Down The Habit Hole

DownTheHabitHoleThe gyms are emptying out.  The running shoes are no longer going out for runs.  Comfort food is replacing health food.

What gives?

February.

Actually, it is just long enough that those resolutions made in January are starting to crumble.

“I’ll start exercising, start eating better, stop ______, stop ________.”  You fill in the blanks.  Resolutions are usually starting something new or stopping something old.  Building new habits or beating old habits.  Or changing new habits for old ones.

Many people get off to a good start.  They join the gym, throw out the junk food, buy some new clothes, a few new books, and… enthusiasm wanes.  Old habits kick back in.

And it is back to square one.

Don’t blame yourself!  Habits are tough.  Tough to make, tough to break.

We go back to the old habits because they are comfortable, easy, and the path of least resistance.  Even if they don’t get us where we want to go!

We just seem to fall right down the Habit Hole!

So, what should we do?

Listen in to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast for more about the Habit Hole.

RELATED RESOURCES
Habits Series
Making An Impact
Changing Limiting Beliefs
Book:  Thrive Principles

Fear Versus Courage

FearVersusCourageI don’t know about you, but I don’t much enjoy feeling fear.  I’d rather it not be a part of my life.

And yet, it is.

Fear is part of our wiring, deep in our DNA and deep in the circuitry of our brains. It keeps us safe — sometimes super-safe.  Which is the problem.

There is a central life coaching question:  “Where do you want to be?”  (Few people seek out coaching because everything is great, they are happy, and life is where they want it to be.)

The next question is “What keeps you from getting there?”  When I dig in with clients, that question often hits against external barriers.  Things the client can’t change.

But dig long enough and dig deep enough, and you hit fear.  Fear is what often keeps us from getting what we want in life, from getting the life we most deeply dream about.

If fear is a fact of life (it is), then fear isn’t really as much in our way as we let it be.  After all, other people (who also have fears) have made it.

What breaks through the fear, to get us to the life we want?

It is not being “fearless.”  That won’t happen… although you can have LESS fear.

Nope.

It is COURAGE.  And courage is not the opposite of fear… it is action in the direction of fear.  Which is what dissipates fear.

Let’s talk about fear… and more important, courage… in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
We ALL Have Fears
Facing Fears
Your Fierce Life
Book:  Thrive Principles
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

Where You Are (is a pretty good place to start)

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.

RELATED RESOURCES
Accepting What Is
Limiting Beliefs
Making Changes
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

How To Handle Tough Days

HowToHandleToughDaysKinda like taxes, tough days are unavoidable.  You may see the tough times coming.  But sometimes, they just roll right over us.  A conversation, a text, a phone call, or an event.  Something hits and the bad time is here.

Some people will say that tough times are a sign that you are “off-course,” not living right, not doing what you “should” be doing.

But guess what?  One cost of living is dealing with tough times.  Illness, accidents, losses, and deaths — they are all a part of life.

You don’t have to like the tough times.  But we do have to get through them.

Which raises the question of how to get through the tough times.

I cover handling tough times in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Growth Mindsets for Tough Times
Lessons Learned as a Chaplain
Building Your Resilience Muscle
Dealing with Roadblocks
Two Targets to Thrive
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

Act or Accept

ActOrAcceptI always find it helpful to have some “rules” to live by.  Short statements that help keep me pointed in the right direction, ready to handle the challenges of life.

And let’s be honest:  challenges are an unavoidable part of life.  Those who tell you that having struggles, challenges, or illnesses is an indication that you are doing something wrong?  They are wrong and misguided.  Life is going to challenge each of us… right up until we die.  Which every one of us will do.

So the question is how we live our lives.  Today.  Right now.  Regardless of what life is throwing your way.

What we often do, in the face of a challenge:  Worry, Complain, Avoid.  All three keep us stuck, frozen in place and to the challenge ahead of us.

So, I have decided instead, to adopt the rule of “Act or Accept.”  I will either act toward resolution, or I will accept where I am.  And the acceptance?  It need not be permanent.  It is about where I am right now.  It may be waiting for a possible action.

Let’s talk about this rule and how to apply it.  Listen to the podcast episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Getting Unstuck
Anxiety Resources
Rules for Living
Thrive Principles Book
Immutable Laws of Living Book

Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain

CleanDirtyPainAnyone who tells you that you can go through life without getting hurt and feeling pain is either lying or hiding.

Life is rough-and-tumble.  Pain is unavoidable.

But there is a type of pain that we can leave behind.  That is more a result of our own thinking than anything external, any injury either physical or emotional.

Call it “Dirty Pain.”  Which is distinguished from “Clean Pain.”  Clean pain, that is the initial hurt.  When you hit your foot, it hurts.  That is the bodily response to the injury.  When someone says something to you that is mean and spiteful, your feelings are hurt.  That is the emotional pain.  It is initial.

But what if you chastise yourself about your being “clutsy,” or about your “stupid action” that led to that foot injury?  Or what if you made that hurtful comment about you, and not about the person who said it?  What if you kept dwelling about it?

Let me be clear:  it is fine to ask how you might prevent an injury in the future.  It is fine to listen to feedback from others, that might give you some insight into things you need to change.

It’s the next step after that.  When you keep berating yourself.  It’s when you take the next step… you attach to the pain.  Buddhism refers to that as suffering.  You and I can think of it as “Dirty Pain” (a term coined by ACT – a mode of therapy).  It is dirtied by our own mental state — not the cause of the pain.

What do you do about that?  We discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Life Is Tough
Letting Go
What You Can Control
The Forgive Process Book

Embracing Discomfort

EmbraceDiscomfortHave you noticed how we all like to keep things in a narrow band of comfort?  We keep our houses not-too-warm, not-too-cool.  Most homes, all year long, stay in a very narrow band of temperature.

Most of us go to the same restaurants, listen to the same music, hang out with the same friends, and do the same activities.  Every now and then, something new.  And then, back to the comfortable.

But not much growth happens in comfort.

If you want to improve in yoga, you have to stretch a little bit further, hold the position a little bit longer… be uncomfortable.

Discomfort accompanies growth.  Sure, you can be uncomfortable, and it just be that — discomfort.  But if you are growing… if you are changing… there will be discomfort.

If we simply avoid discomfort, we also avoid growth.

Or, we could embrace discomfort.  See it as a sign of growth.  Use it as a potential sign that we are growing.  And accept that when we grow, we will be uncomfortable.

I discuss Embracing Discomfort in this podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Embracing “I Don’t Know”
Embracing “We’ll See”
Certainty and Variety
Growth Mindset

Responsibility In A Culture Of Blame

Responsibility in a culture of blame.Blame is rampant in today’s world.  We all quickly point the finger at someone/something else, proclaiming, “It’s not my fault!”

Interestingly, I also notice how rampant it is for people to take the credit for successes.

They/we claim credit for what goes right but refuse blame for anything that goes wrong.

We live in a “culture of blame.”

Which is what often keeps us from growing.  From changing.  From learning from our mistakes.  If someone/something else is to blame, what could I (or you) do?  Not my fault… not my problem.

Change requires us to change the equation.  To take responsibility, when we are responsibible.  To share credit when others deserve credit.

Great leadership is about accepting ultimate responsibility for mistakes and problems, while giving credit for successes.

So, how do we turn the equation around?  I discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Responsibility
NMF Syndrome In Marriage
Showing Up
Thrive Principles Book
Immutable Laws of Living Book

Forgiving: Resources To Help

Stuck in the past? Time to forgive.Since the publication of my new book, The Forgive Process, I have had lots of conversations over the topic.  Enough to know that it is an incredibly important topic… and a thoroughly misunderstood topic.  Myths abound.  And many people just don’t know how to do it… even if they wanted to!

I knew that when I wrote the book.  But I have become even more clear about it over the past month.  People see the book and have a question.  Which generally leads to a conversation about wanting or not wanting to forgive.  Those who want to just don’t know how.  And those who don’t want to often misunderstand what forgiving is about.

So, I wanted to provide some resources to help clarify and even start the process.  Each link below will take you to a special training to help you make a shift toward forgiving.

FORGIVE RESOURCES:
Misunderstanding Forgiveness
Why Even Forgive?
Find Freedom From Forgiving
How To Forgive
The Forgive Process Book

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