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

Ego Trips

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

Finding Self-Confidence

HowToBuildSelfConfidenceWe all want confidence — SELF-confidence.  We want to be confident before we act.  In other words, I want to feel confident of myself before I move toward something.

Or maybe that’s just me!  🙂

But I think that comes at it from the wrong direction.  FEAR seems to be between us and action.  Mostly because of the order we have for action:

Confidence ==> Action ==> Success.

But instead, we have:

FEAR ==> Wait for Confidence ==> Keep Waiting

If you understandt the real flow, then you can step aside and let fear pass you by, letting you take action AND gain confidence.

Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to learn more.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Getting Un-Stuck
Fear Is A Given
New Book:  Immutable Laws Of Living

Dealing with Criticism

Dealing With Criticism and Making Feedback Helpful.I don’t know anyone who really likes criticism.  Well, at least receiving criticism.  I do know some people who seem to relish dishing out criticism!  You probably know some, too.

But criticism can be important feedback.  And feedback can help us to make changes in ourselves and our habits.  They can help us change harmful or unhelpful parts of our lives into more productive and healthy parts.

Which means we have a problem.  We don’t like getting criticized.  But that criticism might just hold some important information for transformation.

One of the coaches on my staff once remarked on some rather critical feedback from a client, that she had received some “free coaching.”  It took a few moments to get away from a defensive reaction and toward a helpful reaction.  But my coach made the shift.

First, let me be clear that not all feedback is helpful feedback.  Not all feedback needs your attention.

Which raises the question:  how do you sift through that feedback to decide what to discard and what to keep?  How do you isolate the treasures amidst the trash?  These days, there is a lot of trash to sift.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore a framework from feedback coach, Shanita Williams.  Her sifting strategy can help you find the useful and release the useless feedback.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Williams’ Feedback Mentality website
Book:  Feedback Mentality
Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain
When Your Ego Trips You Up

Responsibility vs. 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

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
 

Not Winning or Losing, But Learning or Learning

Win or lose... or learn and learn.I don’t know about you, but I was raised around competition.  Not so much from my parents, but from culture.  In school, you compete in all sorts of tasks… trying to prove how smart, how good, how talented, how athletic, how whatever you are… compared to the others.

It doesn’t stop there, but keeps on going.  Win or lose.  That’s all that matters.  Well, winning.  That’s what matters.

Remember Ricky Bobby from the movie, Talladega Nights? “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”  In other words, you win… or you have lost.

(Do remember, though, that at another point in the movie, Ricky Bobby is talking with his Dad… and gets challenged:
Ricky Bobby: “Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last’?”
Reese Bobby: “Huh? What are you talking about, Son?”
Ricky Bobby: “That day at school.”
Reese Bobby: “Oh hell, Son, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth.”
Ricky Bobby: “What? I’ve lived my whole life by that!”
There you go… a first… a quote in a Will Ferrell movie to make a point about thriving!)

We grow up on that whole “win or learn” thing… which ties us tightly to our ego.  If we win, ego boost.  If we lose, ego bruise.  What will others think??

Maybe it is worth making a shift.

Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” When you don’t win, you can learn! Great shift.  “Losing” is an opportunity for learning.  When you don’t win, there is an opportunity for growth, for learning… for being better.

But it is still bound by ego. What if it isn’t even the win? But the learn? Then, we either learn… or we learn.

Listen to this episode for more on winning/losing versus learning/learning.

RELATED RESOURCES
What I learned in Jiu Jitsu
More I learned in Jiu Jitsu
Even MORE I learned in Jiu Jitsu
Trial-And-Error Mindset
Three Growth Mindsets
Showing UP
Book:  Thrive Principles
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

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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

The 4 “Can’ts”

Why "Can't" is so Dangerous.“You can’t. . . .”  “I can’t. . . .”  That pretty much ends the conversation.

Which is unfortunate.  History is littered with people doing the very things someone else said, “You can’t do that.”  Turns out, you can.

And many times, we do the same things to ourselves.  We start tell ourselves, “I can’t,” and then believe it.  We know we can’t do it.  We just told ourselves we can’t.

In reality, there are 4 types of “I can’ts.”  One is absolutely true.  The three others are not true.  They are about capability, timing, and. . . well, that last one is important enough that I cover it in this week’s podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Learning and Life
Be an Experiment
Show Up
Prior Podcast on Can’t