Change Your Algorithms

All around the news, we are hearing about algorithms built into our social media.  It directs what we see and hear. It is how all social media decides what to feed you next.  If you like this video, then you might like this one.  If you know this person, then you may know this person.  If you respond to this ad, then you might respond to this one.  The task?  To keep you on the app or the website.  Because that is the thing about social media:  they want your attention and your time.  

But guess what?  You have algorithms that are running inside of you.  They are your “Personal Algorithms.”  They are your habits that run your daily life.  And they don’t really function that differently than what the tech companies use.

In essence, algorithms are simply If/Then formulas.  “If” this happens, “then” you do this.  In life, they represent your own daily habits and reactions.  The “If” is a trigger.  Something happens.  And when it does, you “then” do something.  If your stomach growls, then you grab a bite to eat.  If you are walking by the cookie jar, then you grab one and eat it.  If the alarm goes off, then you hit the snooze several times.  If/Then.

Those algorithms can keep you stuck or free you up, depending on how you use them.

Michael Balchan, CEO of Heroic.My guest this week is Michael Balchan.  He is the CEO of Heroic.us, an app based approach to thriving more in life.  Listen in as we discuss your habits, your life, your algorithms, and how to be on your own “heroic journey.”

Throughout his adulthood, Michael has been trying to not just “punch the clock,” but to thrive.  And over the years, he immersed himself in learning and executing.  He sought wisdom from others, then worked to apply it into his life.

Along the way, he moved from finance professional to professional coach.  And on that path, he realized his own mission was to help the world to thrive.

On this episode, we talk about ways to thrive, and a new resource to help you thrive.

Listen below.

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Heroic.us
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The Habits Series

Start Here

YouAreHere“Where should I start?”, my client asked.

Lots of times, we want to make changes, we want things to be different.  And sometimes, we want things to be different before we make any changes.

We want a different starting point.

If you’ve ever been at a park or mall, looking at the map to figure out where to go, you might notice that one very important feature, “You Are Here.”  It points to the spot where you are now.

Not where you want to go.  Not where you want to be.

But where you are.

If you are at the mall and see the store you want… on the other side of the mall, you might wish you were standing nearby, near the destination store.  Not all the way across the mall.

But if you are on the other side of the mall, that is where you are.  Navigating to the destination from a closer point — a point where you are NOT — is not likely to be effective.

You start where you are.

And you might just find… it is a pretty good place to start.

Listen to this podcast episode for how to start where you are, and why where you are is a pretty good place to start.

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Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

The Forgive Habit

Build your habit of forgiving, so that you can move forward and thrive!A few weeks ago, a coaching client noted her resistance to forgiving for fear that she would be vulnerable to being hurt.  I told her that was not at all true.  In fact, being alive leaves you open to hurt!

But not forgiving?  It offers no protection.  It does, however, prolong the pain caused by some person or event.

This client was not the only one who told me about her concern of forgiving.  I have heard it over and over through my three decades of counseling and coaching.

Most people have fallen into a habit of hanging on to the hurt, of not forgiving.  They have a habit of UN-forgiving.

Let me suggest that, just like any other habit, you can change this habit.  You can foster a Forgive Habit.  There, you more quickly work toward forgiving the hurts and pains you feel from events and others.  And in the process, you find freedom to move forward with a thriving life.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss The Forgive Habit and how to foster it.

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Why Forgive?
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Calm in Crazy Times

Have you seen the meme that caught my eye?:

I really wish I weren’t living through a major historical event right now!

How to stay calm while the world is in chaos, and while you are living through some “historic times."I feel that!  But here is the thing I am realizing — historic events are happening on a very regular basis.  We aren’t living through the first pandemic (nor will it be the last).  This isn’t the first time we have had political upheaval and polarization (nor will it be the last).  This isn’t the first time an unpredictable war has rocked a nation (and unfortunately, it won’t be the last).

I could go on and on.  But you get the point.  We are living through historic events.  As have others, through every other historic event.

Sometimes, I wonder how future generations will look back on us, what we are going through, and how we went through it.  Will they believe they could have done better?  Will they think we learned anything?  I wonder….

We get caught up in worrying about events all around us.  And that can lead to anxiety, frustration, and inaction.  Nothing changes.

As a client told me years ago, “Its not like I’m not doing anything!  I am worrying!” My client felt like that was doing something.  Indeed, her brain was spinning.  But nothing was changing.  Nothing was happening.

How DO you find calm in these crazy times?  We talk about it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

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Finding Compassion

The Thrive Code

Over the past 7 episodes, we have been building our Thrive Code.  The code to follow that allows us to thrive, and also the code that runs your system, like computer code.  And we are closing in on the finish line!

How to find compassion.  Build your compassion for others and yourself as a path to thriving.We bring the series to an end in this episode. The final piece of the Thrive Code is all about how we feel about others.  Do we see others as “other” or as connected to us?  Do we use compassion or do we objectify?

I have a built in belief that we are born with compassion.  Babies and children have a natural compassionate response to others in pain.  But many times, people are taught to not have a compassionate response.  We are taught beliefs about why others are having problems.  Often, those beliefs are based in blame and condemnation.

It is no surprise, then, that we are living in a compassion crisis.  Both in terms of compassion for others and self-compassion.

Is there a way back?  Yes!  And it starts with understanding exactly what compassion is, where it comes from, why we lose it, and how we can cultivate it.  Learn more in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

Listen below.

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Seek Clarity

The Thrive Code

If you want to thrive in life, seek clarity in what is important and what creates fulfillment for you.Did you ever have one of those Magic 8-Balls when you were growing up?  I never had one, but a friend down the street did.  You were supposed to ask Yes/No questions of the ball, then turn it over and a die would float to the surface, revealing your answer.

For whatever reason, we could spend lots of time asking a question, shaking and flipping the 8-Ball, and study our answer.  Of course, if we didn’t like the answer, we would just shake it again and get another answer.

On a side note, I always wondered why an 8 ball from billiards was ever supposed to be “magical” in answering questions.  I recently read that Brunswick Billiards bought the rights to the toy as some point.  So, no, nothing magical about an 8 ball, except for the billiards company being involved!

Anyway, there was this one answer that always left me frustrated:  Reply hazy, try again.

Naturally, I would.  I’d just shake again and try for another answer.  But I remember this one time… I just kept getting the same answer — Reply hazy, try again.  So, I kept trying again.  And I didn’t get anywhere!

Well, life can be that way.  When things aren’t clear, it can be frustrating and paralyzing.  If we don’t have clarity about some decisions, sometimes we do nothing.

It turns out that having some clarity helps to make life easier. It helps us to thrive.

But, and this is important, seeking clarity is quite a help in thriving.  In fact, when we seek clarity, we tend to find enough of it to move forward.  And sense clarity changes over time, you do have to keep seeking it.  What was clear… what made sense… at one point or stage in life, may no longer make sense at another point.  So, we have to keep seeking clarity — and finding it along the way.

This is the code.  The Thrive Code.

Listen for more about seeking clarity below.

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Be Curious

The Thrive Code

The next part of the thrive code;  being curious.  Why is it important and how does it help you to thrive?  I cover it this episode of the podcast.  Curious?As we continue exploring your thrive code, the next topic is… are you curious?

OK, that is actually the topic:  being curious.

I’ve come to regard curiosity as one of the main paths to thriving.  In fact, in the absence of curiosity, we will have a hard time thriving.

All learning comes from curiosity.

All change comes from curiosity.

New experiences come from curiosity.

And growth comes from curiosity.

I am a curious person.  And I work to stay curious, to build on curiosity.

Learn why curiosity is part of the Thrive Code in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

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Create!

The Thrive Code

Part of the Thrive Code is to CREATE. That is what humans do. And yes, you are creative. Time to embrace it.I must admit, I have said it myself, “I am just not creative.” But that isn’t true. Not for me, and not for you. Perhaps you had some art teacher tell you that at one point. Or perhaps you were looking at the creative work of someone else. And perhaps you aren’t creative in that particular medium (although it may just be you haven’t put effort into that medium).

But you ARE creative. And so am I.

How do I know?

Because we are human. And being human is being creative. We create thoughts all the time. Most of the time, jobs are creative in nature. When we are doing some hobby, it is likely to be creative. Yep, even if it is a sport.

When I am rolling in jiu jitsu, I may think that I am just repeating some move I have learned. But in reality, I am trying to creatively respond to the actions of someone else. They move, and I respond, to which they respond, to which I respond. At every step, it is a creative response.

Or when I am trying to work a problem on the climbing wall, I have to make a creative choice on how I will make it to the top. I have to be creative in the choices I make, positioning I take, and the route I follow.

The fact is, creativity is in our DNA. Humans are probably more creative than any other creature. It only takes a quick look around to see how creative elements surround us with just a quick look around.

One part of the Thrive Code is seeing your creativity, and consciously practicing it. I cover it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  You can listen below.

 

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Lee’s Books

Contribution

The Thrive Code

What are you giving (versus what you are getting)?  And why contributing to leave the world better leads to thriving.When I talk about Thriveology, many people say, “Oh, that is more of that ‘being happy’ stuff, isn’t it?”

My response:  No. Well, not just that.  Sure, being happy is fine.  No need to avoid being happy! But that is only one dimension of life.

It IS the dimension of life that hedonism celebrates and pursues.  If it feels good, do it.  Enjoy life.  Have a good time.  Seek out pleasure and avoid pain.

Except that doesn’t lead much to thriving. It posits your satisfaction with life externally to you.  It is THAT thing that makes you happy, brings you pleasure, makes life worthwhile.

Eudaimonia was the counterpoint in greek thought.  This is the pursuit of life satisfaction by what things mean to you internally. It is how you bring meaning, enjoyment, and satisfaction into your life from within.

And there is a cornerstone of that:  Contribution.  What we GIVE to the world, versus what we GET from the world. Giving versus Taking.

Research has long pointed out the power of giving and contributing to the mental health, wellbeing, meaning/purpose, and satisfaction of people to their lives.  Which is why it is part of The Thrive Code.

Listen below to learn why contribution matters and some principles of doing it.

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Control
Community
Lee’s Books

Community and Connection

The Thrive Code Series

We all need connection and community in our lives. Where is your connection? Where is your community?It’s in our DNA.  We have a need to connect with others, to have connections and relationships.  We express that in close relationships and larger groups.

And unfortunately, lately, we have often allowed tribalism into our connections.  When we slip into our tribal thinking, we work from a place of exclusion.  This leads to a greater illusion of connection.  In reality, that connection is based in being the same as others in the tribe.

Community, on the other hand, allows others to include themselves.  It is not about differences.  Lines are not drawn to separate.  Differences have room for inclusion. And true connection can grow.

Speaking of connection… we need connection in life to thrive.  Those who are caught in isolation suffer, both emotionally and in their health.  It is also deeply wired into our DNA.

Where is YOUR community?

Where is YOUR connection?

Listen to this episode of Thriveology Podcast for why community and connection are so important.

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Challenge:  Thrive Code #1
Control:  Thrive Code #2