Controlling What You Can

The Thrive Code Series

Control what you can in order to thrive.  The Thrive Code.Many people make the Control Error — they attempt to control what they cannot control, while also failing to control what they can.

Why?

Because they don’t know what they can’t control and they don’t know what they can control.

Humans have a desire to feel like they are “in control” of their lives. Most people hate feeling out of control. And yet, by making the Control Error, they constantly feel out of control (and work harder to control… what they cannot control).

Thriving is tough when you feel out of control. And it is even more difficult when you are not controlling the areas you can control.

There is a code to thriving. Think of it as the computer code behind all the things your computer programs can do. The basic assumptions and directions come from the underlying code. It allows the tasks to happen.

Similarly, there is an underlying code to thriving. If the code is working, daily tasks and living go much better. You thrive in your life.

One element of that Thrive Code, we discussed in the last episode:  Challenge. In this episode,we take on the second element of the Thrive Code: Control. More importantly, it is about controlling what you can control, while releasing yourself from what you cannot control.

Listen to the episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thrive Code 1: Challenge
Your Circle of Control
Solving the Control Paradox
Lee’s Books

Stuck in When/Then?

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

Broken??

broken plate meme has it all wrongHave you seen this picture in your FB feed or on Twitter?  It crossed my path a number of times.

The first time I saw it, I was immediately uncomfortable.  But it took a little time for me to be clear on why.

There is a point to it:  just because you apologize doesn’t mean everything is okay.

I like that point.

But I worry about going the other way:  if someone hurts you, you are shattered.  With that, I disagree.

Not just a little.

A lot.

I firmly believe that we are all built to heal from hurts.  I firmly believe that encoded within us is the capacity to not just move forward, but to thrive, even when someone deeply wounds us.

We humans are natural story-tellers.  And we all LOVE to tell the “someone done me wrong” stories — thus, 90% of country songs!

And people do, indeed, do us wrong (and we do others wrong).

The problem is not the stories.  It is our attachment to those stories.  When we begin to define ourselves by the stories of what happened to us, we become that story.  It no longer happened TO us, it IS us.

And we get stuck.  We become defined by the story, (almost always, A story).  Then, we are limited.  We stop growing.  We stay attached to the story.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happens with a story, and why we can’t allow ourselves to be caught by the story.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Apologies
How to Forgive
Book: The Forgive Process
Book: The Immutable Laws of Living

How 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
Free of Fear Series

What’s Your Challenge??

How to challenge yourself and grow!Are you up for a challenge?

In the last episode of my podcast, I discussed how to hold on when life is tough.  That’s when life is challenging you.

But what about when life isn’t so challenging… where life is copacetic?  Just cruising.

It’s my observation that we work hard to keep life flat.  We work hard to keep things smooth.  Cold out?  Turn on the heater.  Hot out?  Turn on the A/C.  Keep things even… even-keeled.  Flat.

We spend LOTS of energy to save the energy of dealing witb challenges, big or small.

But does that help (or harm) us?  Does it keep us safe or make us fragile?

What if taking on small challenges actually gets us better prepared for bigger challenges?  What if making choices to expand into life helps us deal with life encroaching upon us?

One of my “things” is to find little challenges for myself… new things to try, new activities to do, new tastes or sounds to take in, and new ways to try life.

How about you?  What challenges are you taking on right now?

Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to discover the power of a challenge.

RELATED RESOURCES
Learning and Life
Ways to Expand
Growth Mindset
Lessons in Jiu Jitsu
Book:  Thrive Principles
 

After the Apology

BeyondApologyYou apologize.  Now what?

Are you finished?  Is it now up to the person to whom you apologized?

Nope.  That is only one part of the process.

Understand that apologies, forgiving, reconciliation, and trust are all separate functions.  Each is tied to the other, but independent.  Forgiving does not require an apology.  An apology does not mandate forgiveness.  You can apologize or forgive, and still not reconcile.  And in the end, it is a choice to trust or not.

So, let’s step back into what you can do, so that you can “clear the air” and move forward.  In other words, to make sure you do your part.

I suggest 6 steps to this process, and I cover each one in this episode of the podcast.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Anatomy Of An Apology
Forgive Resources
Making Change
Limiting Beliefs
Responsibility
The Forgive Process

Departure Conversations

So far, life has a 100% mortality rate.  We are not getting out of this alive!  You and I, and everyone we know, will face the inevitable moment of losing loved ones, and facing our own death.

And yet, we live in a culture that would rather NOT look at this reality.  Would rather NOT pay attention to this fact.  Would rather NOT think about those end-of-life issues… at least until we are forced to.

Over more than the past year, there has been a daily toll of death and loss.  It has been in our face in an inescapable way for many long months.

But I wonder if this has changed the conversations in any important ways about our own (and our loved one’s) death and dying.

Willy Donaldson, Author of Estimated Time of Departure.Willy Donaldson realized that he had to have some tough conversations with his parents.  In spite of his own resistance, and that of his parents, Willy had those conversations, to find out what wishes his parents had about that inescapable time.  It was not just a conversation about the details, but the reasons behind their wishes.  What Willy wanted was to make sure his parents’ wishes were known and understood, not just by the family, but by his parents.

It turned out that those uncomfortable conversations were a gift.  They were moments of understanding and connection.

Those conversations were also a comfort for everyone.  So that that last human moment was understood and out in the open.

This topic became so important that Willy, a business professor, started sharing his story.  That led to a book about those important conversations.  And it led to our interview about those important conversations.  Listen in on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, as Willy and I discuss those end-of-life conversations and why they are so important.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Estimated Time of Departure Website
Moving Through Grief
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?
Order, Disorder, Reorder

 

The SSC Strategy for Changing Your Life

StartStopContinueHave you heard of Kaizen?  It is the principle of continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement is a great model for change.  It is based on constant changes toward a better outcome.  No need for sudden upheaval or change (although that is sometimes necessary).  Instead, course corrections are made along the way, nudging something toward improvement.

That “something”?  It might be a product (like Japanese automobiles, where Kaizen became the method of them becoming excellent automobiles), companies, or even individuals.

But how, you might wonder, do you actually DO that continuous improvement?

Let me offer a super-simple tool that you can apply to your own life, to your company or workplace, or even to a relationship or organization.

SSC – Start, Stop, Continue

Three benchmarks:  What do you need to Start?  What do you need to Stop?  What do you need to Continue?

In this week’s episode, I discuss how to apply SSC to your own life… and to other areas in your life.

Listen in for a new tool.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Change
Why We Avoid Change
Paradigms
Limiting Beliefs

Do You Believe Your Thoughts?

DontBelieveThinkThose thoughts, they get us into trouble, don’t they?

We keep looking for that thing that will make us happy. We think we know. We think that thing, that person, that place, that paycheck, position, etc., etc., will finally do it.

Until we get it, get there, have that relationship, or whatever… only to find that it didn’t quite work.

Oh, sure, we might be happy for a brief time. But not the way we thought. That “shiny new object” just didn’t do it. And back to the drawing board we go.

Mostly because we keep thinking that that thing “out there” is going to do it.

Notice that “happy” and “happen” share a root.  Something out there needs to happen in order for us to be happy.

Which is not the path to happiness.  No matter what your thoughts are telling you.

In this podcast episode, I discuss why our thoughts trick us, and what to do instead.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thoughts are Thoughts
Meaning 
Making An Impact
Happiness?

Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Does everything happen for a reason?In recent days, I have been with people in the middle of horrific losses.  Inevitably, someone steps up  and in an attempt to comfort, says, “Everything happens for a reason.”

That comment is rarely comforting in the painful moments.

But deeper than that, is it even true?

Many people default to this as a reaction to something that happens and is outside of our capacity to understand.

Sometimes, we want to think that there is something behind it — not just some random event.  But what does that phrase mean?  Does it mean that some force is trying to teach some lesson?

For many people, the answer is yes.

But does that make it so?

Does everything happen for a reason? Given all that is going on these days, this question seems particularly important.

Let’s chat. . .

RELATED RESOURCES:
Moving Through Grief
Living The Big Stuff with Kristine Carlson