From “What If” To “What Is”

Shift from "What If?" to "What Is."We all can get lost in the Worries and Wishes.  We can lose our lives to “What If?”.

In the process, we lose focus on the present moment.  Instead, we focus on things that may never be, either worriedly or wishingly.

You see, your mind is excellent at scenarios that may play out in the future.  In fact, the scenarios and scenes are probably Oscar-worthy.

When I was sick, years ago, I realized that I could not live in the world of “What If?”  It took all of my energy to live in the world of “What Is”.

And it turns out, that was an important life lesson.

During my illness, of which there were some pretty significant (and deadly) consequences, I often said, “Let’s wait and see.”  When presented with potential effects of the illness, many told to me by well-meaning friends and family, I had to re-state, “Let’s wait and see.”

At least 95% of the “what if’s” never happened.

Isn’t that true with most of life?  Yet, we get caught up in those things down the road.  As Julius Caesar said,

As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can.

And yet, those future scenarios do nothing to prepare us for what is coming our way.  We just pretend it does.  And as Leo Buscaglia reminds us:

Worry never robs tomorrow of sorrow.  It only saps today of its joy.

Let’s make a shift.  Let’s move from “What If?”  Instead, let’s embrace “What Is.”  That is enough for the moment.

The Problem Is Enough
This Moment

The Success Principles with Jack Canfield

Jack CanfieldOne of my favorite authors and experts is Jack Canfield.  My kids grew up with Chicken Soup For The Soul.  I “grew up” with The Success Principles, a book that gave me a plan to shift my mindset.

A while back, I ran into Jack at a conference.  We chatted and committed to an interview.

Today was the day!

Jack and I really got into some important topics.  We talked about being 100% responsible (one of his Principles), and what that means.

One of my favorite principles is the equation, E + R = O (event + response = outcome).  We had a chance to discuss that equation in-depth.  This is a crucial formula for thriving in life.

As we discussed fear, Jack talked about the fact that fear is NOT a stop sign.  It is simply a caution sign.  And then Jack discussed a way to even eliminate that fear (a slight movement away from the “feel the fear and do it anyway” idea from his earlier work).

SuccessPrinciplesCoverIs your life where you want it to be?  If not, please listen in and discover how to start getting there.  Jack gives specific steps to take.

If you want to learn more, go to, or GRAB HIS BOOK right here.

You can find the interview below.

And please share this below, so others can benefit from Jack’s wisdom and advice.

You Are Not THAT Story!

broken plate meme has it all wrongHave you seen this picture in your FB feed or on Twitter?  It crossed my path a number of times.

The first time I saw it, I was immediately uncomfortable.  But it took a little time for me to be clear on why.

There is a point to it:  just because you apologize doesn’t mean everything is okay.

I like that point.

But I worry about going the other way:  if someone hurts you, you are shattered.  With that, I disagree.

Not just a little.

A lot.

I firmly believe that we are all built to heal from hurts.  I firmly believe that encoded within us is the capacity to not just move forward, but to thrive, even when someone deeply wounds us.

We humans are natural story-tellers.  And we all LOVE to tell the “someone done me wrong” stories — thus, 90% of country songs!

And people do, indeed, do us wrong (and we do others wrong).

The problem is not the stories.  It is our attachment to those stories.  When we begin to define ourselves by the stories of what happened to us, we become that story.  It no longer happened TO us, it IS us.

And we get stuck.  We become defined by the story, (almost always, A story).  Then, we are limited.  We stop growing.  We stay attached to the story.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happens with a story, and why we can’t allow ourselves to be caught by the story.


How To End Your Day On A High Note

End your day on a high note.Days have a rhythm.  All day long, it is a huge inhale, trying to get that energy in you and into your efforts.

But at the end of the day, it is a big exhale, a moment of relaxing and calming.

Or more accurately, it should be.

In our natural rhythm, evenings are a time to wind-down, calm down, and move toward rest.

In fact, our ancestors had no choice but to do that.  No lights to keep on.  No screens to watch or video games to play.  No social media to post to.  Just a quiet time to move toward sleep.

Experts tell us that our society is sleep deprived.  And researchers are clear that this impacts work performance, relationships, happiness, health, moods, and a myriad of other factors.

To put it simply, if you are not getting adequate rest, you will struggle to thrive!  Your body, psyche, and relationships will pay the price.

In this podcast, I cover 4 areas of your life that you can shift, so that you have the best chance for getting the best rest.

Join me to end your day on a high note, and start your night ready for rest.

Podcast on Starting Your Day Right


You Feel Your Focus

You feel your focus.What is your focus?

Do you focus on the threats and dangers, the “what’s wrong” of life?

It is seductive.  The “news” surrounds us with stories that can lead you to believe we are in danger at every turn.

The “self-help” world tells us all the things that are “wrong” with us.

And our brain latches on to those messages.  Our brain gets sucked into the fears and threats.

So why do we seem to miss all that is “right,” going well, and good?

The “Amygdala Hijack” is to blame.

Unless we choose our focus, we will become focused on the fearful, the dangerous, the threatening.

And we will miss the beautiful, the hopeful, the meaningful, and the inspirational.

Let’s talk about how you limit your exposure.  Let me tell you about 5 ways to take back your brain and your mind from the Amygdala Hijack.


3 Steps to Ending Fear of Failure

Don't let fear of failure stop you!Have you failed?

Did that failure stop you from moving forward?  Did it get you stuck?

Failure is a part of life.  Ever watched a child learn to walk?  Success only comes after repeated failures.  Yet that same child keeps on trying, until the child gets it right.

What happens in adulthood?  Why does a fear of failing keep us from acting?

When we don’t take action for fear of failing, we have pre-emptively failed.

We have already decided we would fail, so we never even start, guaranteeing we don’t get to where you want to go.

A decade ago, I started a business.  It failed miserably.  And it kept me stuck for awhile.  But one day, I realized there was something else to consider about that failure.  There were some lessons I learned.

Those are lessons I apply every single day.

Let me suggest 3 questions that will help you turn a failure around, and make the failure simply another opportunity.

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3 Things You Are NOT: #61 Thriveology Podcast

You are NOT your thoughts, your experiences, or other's opinions of you.We all have the same question:  “Who am I?”

Today, I want to suggest there are some things we are NOT:

  • We are NOT our thoughts.
  • We are NOT our experiences.
  • We are NOT others’ opinions of us.

Many times, we make the mistake and assume we are our thoughts, our experiences, or others’ opinions.

When that happens, we get stuck.  We limit ourselves.  We become uni-dimensional.

Much of this starts in our thoughts.  So, after I let you know why we are NOT our thoughts, our experiences, or the opinions of others, I focus on what to do with your thoughts.

Do you make the mistake, at least from time to time, with confusing a thought with reality?  Do you sometimes recognize a thought for what it is:  a thought?  How do we do less of the former and more of the latter?

Listen to discover how!

Not My Circus, Not My Monkey

Not my circus, not my monkey.One of my favorite sayings is “Not my circus, not my monkey.”

Evidently, this is a Polish proverb.

Maybe it is because I have an affinity to monkeys, but I love the meaning of that.

Am I caught up trying to deal with someone else’s circus or monkey?  Am I trying to deal with an issue over which I have no control, and maybe not even a stake?

We do that.

Friends are fighting, and we get in the middle.  Family members are angry with each other, and we intervene.  Office squabbles (in which we have no stake) pull us in.  We make the circus our own, try to take over that monkey.

I don't have a dog in that fight.When I was growing up, we had another saying:  “I don’t have a dog in that fight.”

Something is happening around us, and we involve ourselves.

But if we involve ourselves when it is not our issue, not our fight, and has little bearing on our own lives, we usually end up on the losing side.

Communication theorists talk about this as creating a triangle.  The reason for the triangle is an attempt to lower the level of conflict.  It is an attempt to stabilize the situation.  But instead of stabilizing, it only serves to destabilize, pull energy, and entrap bystanders.

We can thank our ancient ancestors for this tendency.  But it is up to us to not pretend we have a dog in the fight.  It is up to us to remember it is someone else’s circus, someone else’s monkey.

Learn how to distinguish your involvement in this podcast.  Listen below.

You’re Going To Be Alright

Everything will be okay in the end.  If it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.
- John Lennon

You are going to be alright.I don’t know what is happening in your life.

Only this:  we can always continue to grow and thrive, no matter what is going on.

How do I know?  Life is that way.  We all have difficulties and struggles.  The illusion that we should not have difficulties — we have to give that up.

Sometimes, it takes awhile to get back to “normal.”  Sometimes, we have to learn a “new normal.”  Many times, it is a “wake up call.”  Time to change!

In today’s podcast, I offer 5 ways to be alright — a better alright — when life throws a curve.

Learn how to be alright, so you can be alright, no matter what life throws your way!

Take A Leap!

Take a leap!I thought we were doing well.  The conference was going well.  I thought the participants were happy.

But sometimes, you can tell by the expression. . . .

I saw her headed toward me, red-faced and determined.  I turned to face her, and with a big grin, asked, “How can I help you?”

She stuck her finger in my face and proclaimed, “YOU CAN GO TAKE A LEAP!”

With that, she turned and stormed out.

For a few moments, I was in shock, not quite sure what to do with that.

Then, I decided that maybe it was good advice.  I should take some leaps!  We should ALL take some leaps!  Take some risks,  push our comfort zones, grow, stretch.


We think fear is our friend.  We listen to fear.  Whenever we feel fear, we are tempted to believe we should stop, retreat, and be safe.

Too often, we believe fear is an Avoidance Detector.  I believe it is an Importance Detector.

Fear points out when something is important.  Maybe we need to be careful and avoid it.  But maybe we need to pursue it, because it is important.

Whenever we feel fear, it is telling us something is important.  What we do with that is up to us.

Today, I explore how to make fear your Importance Detector.