as well.  Come back and share below how this increased your productivity.

Monday Motivation 5

Sometimes all you need is a good laugh to start your week and Jimmy Fallon is the guy who does it for me.  #MakeItAGreatWeek #LaughterReducesStress #THEbestMedicine

Monday Motivation 4

We wear busy-ness like a badge of honor.  Really, the sleep you are NOT getting is adding to your failures and your ineffectiveness. Your lack of sleep is a function of you NOT managing your personal resources well.

Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night’s sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture: We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness — and smarter decision-making.

CALL TO ACTION: Make sleep a priority this week–SCHEDULE IT! That’s right, schedule your bedtime and get at least 8 hours of sleep every day this week.  How did it feel?

 

 

 

Monday Motivation 3

Don’t let fear stop you this week. Fear is a liar. This video will be the best nine minutes you spend today:

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciuosly give other people permission to do the same… because we are liberated from our own fear.  Our presence automatically liberates others.”

Fear is a choice. Stop choosing it.

CALL TO ACTION: Take one area in your life where you are stopped by fear. Take ONE STEP past it this week and share below your results.

Monday Motivation 2

Good morning!  This week, let’s focus on pushing ourselves beyond where we would normally stop.  I love this video because it tells us that GETTING stuck is not the problem: STAYING stuck is!  If we believe it, we can BE it and DO it.  Keep growing, keep stretching and keep transforming yourself.

  1. Focus on who you are and what you want. Know your dream.
  2. Align yourself with people who are hungry, unstoppable and unreasonable.
  3. Invest in yourself.
  4. Create an action plan.
  5. Make it happen. It’s not over until you win.

CALL TO ACTION: Don’t be concerned this week about making other people happy.  Do a self inventory.  Where are you in your life? What do you need to change to get where you want to go? How will you start TODAY?

3 Steps to Avoiding Self Sabotage

We have all heard it said that most people are not afraid of failure… rather, we are afraid of success. What will we do if we have enough money? Who will we be without the struggles we are currently facing? How will we know ourselves if we jump over that hurdle we’ve been wrestling with our whole life?  Self sabotage is real. It helps us avoid pushing beyond where we normally stop and keeps us comfortable.

How many times has that little voice in your head stopped you from doing something that you know you REALLY NEEDED to do in order to win at life?  (That voice that just said “what little voice?”) Everyone gets stopped from time to time by that little voice that urges you to remain lazy. However, when this behavior becomes habitual, it turns into self-sabotage.voice in your head

Self sabotage is when you consistently hold yourself back from doing things that will make your life, and your business, better.  You may be choosing it because of fear, not knowing how it will turn out, or simply because it’s hard and you don’t want to.  Self sabotage is the leading cause of failure in business, and in life.  That little voice in your head is NOT your friend; it will have you eating Cheetos and sitting comfortably on the couch for the rest of your life, if you listen.  Sure there was a time in the dinosaur days where that voice had a purpose: it kept us safe and from being breakfast for a T. Rex, but TODAY, for most of us, it has worn out its welcome.

So how do you overcome that voice and its influence?  Here are 3 things you can do EVERY TIME YOU hear “…probably should just forget about that” in your head:

  1. When you hear that little voice, just say “Thanks for sharing!” and move on with the next step of your plan.  The voice isn’t the problem, it’s that we listen to it and follow its advice.
  2. Get clear about who you are and what you want in life. Make sure you have a vision statement; one that you are MADLY passionate about.  Be sure it is posted everywhere–screen saver, framed on your wall, on your phone, etc. If your environment is calling you to be amazing, your little voice will eventually fade away.
  3.  PLAN EVERYTHING! Schedule your days. Have an action plan for achieving your vision and follow it. If you know where you are going and what you are supposed to be doing to get there, self sabotage won’t have room to grow and entangle you.

That little voice in your head is no more than a weatherman commenting on how you feel and YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEELINGS.  Be your vision, be strong and don’t let your “weather” get in your way!

CALL TO ACTION: Choose at least one of the 3 steps and practice it every day this week.  Comment below on how that worked for you!

Monday Motivation 1

Hey result producers! Let’s face it, Mondays are a little hard… especially in the summer.  So, to help give you that little morning motivation you need to set the tone for your day and week, we’re kicking off something new this week.  Every Monday we will post a short video as a “Monday Motivation” to help you get your head in the game.  This week’s focus: life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be happy.  CHOOSE JOY.

Let’s do IT!  Make it a great week! #beAMAZING

CALL TO ACTION: Choose ONE thing in your life you are currently struggling with and EMBRACE its imperfection.  Cause joy in that area for the next 5 days.  Share in the comments how it went.

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