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

Charging Into The New Year

ChargingIntoNewYearThe New Year.  It is upon us.  And along with the start of a new year is an opportunity for us to re-start.  To make some changes.  To find some ways to charge into the New Year, with a new approach.  Maybe even a new attitude!

Many people make resolutions around this time.  And most of those resolutions are broken by February.  Gyms are full in January and quiet again in February.  Health foods fly out the doors in January, only to be tossed to make room for cookies and chips in February.

Change is a tall order… unless you have some clarity to your change.  Some simple approach that makes your hopes and dreams a part of your life.

Let’s make a 4 step plan for charging into the New Year.  (And even if you listen to this episode at some other time in the year… guess what?  You can use the exact same 4 steps at any time!)

Start the year right… by making a fresh start!

Listen to the podcast episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Your Word
Gratitude
What You Can Control
Thrive Principles Book
The Immutable Laws of Living Book

MORE Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu

On multiple days each week, my wife and I play a game.  She points to a bruise and asks, “How’d that happen?”

Fair question.  But I don’t have a specific question.  All I can say is, “Rolling at jiu jitsu.”  Yep, my 52 year old body has to tolerate my decision to take up jiu jitsu last January.

A few months after I started going to jiu jitsu, I posted a podcast episode on Lessons I Learned At Jiu Jitsu.

MoreLessonsJiuJitsuWell, here we are, some 11 months later.  And I have learned a few more lessons.

Since I posted the first episode, I have continued going to class throughout the week.  And with continuing to go, I also progressed.  In the Gracie Academy framework, I earned my Combatives Belt back in November.  That means that… well… I am still a white belt.  Just an advanced white belt!

Which means that I am now allowed in the advanced class, the Blue Belt Cycle.

Which meant that everything I had learned up until then was met with a block or defense when I tried it on a higher ranked belt.  It had worked fine before!  But now, I was back to square one.

As I have told a few people, it is kind of like when you are in the last year of middle school.  You think you are “top dog,” and strut around a little, pretending to own that school.  Then, you go to high school.  And you discover you are at the bottom of the ladder.  Back to beginner.  That would be me.  Back to beginner.

Humbling?  A little.  But more of a reminder that progress includes lots of new beginning points.  So now, when I can’t make a move (or more likely, when I get submitted and have to tap), I just have to laugh… then learn.

Listen in to this week’s episode for 4 more life lessons I have (re)learned from jiu jitsu.

RELATED RESOURCES
Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu
You Have To Show Up
When Your Ego Trips You Up

Perspective
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living
Book:  Thrive Principles

Embracing “We’ll See”

EmbraceWellSeeFor me, “We’ll See” was my philosophy of survival when I was sick.

The doctor gave me a diagnosis with a bad prognosis.  Lots of ways I could be sick and die.  Lots of ways my body could betray me.

Oh, and this was 15 years ago.  WebMD was the “go-to” for facts on how we would die from any symptom or condition.  So, family and friends let me know all the ways my body could fail me, based on my diagnosis.  And shared the facts in excrutiating detail.

I was not in denial.  I simply knew that there were many ways things COULD go wrong.  But that meant little on how things WOULD go wrong.

It was overwhelming to face the “could’s.”  I had only space to deal with the “would’s.”

So, I took to a single response, “We’ll see.”  For a bit, the tone and volume would go up.  Until the person realized that “We’ll see” was where I was standing.

I find it most helpful to deal with things as they happen, not trying to figure out all the many things that might happen.

This is something I suggest for all of us.  So many things we could worry about.  Or we could just use the energy to deal with what is.  What becomes.  What happens.

Embrace “We’ll See.”  I discuss it in this episode of the podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Worries
Dealing With Change
Facing “What Is”
Embracing “I Don’t Know”

Embracing “I Don’t Know”

EmbraceIDontKnowHow much can any of us really know?

But how often do we still choose to have an opinion on everything?  Someone asks about a topic, and we give an opinion.  Then, we have to back that opinion up.

According to neuro-science, we look for evidence to support opinion we created, based on emotions.  In other words, our opinions often come first – based on emotions – and our reasons come second.

That sounds a bit dangerous around complex issues, doesn’t it?

Not knowing is a great ending point or a great starting point.

Maybe the question is about a topic over which you really don’t care?  Knowing about it is simply not that important.  “I don’t know” is a great way of admitting you don’t know and don’t care.

Or perhaps it is something over which you care… but which you don’t know right now.  “I don’t know” can start the process of learning.

The danger is in trying to know… when you don’t.

I discuss how to embrace “I don’t know” in this podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Growth and Change
Dealing with Change
Showing Up

Why Being Thankful Matters

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days.

For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little “thank you for that gift,” but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life.

Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dog, Ziggy, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude.

Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up.

But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.

How about you?

Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain… away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain… just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful.

Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings!

RELATED RESOURCES
Gratitude & Appreciation
Two Targets To Thrive
The Appreciation Approach
Stop Trying To Change The Past
Thrive Principles Book

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

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

Attacking Anxiety

AttackAnxietyDo you feel anxious?  Have anxious moments?  Maybe even struggle with anxiety attacks?

If so, I want to offer some strategies to help you deal with those feelings… the emotional storm that can hit.

Anxiety isn’t a sign of weakness.  It is actually a sign of ancient survival strategies that have ramped up to the point of over-reaction.  Hyper-vigilance has taken the survival strategy of fear and caution to a level that can interfere in daily life.

There are some strategies, though, that can help you cope, re-wire, and live with lower levels of anxiety.

Don’t let it run your life!  Learn to cope and move beyond anxiety.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Anxiety
A Thought Is A Thought
How To Beat Depression
Dealing With Down Days
The Immutable Laws of Living

 

Rules For Living Series

What Are The Rules For Living?Do you have any “rules for living”? Thoughts or ideas that you follow as guidelines for living? Maybe you don’t always follow them… but you intend to. You treat them like rules. They aren’t really “laws,” concepts you MUST follow, or you find yourself in trouble. (See my Immutable Laws for Living book for these.)

Rules just make life easier. They keep you moving forward, in the direction you want.

If you have some, great! See how they compare to my 10 rules.

If you don’t have rules, consider trying out my 10 rules.

Below are links to trainings on each of the 10 rules 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
#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
#10 Live Each Day As THE Day