Charging Into The New Year

ChargingIntoNewYearThe New Year.  It is upon us.  And along with the start of a new year is an opportunity for us to re-start.  To make some changes.  To find some ways to charge into the New Year, with a new approach.  Maybe even a new attitude!

Many people make resolutions around this time.  And most of those resolutions are broken by February.  Gyms are full in January and quiet again in February.  Health foods fly out the doors in January, only to be tossed to make room for cookies and chips in February.

Change is a tall order… unless you have some clarity to your change.  Some simple approach that makes your hopes and dreams a part of your life.

Let’s make a 4 step plan for charging into the New Year.  (And even if you listen to this episode at some other time in the year… guess what?  You can use the exact same 4 steps at any time!)

Start the year right… by making a fresh start!

Listen to the podcast episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Your Word
Gratitude
What You Can Control
Thrive Principles Book
The Immutable Laws of Living Book

MORE Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu

On multiple days each week, my wife and I play a game.  She points to a bruise and asks, “How’d that happen?”

Fair question.  But I don’t have a specific question.  All I can say is, “Rolling at jiu jitsu.”  Yep, my 52 year old body has to tolerate my decision to take up jiu jitsu last January.

A few months after I started going to jiu jitsu, I posted a podcast episode on Lessons I Learned At Jiu Jitsu.

MoreLessonsJiuJitsuWell, here we are, some 11 months later.  And I have learned a few more lessons.

Since I posted the first episode, I have continued going to class throughout the week.  And with continuing to go, I also progressed.  In the Gracie Academy framework, I earned my Combatives Belt back in November.  That means that… well… I am still a white belt.  Just an advanced white belt!

Which means that I am now allowed in the advanced class, the Blue Belt Cycle.

Which meant that everything I had learned up until then was met with a block or defense when I tried it on a higher ranked belt.  It had worked fine before!  But now, I was back to square one.

As I have told a few people, it is kind of like when you are in the last year of middle school.  You think you are “top dog,” and strut around a little, pretending to own that school.  Then, you go to high school.  And you discover you are at the bottom of the ladder.  Back to beginner.  That would be me.  Back to beginner.

Humbling?  A little.  But more of a reminder that progress includes lots of new beginning points.  So now, when I can’t make a move (or more likely, when I get submitted and have to tap), I just have to laugh… then learn.

Listen in to this week’s episode for 4 more life lessons I have (re)learned from jiu jitsu.

RELATED RESOURCES
Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
You Have To Show Up
When Your Ego Trips You Up

Perspective
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living
Book:  Thrive Principles

Why Being Thankful Matters

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days.

For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little “thank you for that gift,” but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life.

Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dog, Ziggy, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude.

Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up.

But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.

How about you?

Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain… away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain… just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful.

Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings!

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Gratitude & Appreciation
Two Targets To Thrive
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From Heartbreak To Wholeness: Kristine Carlson

Kristine Carlson, Author of From Heartbreak to Wholeness

What do you do when you think your life is right where you want it… and then it all falls apart?

That’s what happened to Kristine Carlson.  Her husband, Richard, was traveling the world and sharing his message of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.  Kristine was doing some writing in the series and raising their teen girls.

As his plane was descending, on the way to yet another presentation, Richard suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.  He was 45.

Kristine was left with life without her soulmate, and with the mantel of her husband’s message.

What did Kristine do?  She grieved.  She questioned her life.  She questioned “why?” and “what now?”  And then, she found a path through the grief.  She found herself on what Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey.”

And here is what Kristine realized:  we ALL suffer losses.  We ALL have struggles.  And we ALL have to make a choice about the path we choose.

Many of us want to take that same journey, that path to our Hero-ness… but we don’t know how.

So, Kris decided to share her journey in her new book, From Heartbreak To Wholeness.

And I had the joy of having Kristine on my podcast for this second time, to discuss the journey.  And to discuss how this is everyone’s journey.  How do we choose Hero over Victim?  Listen in as Kris and I discuss this important journey.

RELATED RESOURCES
My First Interview With Kristine
From Heartbreak To Wholeness Website
Kristine’s Blog and Website

The Happiness Trap

TheHappinessTrapHave you noticed how many books there are in the bookstore on how to be happy?

Which raises the question on why, in a recent poll, only 1/3rd of Americans claimed to be happy.

We have fallen into the “happiness trap,” chasing after happiness as if that is the goal of life.

It isn’t.

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing lots of interviews in lots of places about my new book, The Immutable Laws of Living.  In just about every interview, they ask me about the Immutable Law, “It isn’t about happiness.”  Some have even asked how that can be so, since the forefathers of the United States noted the right of “pursuit of happiness.”

First, their concept of happiness was far deeper than our current definition of a feeling of elation — usually about something that “happens.”  But second, pursuit is different than having.

When we chase happiness, it stays just out of reach.  Keeping us trapped in the chase… trying to find the next thing that will finally do it… only to find that it fails, too.

What’s the answer?

Listen to this episode to find the way out of the trap.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It’s Not About Happiness
Chasing Happiness Chases It Away
“I’m Just Not Happy”
Dealing With Down Days
The Immutable Laws of Living

Surviving To Thriving

FromSurvivingToThrivingWe always start at survival.  You have to survive to do anything else.  Surviving is based in dealing with scarcity and threats.

Sometimes, people get stuck in survival mode… whether it is necessary or not.  For most people, survival mode is less a necessity and more a habit.

Then, we live.  Living is about finding comfort.  People to support you, work to do, things to enjoy.  And for many people, this is the stage that feels like success.  The paycheck and opportunity gives enough comfort to enjoy life.

So, many people get stuck in the live mode.

But then, there is the opportunity to thrive.

Survive >>>> Live >>>>> Thrive

What makes the shift?  Realizing that the living isn’t enough.  There is something more.  Something deeper and more satisfying.  It’s about finding your purpose, finding your deeper meaning, making an impact in the world.

It requires taking on the challenges, looking for the opportunities… growing and stretching.

While surviving is about scarcity, living is about comfort, thriving is about abundance.  It isn’t a change in what is around you, as much as a shift in perspective.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about making the shifts.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning and Purpose
Making An Impact
Building A Thriving Life

Listen To Your Higher Self

Rules For Living Series

Rules for Living:  Listen to your Higher Self

Have you ever had that moment when you were doing something or saying something, and there was that other voice in your head… the one questioning why?  Maybe you already knew you were acting in a way you would not want to, or perhaps you were saying something you knew would be hurtful.  But you found yourself doing or saying it anyway….

Your Higher Self was talking.  Were you listening?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we talk about listening to that Higher Self.  It is far more resilient and wise than that other voice, the Ego, that gets our ear (and our actions) lots of times.

But when we make a shift… to that Higher Self… our lives make a shift, too.  We make better choices, treat others better (along with ourselves), and work from a place of courage.

This week’s Rule?  Listen to your Higher Self.  Listen to this episode for more.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains

Rules for Living Series

The Rules of Living by Lee Baucom

Losses are painful.  No way around it.  They are also normal. Or to say it differently, loss is a normal part of life.  Not an anomalie.  Part of being alive.

And loss leads to grief.  That is our natural reaction to any loss.  Big grief or small grief — that is simply how we process a loss, so that we can re-weave life and continue.

Sometimes, we get caught up in the “unfairness” of a loss, and we get stuck in the grief. In the process, we lose out on life.  We fail to celebrate the gains that also are a part of life.

Think of these three stages throughout your life.  We have a certain orientation to life — we understand what life is about… until something changes — a loss or a gain.  And then, we experience disorientation.  The process of grieving and celebrating brings us to a new orientation — a re-orientation.  Not the same as before.  But not necessarily worse than before.  Just different than before.

So, rule #4 is to grieve your losses and celebrate your gains.  Listen for details below.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future

MORE Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

MoreLessonsLearnedChaplainLast week, I shared some lessons I learned while I was a hospital chaplain at the beginning of my career.

In this episode of the podcast, I share another six. That makes a total of ten lessons. But they only scratch the surface.  My hope is to share some of the bigger lessons that emerged during that time.

Few people spend the kind of time a chaplain gets to spend with people on the edges of life.  Medical staff don’t have the time to spend, as much as they would like to.  Most others are only in those settings in the days of a crisis.

My evening hours gave me time with patients, after the doctors and families had gone home, while the nurses were giving medical care.  I had the chance to sit with people, while they sat with the big questions of life.  I didn’t always have the answers (often didn’t), but I had the time to walk with them as they explored their journeys.

Walking with them taught me the lessons I share today.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons Learned, Part 1
Meaning & Purpose
Impact
Make It Count

Thrive Principles
Immutable Laws

Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

LessonsLearnedChaplainIt was in the early days of my Master’s degree and my clinical training.  I spent a summer working as a chaplain intern.  Then I joined the staff of the hospital as one of the chaplains. I had the evening shift.

Chaplains have a unique position in hospitals.  There to guide the tough times, celebrate the good times, and share in the spiritual journey.  And while I was there as a staff member, every day was a learning experience for me.

In fact, I still look back at many critical moments in my learning about life, about caring for people, and the human struggle — and many happened during just the few years I served as a chaplain.

I thought I might reflect a bit with you about the lessons I learned in my years as a hospital chaplain, just to see if they offer anything for you and your journey.

Listen below for part 1 of 2.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Meaning in Life
Purpose and Impact
Thrive Principles
Immutable Laws of Living