Find Freedom From Forgiving

Rules For Living Series

The Rules of Living Series:  Forgive to Move Forward.Have you ever noticed how many times, we get dragged into the past and the pain, even when those hurtful times are over?  Those remnants of the events can keep us stuck, frozen in the hurt and pain.

Unless we forgive.

That’s a big word, I know.  One that is packed with meaning… and not always helpful meanings.

In another podcast, I highlight my process for actually forgiving.  It is important enough that I have a book coming out on the Forgive Process (actually, the name of the book) in October.

In this episode, we discuss why it is so hard to forgive, why you should do it anyway, and why this is so important as a rule for living.  If you struggle with forgiving, please take a listen.  It might just change your mind!

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

The MPI Triad

"Make It Matter"

The MPI Triad -- Meaning, Purpose, Impact.I admit it. Her words have stuck with me for decades now. She told me, “Don’t waste it.” She meant that I shouldn’t waste my time… my life. Just before she died, she told me, “Make it matter.” She wanted to make sure I knew not to waste the precious time I had, and to make my life matter.

Her dying words to a young chaplain.

And those words have lived within me in the 3 decades since.

They still shape my work and my philosophy.

I discussed not wasting life in a prior podcast episode.

But what does it mean to Make It Matter? How do we make sure our lives matter, not for our own self, but for the world? How do we leave this place better for our being here?
The MPI Triad helps to clarify. That triad holds Meaning, Purpose, and Impact. How we make sense of what happens, how we move into the world, and what difference it makes.

Let me tell you a bit more in this week’s podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning & Purpose
Impact
Thrive Principles

Building Your Resilience Muscle

Building your resilience muscle.You’ve got this muscle in you that you might not know about it.  Maybe it is strong, just naturally.  Or maybe you have built it on purpose.  Or maybe it needs a little strengthening.

The muscle?

Your “resilience muscle.”  It helps power you through tough times, so you can bounce back from the struggles.

Here’s the problem:  many people don’t know you can build it.  Many people do their best to avoid tough times and struggles.  And many refuse to let that struggle build the muscle.

One problem:  the struggles are unavoidable.  But if you let that Resilience Muscle atrophy, those struggles are just tougher.  If you strengthen the muscle, future struggles are not so insurmountable.

Let’s get fit and build that Resilience Muscle!

RELATED RESOURCES
Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving?
Thrive Principles Book
What Thriving People Know About Tough Times

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

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?

Change Is Inevitable

Immutable Laws of Living Series

Change is inevitable:  Immutable Law of LivingThere is one constant in life:  Change.  It doesn’t matter if you hate change (most people) or love change (a few people — but usually, only when the change is going their way!).  The change happens.

Watch the seasons of the year go by.  Summer just blew through.  Fall is, inescapably (at least north of the equator) coming in.  Watch your kids.  Like it or not, they keep right on marching toward adulthood.  And (painfully, I might add), watch as your body continues to age — no matter what you do to stop it.  It just keeps on coming.

Change.

It is inevitable.

So, do we ignore it?  Do we hate it?  Or do we accept it and learn to grow with it?

Listen below for my (thriving) opinion.

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

It’s Not About Happiness

Immutable Laws of Living Series

Life is not about happiness.OK, before you kick me to the curb and tell me you want to be happy, hear me out.  I don’t want you to be miserable.  But I also don’t think life is simply about being happy.

In fact, that assumption is often what leads people to some pretty bad places of addiction, consumption, debt, unhealthy behavior — and unhappiness.

So many times, people have said to me that they are guaranteed happiness in the Declaration of Independence.  I first remind them that they are given the “unalienable right” to the “pursuit of happiness.”  Not to be happy.

Second, I point out that our founding fathers did not have the same idea of “happy” that we seem to find in popular culture.  Their idea was a bit deeper — and tightly tied to the Greek idea of Eudaemonia, a term that was about living a life of virtue a “Good Life.”

Let me say again, I do not think life is about being unhappy or miserable.  But I tend to think the more we chase happiness, the more it eludes us.  Because life isn’t really about happiness.

Listen below and let me know what you think!

Immutable Laws Of Living Series:
Life Isn’t Fair
Life Has Challenges

Getting Unstuck Intro

New Series Introduction on How To Get Un-Stuck

How we get stuck.  And how we get un-stuck.During my career as a therapist, person after person came to figure out why they were stuck.  As I transitioned to coaching, I realized my focus was on how to get unstuck.

How we get stuck is merely a starting point.  The real task is how to get un-stuck and moving toward our aspirations.

When we are stuck, we can’t be thriving.  But the process of getting unstuck is also the process of thriving.

I believe that we all have the capacity of being un-stuck, regardless of circumstances and situations.

How you are stuck is similar for all of us.  What you do when you are un-stuck, that can vary greatly.  But the process of getting unstuck is the same.

Today, listen in as I tell you how Bill got stuck.

If this strikes a cord in you, please share this episode with the social sharing buttons below, and consider giving a review of the podcast in iTunes or in Stitcher.

Let’s thrive!

Can’t Change The Past So Stop Trying

Let your past stay in your past.  Focus on the present and future.It is an interesting human characteristic that we spend lots of energy trying to rework and change the past — at the same time, we fail to believe we can change our future!

A belief that the future is unchangeable (and actions/inactions that often reveal this hidden belief) is called fatalism.  It is a belief that fate is set.  The ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the Fates, three women who created the thread of life for each person, measured it out, then cut it, when it was time to die.  No beating the fates.

Que sera sera.  

“Whatever will be, will be.”

I think I much prefer (please excuse my attempt at translation),  Que fuera era. Whatever was, was.  That might be “reverse fatalism.”  The past has happened and can’t be changed.  But we do have some choice about how the future plays out.

We don’t have FULL control of our futures.  But we have much more than we often like to claim.  And that might be the better focus:  changing what we CAN change, what we CAN control.

The past is NOT part of what we can change.  The future (starting in the present) holds much more potential.

Join me as I explore this “Reverse Fatalism.”

RELATED RESOURCES:
Interview With Jack Canfield
Accepting What Is
The Control Paradox
Forgive
Show Up
Responsibility
Gratitude
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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.