5 Lessons from 55 Trips Around the Sun

5 lessons I’ve learned from my 55 years on earth. Another year has passed.  I added a year to when I answer, “How old are you?”  Well, at least in theory.  I am an unreliable narrator for reporting my age.  By accident.  But on a repeated basis.

That said, as I recorded this episode of the podcast, and write these words, I am celebrating 55 trips around the sun (and I complain I don’t get to travel much!).

I’m not sure about claiming wisdom, but I do claim some lessons from those years.  Lessons I keep learning and relearning.  Lessons I must remind myself about.  But lessons that matter to my life.

While there are quite a few, 5 seemed to be appropriate for 55 years.  5 lessons from 55 years on this earth!

I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned!  And I’d love to hear any questions or thoughts you might have about thriving.  But until then, listen in on the 5 lessons I have learned (and keep learning), and let me know if they are lessons you share.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Do Things Happen for a Reason?
We Aren’t Getting Out Alive!
Your Purpose
Thrive Principles Book

What A Year!

Coping with COVID Series

What a year it has been!  The effects of COVID on all of us.What a year!  It was one year ago this week that I was on my last business trip.  I was at an event with my publisher.  Already, we knew COVID was out, and knew it was gaining steam.  Other countries had already gone into lockdown… and the US was on the precipice.

While I was away, my wife and I were coordinating with our adult children, trying to make sure we could get them to our home before travel was locked down.  That weekend, both came home.

We thought it might be a number of weeks.  They were thinking two to three.  I was thinking a month or a bit more.

That ended up being months on end.  They spent more of 2020 in our home than in their own places.

The economy screeched to a halt, trips were canceled, schools were closed.  And our medical system started to strain, faltering under the weight of one illness closing off some areas, while filling others.

It seemed like every day, there was some new shift, new discovery, new point of vulnerability.  And in its wake, we, as a country and a world, strained to cope.  The grief poured out in anger and despair.  Some continued their grief in the world of denial.

And still, the numbers climbed.  Families lost loved ones.  Spouses lost partners.  The world lost citizens.  To the point that we could no longer truly comprehend the numbers.  Some people recalculated by throwing caution to the wind.  Others recalibrated to a life in isolation, hoping that was safe.

One year later.  What a year!

Oh, and it isn’t over!  Although there are plenty of places and people trying to move on, we are still in the midst of a crisis.  While there is a place, in the not-so-distant future, where we get back to a life much more similar to a bit more than a year ago, we aren’t there yet.

And we are also now seeing that the pandemic will not end equally.  It hasn’t impacted citizens equally, and the end will come just as unequally.  But it will come.  How do we get there?  I hope together, and I hope a bit wiser.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I think about the shifts and impacts of this past year.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Coping with COVID Series
Finding or Building Hope
Moving Through Grief

Your Heaven on Earth

It is so easy to get pulled into threats and dangers, mishaps and mistakes.  It is wired into our brain to have a focus on the negative.  Which is too bad.  That means we are more likely to miss the good moments, the highlights of life, in favor of the down moments.  We clearly see the negative, but can miss the positive.

Unless, of course, we nurture a focus on the positive.  Unless we look for those moments of “heaven on earth.”

What are your moments of heaven?

Martin Rutte, Project Heaven On EarthMartin Rutte spent his career helping companies enter into dialogue for transformation.  He led difficult discussions so that company cultures could transform.  Dialogue is a powerful tool of exploration.  Which, unfortunately, is often replaced by debate in our culture.  That is what happens when we stop listening, demanding our own viewpoint.  Martin has worked to shift from the hell of debate to the heaven of dialogue.

And that led him to wonder what we might be able to do to shift our world in a better direction.  So, he started wondering about those moments of heaven people have.  What were the moments?  What was common to those moments?  How might those moments become a more intentional part of life?  What if that process starts expanding those moments for more people?  Might culture and society transform?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, Martin gets me to discuss my moment of heaven on earth… and how I might bring that moment more into my own life.  We discuss the power of three simple questions, the power of dialogue, and the need for cultural transformation right now.  In this moment.  Perhaps a shift to a moment of heaven on earth?

Listen to the episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Project Heaven On Earth Website
Finding Hope or Building Hope
Hope in Difficult Times
Doing Your Part
Your Purpose

You Are Built for Impact
MPI Triad

From the Projects to Ping Pong

Profile in Thriving

Wally Green, world class table tennisHow does a young man from the projects end up playing table tennis in North Korea… on a diplomacy mission?

How he ended up there is not much different than how Wally Green ended up in Germany, becoming a world-class ping pong player, after leaving his gang past behind.

I “met” Wally on a Zoom call with lots of others and knew I needed to have him on Thriveology.  I wanted to talk with him because he had a  handle on thriving.  Not because he was making life look easy.  But because he was taking life on.

As a child, Wally was faced with domestic violence at home and gang violence outside.  Even though he threw himself into sports as an escape, he didn’t escape gang life.  As he noted, it was a matter of survival.

But guess was really saved Wally’s life?  Table tennis.

How did he get there?  Because he broke a stolen pool cue.  And he took out his frustration on someone playing table tennis.  One thing led to another… and there he was in North Korea.

Really, Wally is the one who needs to tell the story.  And he does, as I interview him in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  You can listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Wally Green’s Website
Your Resilience Muscle
Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving?

 

Merry Stressness and Happy Blue Year!

Merry Stress-ness and Happy Holi-daze! Dealing with holiday stress this Christmas season.And just like that, the Holiday season is upon us! All the hustle and bustle. All the events. All the demands… in the midst of a time that you want to be enjoyable, meaningful, and manageable!

Why the stress?

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss the causes of holiday stress. But more importantly, I cover the ways to cope with holiday stress.

Don’t let stress rob you of the deeper meanings and connections of this holiday season.

RELATED RESOURCES
Why We Stress
5 Ways to Shift from Stressful to Restful
Deepening the  Holidays
Book:  Thrive Principles

The Art of Undoing

Erika Gerdes, Authenticity AdvocateHave you ever arrived at that spot in life…the place you were pushing to be…only to look around and realize it was not what you thought it would be?  In fact, it isn’t even what you want?

Maybe that dream job, relationship, or status, really wasn’t the dream, after all.  Even if you worked hard to get there.  Even if you sacrificed to get there.

Do you stay?  Or do you step back and undo?

Market researchers talk about the “sunk cost fallacy.”  A “sunk cost” is the amount you have already paid or invested in something, whether time or resources.  It is already gone.  Already “sunk” (thus the name).  The fallacy part is the tendency for people to keep pushing ahead, sticking with something because of the sunk cost.  You hold onto a stock because you invested in it…even as the price plummets. Instead of leaving a losing game, you stay in because of what you have already lost.

We do it every day.

My guest in this episode is Erika Gerdes.  She dreamed of working at Google.  But the thought was intimidating enough that she never applied.  But she ended up there, anyway, after answering an anonymous Craigs List ad.  And there she stayed for 13 years.

Along the way, though, she discovered that her “dream job” was not fulfilling her dream.  So, she finally left…at the height of her career…and became an Authenticity Advocate.  She found her voice in helping others find their voice, her calling in helping others discover their calling.

What she discovered is that sometimes, you have to UN-do things to do things you want to do.  You have to practice the art of undoing.

We discuss Undoing, Authenticity, Courage, Mission, and more during our conversation.  Listen in below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Erika’s Website (with free resources)
MPI Triangle
From Fear to Courage

Giving Thanks: Gratitude and the Season

Thanksgiving, the holiday, is often lost in food and family.  What is lost?  Our opportunity to experience gratitude.  The chance to really give thanks.

Many times, it can feel like an obligation.  Instead, I suggest we see it as an opportunity.  Even in tough moments (actually, especially in tough moments), we can make a shift from fear to thanks, from lack to sufficiency.

Over the years of my podcast, I have repeated this theme, both on Thanksgiving episodes and elsewhere.  Below is a list of the various episodes around thanksgiving and gratitude.  Just click each one to listen to the episodes.

Why Thankful?


Why Being Thankful Matters


Giving Thanks: Thriving Through Gratitude


What Thriving People Know About Gratitude And Appreciation


Living Your Engagement



And if you want to find my books on thriving, CLICK HERE.

How NOT To Thrive: Top 5

5 ways to guarantee that you don't thrive... and what to do instead.Over the years, I have tried to learn to thrive.  And I have tried to teach others how to thrive… even getting other experts to do the same.

But today, just for a moment, let’s assume you DON’T want to thrive.  In fact, you want to… well, do the opposite of thriving!  You want to be miserable and live a smaller life.  You want to feel stuck and frustrated. (I’m not going to even explain WHY you would want to do that… let’s play a little mental game and pretend you just don’t want to thrive.)

What then?

How would you go about NOT thriving?  How would you really make yourself as miserable as possible?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I start in on my Top 10 List of How NOT To Thrive.  I cover 5 top ways to NOT thrive in this episode, and follow up with the other 5 in the next episode.

Why in the world would I do this?

Because if you know how to NOT thrive, then you can NOT do the NOT’s.  You can do the opposite, and move toward thriving.  It is also a good way to run through the list and see if you find yourself falling into any of the non-thriving traps.  They are all around us!  And sometimes, we are doing them… not even realizing it.

Listen below for part 1 of How To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It Isn’t Personal
It IS What It IS
Forgiving
Hard Isn’t The Question
Dealing with Fear
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

3 Moves for a Better Day

3 Moves For A Better Day:  how to add 3 things to your day to continually improve your life… kaizen for living.Sometimes, it seems that any change in life has to be a 180° turn… starting or stopping something you were not doing or doing.  And sometimes, that is important.  You might stop smoking, start exercising, or make some other major shift in life.

But in reality, more of growth in life is really about continued improvement.  This matches the Japanese idea of kaizen, or “change for the better.”  This is the concept behind many manufactoring processes — small incremental changes that amount to bigger cumulative improvement.

That can apply to your life!  It probably already does, but can you make it more intentional?  For example, let’s say I start exercising.  I go for a 20 minute run/walk.  That might be a 180° change — I started doing something I wasn’t doing.  But then what?  I would likely not just stay with that.  I might add more time, more distance, or maybe run for a higher percentage.  Gradual improvements that add up to more change.

Which leads to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  I cover 3 moves you can make for a better day. Two of the moves involve one tool I have used with my coaching clients for years.  It is a powerful process that has led to some pretty amazing transformations.

The other is just one to add in… or constantly improve… depending upon whether it is already a part of your life or not.

If you are ready to build a better day, these 3 moves can be the key.  And guess what?  It will only shift 30 minutes of your day.  All for a huge shift in life!

You can listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Personal Kaizen
Being Growth Oriented
Morning Shift for a Better Day
Evening Shift for a Better Day
Grab the Thrive Journal – NOW AVAILABLE!

7 Ways to Worry Less

7 ways to start worrying less immediately. Learn to deal with your worry thoughts and regain your life.Is worry robbing you of living?  Are you putting more energy into worry thoughts than you want to, leaving you less energy for where you want to spend your thoughts (and your life)?

Most people do. Worry is an aimless attempt to locate threats and mitigate them.  Why aimless?  Because worry can shift from topic to topic, issue to issue, person to person, without action or direction.

In the last Thriveology Podcast episode, I noted 6 truths about worrying. This was to provide a background understanding for taking action.  Action to reduce your worry.  Which, as promised, is the topic of this episode.

I cover 7 strategies that will help you reduce your worry (and wasted worry energy) and let you make a mental shift to more helpful thoughts.

If you worry, this episode is for you.  If you worry that you worry too much, this episode is definitely for you!  Tune in to learn how to reduce your worries — and deal with worries as they pop up.

RELATED RESOURCES
6 Truths about Worry
How To Stress Less
Dealing with Anxiety
Dealing with Depression
Thrive Principles Book
My Other Books