The When/Then Trap

TheWhenThenTrapIt’s a trap.  And we all fall into it.

Sadly, we set it up on ourselves, then step right into it.

WHACK!  We are stuck… waiting.  And that’s the trap — the wait.  Life can’t begin until….

What’s the trap?  The “When/Then Trap.”  You know, that time when you say, “When ____ happens, then I will ______.”  When you finally get that great job, get that perfect spouse, make $$’s, win the lottery, etc.  THEN, life can finally get started.  THEN you can be happy, help others, find meaning, do… well, you get the point.

It just seems that something has to change, (right?) before you can get to something else.  And so, we get stuck… waiting for that something to change.  Not realizing that there may be other ways to get there… or even other places to get to!

There are alternatives to being stuck in the “When/Then Trap.”  In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we explore why and how we get stuck.  And how to get out of that trap.  Listen below.

GRAB MY BOOKS ON THRIVING:
Thrive Principles
The Immutable Laws of Living

3 Ways Fear Keeps You Stuck

3WaysFearKeepsYouStuckIt seems to be a specialty of mine… getting people UN-stuck.  Which means I spend a fair amount of time noting what gets people stuck in the first place.  Makes sense, right?  If you want to get un-stuck, you need to know why you got stuck.

There are some clear reasons why people get stuck.  For example, when you violate one of the 16 Immutable Laws Of Living I highlight in my latest book, you will end up stuck.  Guaranteed.  Which is why I try to spell them out for you, so you can get unstuck.

One area that consistently gets people stuck is fear.  And the way to get un-stuck is not to eliminate fear.  Mostly because it is impossible to eliminate fear.  It is wired into your brain.  Just part of being alive.

But, and this is the good news, you only have to do a little pivot in order to let fear help you.

Before I go into how you can pivot, though, I clarify three primary ways that fear can get you stuck (and keep you stuck).  Listen to learn the three ways, and the one necessary pivot.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Immutable Laws of Living Book
Getting Un-Stuck
Fear and Living

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

When Your Ego Trips You Up

WhenEgoTripsA couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu.  One of my lessons was about “egoless learning.”  Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved.  And what’s wrong with that… the ego?

Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives.  Why?  Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like.  And because of that, we try to keep up an image.

And because of that, we trip.

Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor.  Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching.

So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process.  It was supposed to be a learning event.  A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach.

They weren’t looking for me to be the best teacher.  I was at the beginning of my teaching.

That said, part of my task was to teach… so they could evaluate me and help me to be better.  And to get ready, I had practiced.  I created a killer PowerPoint.  I had “show and tells.”  I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was.  I would show them!

I finished.  They offered feedback.  The first piece, “You went 2 minutes longer than your limit.”  I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized… I was not learning.  I was proving.  I was worried about my appearance.  My ego was there.

More feedback.  More temptation for rebuttal.  My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn’t the first time.  When ego appears, learning disappears.

Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
Trial and Error Living
Life As An Experiment
Lessons Learned As A Chaplain

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

Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu

LessonsLearnedInJiuJitsuLet me be clear:  I can claim NO expertise in jiu jitsu.  I have only been involved since January.  So, what can I possibily tell you about jiu jitsu after just 6 months of practice?

Nothing.

But I CAN tell you some lessons I have learned from those 6 months.  Not about jiu jitsu, but about living, about starting new things, and about learning.

This is not my first foray into the martial arts.  It is more a lifelong interest.

During my teen years, I took tae kwon do.  Lacking in natural coordination and strength, I was gangly and a non-natural.  But I took classes for years.  I even advanced through the ranks.

When I left for college, I packed up my gi and belts, and I didn’t take any further lessons.  Although I threatened to many times.  I just let life get in the way.

Until this year.  I turned 52 in March.  But before the new year, I decided that I would give jiu jitsu a try… at least while it was cold and I couldn’t be outside as much as I would like.  After waiting to make sure our insurance policy was in place, and both of our adult children had left us after the holidays, I headed to class.

This week, I’ll share 5 big lessons I have learned along the way.

 

How To Forgive Yourself

HowToForgiveYourselfForgiving is an important skill.  When we forgive people for hurts and slights in the past, we get to free ourselves from those events.

(That skill is so important that I wrote a book about the process I created.  That book comes out in October.)

But what about forgiving yourself?

Why would you need to do that?

Because we all do thing, say things, fail to do and say things, that we regret. And those regrets can haunt us.  They can keep us stuck in the past… in events that are already over.

Sometimes, if another person is involved, they might not even remember what happened or what was said.  But you might continue to torture yourself, chastising yourself for what you said/did, didn’t say/didn’t do.

This requires another skill:  self-forgiveness.

Not just a way to get yourself off the hook.  Not just a way to gloss over what happened.  But a way to move forward.

How do you forgive yourself?  Listen to this week’s episode to find out!

RELATED RESOURCE:
Finding Self-Confidence
Building Self-Esteem
How to Forgive
New Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

How To Build Your Self-Esteem

HowToBuildSelfEsteemSchools have based their teaching model on it.  Little league sports have revamped their approach on it.  Parenting has changed to help it.

What is IT?

Self-esteem.

Which is a great concept, at least in the way Nathanial Branden first proposed it.  Not so much in the way we have come to see it as “feeling good about yourself.”  Yep, Branden did want people to feel good about themselves, but not as the end point.  It was part of something bigger.

And when we use the current popular definition, research shows that self-esteem matters little in success, health, wealth, or happiness.

Does that mean we should give up on self-esteem?

Nope.

We just need to return to the original idea.  There is plenty we can do (and need to do) to build self-esteem — in a way that matters for happiness, meaning, purpose… and yes, success.

Learn how to build your self-esteem, in a way that matters, in this week’s podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCE:
Finding Self-Confidence
Happiness Isn’t the Goal
What’s Your Purpose?
Make An Impact
New Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

How To Find Your Confidence

HowToBuildSelfConfidenceWe all want confidence — SELF-confidence.  We want to be confident before we act.  In other words, I want to feel confident of myself before I move toward something.

Or maybe that’s just me!  🙂

But I think that comes at it from the wrong direction.  FEAR seems to be between us and action.  Mostly because of the order we have for action:

Confidence ==> Action ==> Success.

But instead, we have:

FEAR ==> Wait for Confidence ==> Keep Waiting

If you understandt the real flow, then you can step aside and let fear pass you by, letting you take action AND gain confidence.

Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to learn more.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Getting Un-Stuck
Fear Is A Given
New Book:  Immutable Laws Of Living

Live Each Day As THE Day

Rules for Living Series

Rules for Living: Forgive and move forwardAncient Stoics and Latin Christians believed that every day we should “memento mori,” we should remember our death.  This practice was not to contemplate how you might die, but that you will die.  As will I.  And everyone else.

Which is what makes life so precious.  And which is what gives value and power to the choices we make in how to live this day.  Not how we lived yesterday or last year, nor how we plan to live tomorrow or next year.  But how we live today.  This is THE day you have.  The only one.

This moment.

We live our lives, spending our time (our most precious resource) moment-by-moment.  Sometimes, time slips away… with us making little progress (or maybe even some regress) toward what we want in life.

This moment.

We move toward our hopes and dreams… we carry out our life purpose… we make an impact in the world in this moment, this day.

It is the only one we have.

In this podcast episode, we talk about living life more fully, more in the moment — today.  In this moment.

RULES OF LIVING SERIES
#1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct
#2 Be Present In The  Present
#3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
#4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
#5 Forgive to Live
#6 Listen to Your Higher Self
#7 Teach Others How to Treat You
#8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
#9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment