The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix

Your Thrive Toolbox

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Thrive Toolbox.Having the right tool can make ALL the difference.  Ever tried to drive a screw with a hammer?  I have.  It didn’t go so well.

A few years back, I was changing out some faucets.  After stripping the skin off my knuckles and muttering a few choice words, I decided there HAD to be a tool that would help me get those faucets loose.

Turns out there was!  Once I had the tool, everything was easier.

The other day, as I was taking my morning walk with Ziggy (my dog), it occurred to me that there were some tools that help you to thrive.  You might need these tools in your “thrive toolbox.”

Some are mindset shifts.  Others are processes.  And others are exercises.  They all help you build toward a thriving life.

This week, we launch into a new series on these Thriving Tools.  What they are.  How to use them.  How they help you to thrive.

Listen below.

The Thrive Principles Simplified

Today is a big day for me.  It is the release date for my new book, Thrive Principles.  This book is near and dear to my heart.  I have lived with it for years, collecting and developing the strategies throughout my career.

The fifteen strategies can help you build a thriving life, regardless of what is going on in your life.  Tough times or easy times, we can all thrive throughout life.

Please check out my new baby at the book’s website RIGHT HERE.

The Thrive Principles SimplifiedSince I have spent a great deal of time thinking about these principles, I have come to understand how intertwined the principles are.  In fact, I have realized that you don’t have to focus on all 15.  Choose a few.  The others will almost naturally come through.

A coaching client challenged me, “Can you boil it down?  Make it stupid-simple.”

So I did.  But I wanted to be clear, “Simple” does not equal “Easy.”  If someone wants an easy way to thrive. . . it doesn’t exist.  In fact, taking the easy way is how many people suffer and stay stuck.

What I discovered in coaching was focusing on two pieces is the core of it all:
1)  Personal Responsibility
2) Meaning/Purpose/Impact Triad

Put your focus there and you thrive.  The other principles serve as clarifying and support strategies.

I cover these two pieces in today’s podcast below.

In the meantime, please CHECK OUT MY NEW BOOK HERE.

Fear or Love; Your Choice!

Immutable Laws of Living Series

You can live in fear and threat or love and appreciation.  Your choice.Have you ever wondered whether your brain controlled your mind or your mind controlled your brain?  Here is the answer:

YES.

Your brain certainly affects your thinking. But your thinking affects your brain. . . and you can CHOOSE where your thoughts dwell.

Brain chemistry is much more complicated.  And we know very little about how that chemistry works, anyway.

What we DO know about the brain is there are three layers.  The most primitive and deepest part of your brain scans the environment for threats — locking you into a fight/flight mode when it is activated.  The next layer is all about emotions.  And the top layer is about thoughts and reason.  We like that part.  But we often forget about the other layers.  Those other layers can keep us stuck, though.

Let’s talk about your brain and your mind.  Let’s discuss how to shift to Love/Appreciation — or you default to Fear/Threat.

Where do you want to spend your time?

(If you missed the earlier parts of the Immutable Laws Of Living Series, the links are below.)
Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges
Life Isn’t About Happiness
A Thought Is A Thought
Every Perspective Is Limited
Change Is Inevitable
People Do The Best They Can
We ALL Have Fears
Life is YOUR Responsibility
“What Is” IS What Is
Control What You Can (Release The Rest)
Forgive To Live
Life Is The NOW
How Do You Spend Your Time?

The KNAC Protocol To Help You Get Unstuck

From the Getting Unstuck Series

Follow the KNAC Protocol to get to true change.You here it all the time: “Knowledge is power.”

Not true.  Knowledge is just information.  Perhaps it is information that is digested and understood.  But it is still information.

For knowledge to be power, something else needs to be applied:  Action.  Action, based on knowledge, then becomes power.

But here’s the hook:  Action that is important is always accompanied by fear.  If there is no fear, it is routine, normal, and just an action.  If you are stuck, you are probably stuck because you know you need to go to the next step, and the next step is scary.

So, you need Courage.  Courage is from the heart, facing fear, and taking action.  It is not action with no fear.  Any action taken, in spite of fear, shows courage.

Together, the KNAC Protocol helps you to guide yourself through change, and helps you to get unstuck.

Listen below to master the KNAC Protocol.

(And here are links to the earlier segments of this series:)
Intro To Getting Unstuck
How You Get Stuck
You Are Not As Stuck As You Think
Give Up Your Goals & Get Unstuck

Loops
Shift Your Perspective
When Fear Has You Stuck
Anchored Or Stuck?

2 Words To Thrive

2 words to help you thrive:  persist and resist.All the way back to the first century, one philosopher suggested 2 simple words to guide a thriving life (he didn’t really call it a thriving life, but that was what he described).  Those 2 words are still crucial for building a thriving life.  And they are 2 words that you can easily practice and build.

Think of each word as representing a muscle.  The more you practice, the stronger it gets.  More than that, think of these 2 words as coordinating muscles.  Kind of like the muscles you use to push and the muscles you use to pull.

In fact, one word is all about pulling something toward you, and the other is all about pushing something(s) away from you.

That first century philosopher?  Epictetus.  The 2 words?  To quote Epictetus, “persist and resist.”  Keep moving through the hardships to get where you want to be (persist) and keep resisting the pleasures that pull you off your path (resist).

Learn how to apply those two words in your own thriving life in this week’s podcast.

4 Steps To Regain Your Focus

4 steps to regaining your focus.About a month ago, you may have made a few resolutions.  Or maybe you didn’t need a resolution.  You already had a direction.  You knew where you were headed.

How’s it going?  Are you on-track??  Focused???  Making progress????

If you aren’t, consider yourself normal.  But before you console yourself too much, you don’t have to stay stuck.

Yes, losing focus is normal.  No, it does not lead you toward a rich and thriving life.  It just protects the status quo.

Stephen Covey notes how the “Important and Urgent” of life usually gets done, because it has to get done.  But the “UnImportant and Urgent” often gets our attention, after the important and urgent.  The “Important and Not Urgent” is where we often lose our focus.  Sometimes, we get lost even in the “UnImportant and Non Urgent,” which is a huge time-suck (think TV, FB, etc., etc., etc.).

Why do we lose focus?  We humans are funny that way, aren’t we?

Here’s the problem:  those “Important but Not Urgent” can suddenly become URGENT.  Health, for example, is important.  But we often don’t pay attention. . . until something bad happens.  THEN it becomes urgent!

Or how about relationships?  A marriage is important.  But until it is a crisis, many people don’t realize it is also urgent.  Then, there is a crisis, and it becomes URGENT.

Let me suggest 4 steps to regaining your focus.  Listen below and regain your focus!

Curiosity And That Cat: Killer or Thriver?

Curiosity did not kill the cat.  It helped the cat to thrive!Does “curiosity kill the cat?”  Hardly.  In fact, that is a mis-quote.

The actual quote is “care killed the cat.”  And that is probably MUCH more accurate these days!

Yet that same phrase about curiosity and death has been used to shut down the curiosity of many children and adults.

Too bad.  I would argue that curiosity is a cornerstone of a thriving life.  It leads us to new and different places.  It pushes us to take on challenges and to learn new things.  It stretches us beyond the current stuck place.

Curiosity is central to thriving MORE in life.  If you have forgotten how to be curious, listen in as we discuss just how important your curiosity can be.

What Thrivers Do To Nurture Spirituality

NurtureSpiritualityWe all know it:  there is an essence deep within.  There is something that calls us to a higher place, a deeper perspective, a need for purpose.

Thrivers know they must nurture and protect their sense of spirituality.  That is the essence within each of us.

When we speak of spirituality, some people get a bit nervous.  Some even react with anger.  Some claim there is nothing there.  Many confuse it with religion.

I believe that this essence within us is quite obvious.  We are drawn toward meaning.  We experience moments of amazement and awe.  We become aware, even briefly, of how each of us are connected to everything else.

Those glimpses, those moments, are experienced by us. . . and then we try to rationalize it or distance from it.  But it is there.  Like it or not, it is there.

People who thrive know this and accept it.  More than that, thrivers work to nurture their spirituality — not their religion, but their spirituality.

Here is why it is important, and how to do it.

 

What Thriving People Know About Thoughts

Thriving people do things differently.  But like success, thriving leaves a trail.  If you want to thrive more, look at what thriving people are doing, and follow their lead!

So, I have isolated 15 things that thriving people do differently.  And each week, we will be examining one of these traits.  Ready to thrive more?

Remember, thriving is not binary:  you are not either thriving or stagnant.  The question is can you thrive more?  Can you move toward a more thriving life, and away from stagnation?

Thriving is not about money, success, good looks, or even being happy all of the time.  It is about growing toward a greater, more fulfilling life.  It is growing into the person you were meant to be.

So, let’s get started.

A thought is a thought.First up, thrivers understand thoughts for what they are:  thoughts.

Listen below to discover what this means, and why it is so important in your life.