Start Here

YouAreHere“Where should I start?”, my client asked.

Lots of times, we want to make changes, we want things to be different.  And sometimes, we want things to be different before we make any changes.

We want a different starting point.

If you’ve ever been at a park or mall, looking at the map to figure out where to go, you might notice that one very important feature, “You Are Here.”  It points to the spot where you are now.

Not where you want to go.  Not where you want to be.

But where you are.

If you are at the mall and see the store you want… on the other side of the mall, you might wish you were standing nearby, near the destination store.  Not all the way across the mall.

But if you are on the other side of the mall, that is where you are.  Navigating to the destination from a closer point — a point where you are NOT — is not likely to be effective.

You start where you are.

And you might just find… it is a pretty good place to start.

Listen to this podcast episode for how to start where you are, and why where you are is a pretty good place to start.

RELATED RESOURCES
Accepting What Is
Limiting Beliefs
Making Changes
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

Be Curious

The Thrive Code

The next part of the thrive code;  being curious.  Why is it important and how does it help you to thrive?  I cover it this episode of the podcast.  Curious?As we continue exploring your thrive code, the next topic is… are you curious?

OK, that is actually the topic:  being curious.

I’ve come to regard curiosity as one of the main paths to thriving.  In fact, in the absence of curiosity, we will have a hard time thriving.

All learning comes from curiosity.

All change comes from curiosity.

New experiences come from curiosity.

And growth comes from curiosity.

I am a curious person.  And I work to stay curious, to build on curiosity.

Learn why curiosity is part of the Thrive Code in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Challenge
Control
Community
Contribution
Create
Lee’s Books

 

Create!

The Thrive Code

Part of the Thrive Code is to CREATE. That is what humans do. And yes, you are creative. Time to embrace it.I must admit, I have said it myself, “I am just not creative.” But that isn’t true. Not for me, and not for you. Perhaps you had some art teacher tell you that at one point. Or perhaps you were looking at the creative work of someone else. And perhaps you aren’t creative in that particular medium (although it may just be you haven’t put effort into that medium).

But you ARE creative. And so am I.

How do I know?

Because we are human. And being human is being creative. We create thoughts all the time. Most of the time, jobs are creative in nature. When we are doing some hobby, it is likely to be creative. Yep, even if it is a sport.

When I am rolling in jiu jitsu, I may think that I am just repeating some move I have learned. But in reality, I am trying to creatively respond to the actions of someone else. They move, and I respond, to which they respond, to which I respond. At every step, it is a creative response.

Or when I am trying to work a problem on the climbing wall, I have to make a creative choice on how I will make it to the top. I have to be creative in the choices I make, positioning I take, and the route I follow.

The fact is, creativity is in our DNA. Humans are probably more creative than any other creature. It only takes a quick look around to see how creative elements surround us with just a quick look around.

One part of the Thrive Code is seeing your creativity, and consciously practicing it. I cover it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  You can listen below.

 

RELATED RESOURCES
Challenge
Control
Community
Contribution
Lee’s Books

It’s A Challenge!

The Thrive Code Series

Life is a challenge, isn’t it? I don’t think I am saying anything that is a surprise these days. We’ve been dealing with a pandemic now for over 2 years. For many people, that has led to many challenges throughout life.

Which brings me to my word for 2022. Each year, my family chooses one word to live into for the year. And this year, my word is Challenge. Not just to acknowledge the challenge of these days, but to claim that I am going to live into and lean into the challenge!

Even without a pandemic, life would still be a challenge. Why?

Challenge is my word for 2022. Life’s a challenge. Challenge Accepted.Because that is the nature of life. Life challenges us.

We can see it as an obstacle. We can even stomp our feet and proclaim that “it shouldn’t be this hard.” But that won’t change the fact that life is just a challenge. So, philosophically, I just acknowledge and accept that it is a challenge. Not an obstacle; a challenge.

Also, I need a challenge. If I don’t have something to take on, some challenge to work toward, I tend to get stagnant. I’ve learned this several times over this past year. Looking back, I see the challenges along the way. I see how they have helped me to grow and expand. A challenge is part of my growth.

But guess what? That is true for all of us. Our bodies and minds have evolved to be at their best when under a challenge. Too little challenge, and the body weakens. So does our brain. So does our mind.

Which is why I will also be doing more challenges (of myself and of clients) in the coming year.

What is YOUR challenge? (Listen to the podcast below for more on why we need a challenge, and how to take one on.)

 

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thrive Principles book
Podcast Episode: What’s YOUR Challenge?
Immutable Law episode: Life Has Challenges

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

Does Gratitude Matter?

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 dogs, Ziggy and Clementine, 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 episode of the Thriveology 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 Books

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

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