The Power of Choice

We all have the power of choice. How do we choose?The world seems to be careening forward these days.  It can feel like we are just holding on for dear life.

But are we?

Sure, there are events that we can’t stop or prevent.  Weather comes.  Accidents happen.  Others make choices that impact us….

Wait.  Back up there.  Did you see that?  Others are making choices.  And so can we.  Not a choice on whether or not something happens.  But a choice on how we respond to it.

Each year, I choose a single word to guide my year.  This year, the word is Creator.  That does tend to be a large portion of my job these days… creating podcasts, writing books and articles, creating online courses.  Even coaching is a creative process, working to help others access their power to create.  Their power to choose.

This has me reflecting on a daily basis, on exactly how I am going to be creator to my day.  What choices do I make that create my day?  What choices do I make that allow me to create?

Am I in full control?  No.  Nobody is.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have choices.  The question is not where I don’t have a choice, but where I do… and don’t act.

Let’s find the power of choice in 2021.

Listen in to the podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Your Points of Control
Dealing with Triangles
The MPI Triad
Book:  Thrive Principles – 15 Strategies for Building a Thriving Life

When to Act, How to 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

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

Stuck In Loops

RunningLoopsLike a broken record… or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts… things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was.

I read them both and head off to walk my dog.

Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one?

Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too.

And that thought… it isn’t just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut.

The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don’t even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, “why am I ready for a fight?”  Nothing had happened.

Nothing.

Except a thought I was having… not just having… looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don’t typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present.

I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping.

You can’t stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops.

Let’s talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thoughts are Thoughts
Anxiety and Thought
Dealing with Depression
Living In The Present
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

Find Hope or Build Hope

Do you find hope or do you build hope?  We discuss it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.Where does hope come from?  Does it come upon us?  Do we discover it?  Or do we build it?

I believe that hope is an important ingredient in thriving.  If you have no hope, it is tough to thrive. Finding hope often helps us find thriving.

Oh, and thriving is not about having an easy life, always exciting and happy.  A thriving life is built on taking on the challenges of life.  Not avoiding them, but taking them on, learning from them, and thriving because of them.

2020 has been the year of challenges.  So, it has also given us lots of opportunities to work on thriving.  How has it been for you?  Hopeful or hopeless?

What if hope is built?  What if all you have to do in order to find hope is follow a formula?

As is true for many things in life, the formula is pretty simple.  But that is not to be confused with easy.  Do remember that thriving is rarely built, though, on the easy.  Taking on the simple, but important, is often the path to thriving.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we take a look at hope.  Where it comes from, how you can find it, and how you can live it… both for yourself and the world.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
What You Can Control
The MPI Triad and Why it Matters
The Coping with Covid Series
My Books on Thriving

Stuck in Self-Splain

Have you noticed that story you are telling yourself (and others) that is running through your mind?  It is the one about why you did (or didn’t do) what you did (or didn’t do).  You are trying to explain yourself — to yourself and others.

You are Self-Splaining.

And it is a story.  Not necessarily a lie.  But also not necessarily the truth.

Humans are story tellers and meaning makers.  The stories we tell are to make meaning.  It helps the world to make sense, and helps us give reasons for what we did.

And it can keep you stuck.

Your self-splaining keeps you stuck because it “helps” you to make your actions/inactions reasonable (to yourself).  Reasonable, as in “Able to Reason.”  You can give a reason.  One that makes sense to you… even if not to anyone else.  You can just keep telling yourself “why” — self-splaining.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss how we self-splain, why that can get you stuck, and what to do to get un-stuck.

RELATED RESOURCES
Paradigms
Stuck and Unstuck
Reasons
Responsibility
My Books on Thriving

 

Is the Present Perfect?

Is the present perfect?  Yes.  Find out how in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.My client was telling me about lots of struggles, difficult times, and a few positive moments.  I noted, as I have many times with many clients, “It sounds like your present is perfect.”

She went silent.  I was silent.  But I could see her processing and struggling with my words.  I sat quietly.

She finally erupted: “Perfect?!? How can you say that?  After all the stuff I told you… how can you tell me that things are perfect?”

I told her, “I didn’t say great.  I didn’t say it was how you wanted them to be.  Only that the present is perfect.”

In that moment, I could see her gears turning… but she still couldn’t make sense of what I was saying.

How can things feel upside-down and inside-out, and be perfect?

“Perfect” does not mean preferred.  It means something is complete.  A perfectly cooked steak is complete. It is cooked to a certain level.  But also consider a “perfect storm,” the perfect combination of  circumstances that mean the storm is more powerful than when those circumstances don’t combine.

The idea of the Present Perfect, which sounds like grammar, comes from life coach, Thomas Leonard.  He noted that the Present Perfect is the fact that this moment perfectly reflects everthing that has come before, up until now.

Why does that matter?  We explore it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article on the Present Perfect
Importance of Acceptance
What Can You Control?
Accept or Act
My Books

Is Your Mind Set?

Is your mind set?  Growth and fixed mindset, and how to change yours.I’m not an athlete, I told myself.  I was the last chosen for teams pretty much every time.  And more often than not, admittedly, I dropped the ball or didn’t run fast enough.  So I lived up to the low expectations of being a teammate.

That kept me believing that I was not an athlete.  And so, I never tried to be athletic.

Years later, when I was recovering from being sick, I decided I needed to get into shape.  I was motivated by a scuba class when I realized how out of shape I was.  I dragged myself into the weight room, so I wouldn’t embarrass myself in class.  I took to the pool for the same reason.

And I slowly got into shape.  Which led to a friend asking if I wanted to adventure race.  Why not?  I might as well, I reasoned.  Then, I trained and completed a trail marathon.  And ran quite a few 5k’s.  Not an athlete, though.

Then, at a conference, someone told me she wanted to write a book, but she “wasn’t a writer.”  I asked what she was doing.  She wrote every single day.  And she had lots of pieces put together for her future book.  But, she “wasn’t a writer.”

I noted to her that writers do one thing.  They write.  She was writing, ergo she was a writer!

Then I went for a run.  And thought about that discussion.  Runners are athletes.  Runners run.  I was running.  Ergo, I was a runner… and maybe an athlete?

My mindset had tripped me up.  I had myself in a fixed mindset.  And to get to a better place, I needed to shift to a growth mindset.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss Dr. Carol Dweck’s concept of growth and fixed mindsets from her book, Mindset.  A fixed mindset keeps us stuck.  But a growth mindset always gives room for growth and change.

Listen in to discover where your mindset is stuck… and how to shift it to growth.

RELATED RESOURCES
Mindset Book
Your Different “Can’ts”
What I Learned From Jiu Jitsu
Link To My Books On Thriving

How to NOT Thrive: Next 5

How to NOT thrive... and what to do instead.Well, you are on to me!  Last week, I started talking about things you can do to guarantee that you DON’T thrive.  I’m sure you knew I didn’t really want you to NOT thrive.  But I wanted to point out some ways people make themselves miserable… and what they might do to shift.

If you missed that episode, JUST CLICK HERE TO HEAR IT.

It is interesting to notice how we humans can really mess up our lives!  Life throws us enough to deal with.  Then, we tend to multiply it with our own blind spots and stuck points.

With my Top 10 List To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive, I wanted to point out 10 ways that people really do keep themselves stuck.  And the fact is, I see these same patterns repeated over and over by many people.

So, if you see yourself in one (or more) of the stuck points, that just means you are… well… human.  Congratulations on being able to spot it!  That is the first step in doing something different… something new… something more… THRIVING!

Listen in below for the REST of the ways you can keep from thriving… so you can thrive!  (Unless you don’t want to… then just follow my suggestions.)

RELATED RESOURCES
How To NOT Thrive, Part 1
Control What You Can
Dealing with Stress
Gratitude
Feedback
Meaning & Purpose
Make An Impact
Book:  Thrive Principles

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