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

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

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

Do Your Part (And Wait For The Moment)

Rules for Living Series

KnowTheRulesSome people feel that they are at the whims of the world, unable to make a difference in their own lives.  (They often fall into blame and helplessness.)

Other people believe that they are fully in charge, their lives entirely in their control. (Ironically, they also often fall into blame — self-blame — and frustration.)

The fact is, life is a combination of things that happen and what you do about them — your you respond to the situations life throws your way.  Events, good and bad, are unavoidable.  Your choice is how you deal with them, how you choose to respond.

And if you are trying to get somewhere… if you have some hope or dream… then the process is to keep moving forward, making your choices and taking action.  And at the same time, you wait for the timing to be right.

It is more likely that the timing will be right when you keep taking actions in the direction of what you want.  Luck follows action.

Listen to this week’s podcast for how you might use an equation to get to the outcome you want.

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

Control What You Can; Release The Rest

Rules for Living Series

Rules123It was interesting to see how much my client seemed to relish her self-diagnosed “issue” when she smilingly told me, “I’m a bit of a control freak. I just want things my way.  Mostly because I know how they should be.”

So, I asked that tough question, “How is that working out for you?”

The smile turned to tears as she told me how much pushback she was getting from people.  “They just don’t know better,” she assured me, letting me know that she just needed some better ways of getting people to follow her lead (ummm, demands).

My client was making a common mistake.  One that leads to misery — on her part and the part of others around her.  She was trying to control things she could not.  AND she was failing to control things she could.

The desire to control comes from fear.  We fear things won’t go well, won’t work out.  So, we innocently try to control things… the wrong things.

There are only a few things we can control. But when we switch from trying to control the things we cannot to the things we can, life opens up! Controlling what we can, it turns out, is enough.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I cover another Rule for Living:  Control the Things You Can, and Release the Rest.  Listen 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

Teach Others How To Treat You

Rules For Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?“Why don’t they treat me the way I want to be treated?”, my client asked me.

So, I asked, “Have you taught them how to treat you?”

The silence let me know.  But after a pause, my client said, “I guess it never crossed my mind I needed to do that.”

The fact is that people do not know how we want to be treated… unless we are clear about how we are to be treated.  Otherwise, we get treated the way THEY want to treat US, and not the reverse.

In the end, that leaves people frustrated, defensive, and feeling mistreated.

Your BOUNDARIES are what lets people know how you want to be treated.  They are your “NO’s” of life.  Things you will not let people do to(wards) you.

If your boundaries are solid, you are already following this rule.  But if you find yourself being treated in ways you don’t want to be, time to start following this rule, “Teach others how to treat you.”

Listen to this week’s Thriveology Podcast for yet another Rule for Living.

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

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

Let Fear Point, Not Direct

Rules of Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?Whenever I am playing a game, I like to know the rules… what I can do and can’t do; what I can get away with, and what will get me into trouble.

I have the same feeling about life.  The “rules” are principles or strategies to use when things are tough.  They give me a decision tree, to guide my choices.

The rules keep me moving forward, toward what I want.  They also keep me honest and living within my virtues.

I’ve gathered those rules together and want to share them with you.  I hope you find them helpful, even if you edit or alter them to fit for you.

This week is Rule #1:  Let Fear Point, Not Direct

I have discovered that fear is a powerful force for people.  It might protect us, sometimes.  But it can also hold us hostage from our dreams and aspirations.

It gets in our way for one simple reason:  we use fear to direct our lives.  Fear is better used to point the way… to show us what’s important.

Let me explain further in my podcast this week, rule #1 of my Rules for Living series.

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