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.

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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.

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The Immutable Laws of Living Book
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Book:  Thrive Principles
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

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How to Forgive Yourself

HowToForgiveYourselfForgiving is an important skill.  When we forgive people for hurts and slights in the past, we get to free ourselves from those events.

(That skill is so important that I wrote a book about the process I created.  That book is The Forgive Process.)

But what about forgiving yourself?

Why would you need to do that?

Because we all do thing, say things, fail to do and say things, that we regret. And those regrets can haunt us.  They can keep us stuck in the past… in events that are already over.

Sometimes, if another person is involved, they might not even remember what happened or what was said.  But you might continue to torture yourself, chastising yourself for what you said/did, didn’t say/didn’t do.

This requires another skill:  self-forgiveness.

Not just a way to get yourself off the hook.  Not just a way to gloss over what happened.  But a way to move forward.

How do you forgive yourself?  Listen to this podcast episode to find out!

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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.

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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.

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When Life Knocks You Down

What to do when life knocks you down.  Time to get back up and thrive.Life has a way of knocking us down.  Every single person.  Life hits hard sometimes, and softer sometimes.  But life will knock us down.  Not once.  Not twice.  But many times.

Many people get stuck trying to figure out what it means.  I am more focused on what we do.

How do we keep moving forward?  How do we find our balance again?  How do we face another day?

But there it is, right there.  There will be another day.  The sun will rise again tomorrow.  Which is why we have to decide how we are going to respond when life trips us up and knocks us down.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss how we can thrive through the tough times (even because of the tough times) and find a path through life, even when life bumps us and trips us… even knocks us down.

Listen below.

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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. . .

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