From the Projects to Ping Pong

Profile in Thriving

Wally Green, world class table tennisHow does a young man from the projects end up playing table tennis in North Korea… on a diplomacy mission?

How he ended up there is not much different than how Wally Green ended up in Germany, becoming a world-class ping pong player, after leaving his gang past behind.

I “met” Wally on a Zoom call with lots of others and knew I needed to have him on Thriveology.  I wanted to talk with him because he had a  handle on thriving.  Not because he was making life look easy.  But because he was taking life on.

As a child, Wally was faced with domestic violence at home and gang violence outside.  Even though he threw himself into sports as an escape, he didn’t escape gang life.  As he noted, it was a matter of survival.

But guess was really saved Wally’s life?  Table tennis.

How did he get there?  Because he broke a stolen pool cue.  And he took out his frustration on someone playing table tennis.  One thing led to another… and there he was in North Korea.

Really, Wally is the one who needs to tell the story.  And he does, as I interview him in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  You can listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Wally Green’s Website
Your Resilience Muscle
Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving?

 

The Introvert Advantage

Just for transparencey, I am an introvert.  And for much of my life, I found that frustrating when around others.  I felt like a deer in headlights.  How do I start a conversation?  How do I avoid not going way too deep with a conversation?  And working a room?  Makes me sweat, just to think about that.

But is there any advantage to the introvert?  Is there a place where introversion can be a gift…an advantage?

Well, of course.  But most introverts don’t really see it.  We just feel the frustration of watching extroverts navigate a party easily, find success in networking, and seem to be at ease in the public.

Matthew Pollard, author of The Introverts AdvantageBut what if that group included some true introverts who have managed to look extroverted?  And what if those really aren’t strong parameters for success, anyway?

On this episode, my guest is Matthew Pollard, serial entrepreneur, public speaker, author, and… introvert.  Matthew’s recent book is about how introverts can actually have the advantage in networking.

In our conversation, Matthew does a great job of defining introversion, debunks some myths around introverts, and lays out a way for introverts to use their natural way of being into a success advantage.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Matthew Pollard’s Website
Go Here for the Free Chapter

 

Ease <==> Dis-Ease

Finding your ease when the days are filled with scary stuff.  Don’t let the fear keep you from thriving.“So, I guess it is pretty tough to thrive these days, isn’t it?” a friend remarked.  He was assuming that, in order to thrive, life must be going well.  Everything in place, and everything humming along.

Sure, those are nice days.  And yes, they represent easier moments.  But thriving is not just about having things go well.  It is possible to thrive, in spite of what life is throwing your way.

Or maybe because of what life is throwing at you.

And wow, life is really throwing it at us these days, isn’t it?  Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since the first COVID case made it to the States.  We’ve been living with that virus now for a year.  Then throw in the economic struggles, thanks to the virus.  Then toss in a little political struggle, some social unrest.  These are challenging days!

And if we aren’t careful, we can let media (social and otherwise) keep us hyped up on fear and dread.

Or we can find our place of calm.  Our spot of ease.

In this episode of Thriveology Podcast, I cover the space between Un-Ease, Dis-Ease, and Ease.  How to make the shift.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with COVID series
Dealing with Stress
Finding Calm
Better Breathing

Starting Your Day Strong
Ending Your Day Better
My Books on Thriving

 

Your Path into the New Year

What is your path into the new year?Wow!  What a year it has been!  And many people have asked how I can possibly speak about thriving when it just feels like we are surviving.

But that is the point!  Thriving is not what we learn when everything is going well, when life is just humming along.  We learn to thrive when we take on the challenge of the tough stuff!  When we decide that surviving is not enough.  Growing and changing, challenging and surmounting.  Those are where we learn the skills of thriving.

Then, when things are a bit easier… a lul in the action… we can breathe and enjoy.

Which brings us to the cusp of a new year.  When 2020 started, most of us were unprepared for the last 9 or 10 months… but it was already in motion.  Now, as we look down the path of the New Year, change is once again in motion.  For us to get “back to life.” Even though life never really went away.  We didn’t go into suspended animation.

Many of us made changes; many held on for dear life.  But innovation is all around us.  Evidence of what we humans do in the face of challenge, when we rise to the challenge.

In this episode of the podcast, you catch me mid-run, on one of my favorite trails, just a few days before New Years.  I wanted to reflect a bit, encourage a bit, and point us all down a path that is coming, regardless.

What path will you take into the New Year?  Listen in below.

 

RELATED RESOURCES
COVID Podcast Series
Habits Series
One Word Resolution
MPI Triad
Make It Matter
Thrive Principles Book

When to Act, How to 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

Find Hope or Build Hope

Do you find hope or do you build hope?  We discuss it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.Where does hope come from?  Does it come upon us?  Do we discover it?  Or do we build it?

I believe that hope is an important ingredient in thriving.  If you have no hope, it is tough to thrive. Finding hope often helps us find thriving.

Oh, and thriving is not about having an easy life, always exciting and happy.  A thriving life is built on taking on the challenges of life.  Not avoiding them, but taking them on, learning from them, and thriving because of them.

2020 has been the year of challenges.  So, it has also given us lots of opportunities to work on thriving.  How has it been for you?  Hopeful or hopeless?

What if hope is built?  What if all you have to do in order to find hope is follow a formula?

As is true for many things in life, the formula is pretty simple.  But that is not to be confused with easy.  Do remember that thriving is rarely built, though, on the easy.  Taking on the simple, but important, is often the path to thriving.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we take a look at hope.  Where it comes from, how you can find it, and how you can live it… both for yourself and the world.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
What You Can Control
The MPI Triad and Why it Matters
The Coping with Covid Series
My Books on Thriving

You are Built for Purpose

You are built for purpose.  Live it out!So many of us feel despair.  It is not as much a loss of hope as loss of purpose.  There is no hope without a sense of purpose.  It is in your basic design.

Humans are meaning-makers.  We find meaning in what happens (or doesn’t happen) around us and to us.  We can find meaning in random numbers and events, in an attempt to make sense of the world.

But meaning, alone, is not enough.  We also need a sense of purpose. We need to feel that we are moving toward something worthwhile… something significant.

You have a purpose.  Whether you are moving toward it or not, it is within you.  Waiting.

It is your purpose imprint.  Finding it is not enough.  But achieving it isn’t what marks success.  It is in the movement toward your purpose.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss how we are primed for purpose, need a sense of purpose.  And I cover what happens when you don’t have that purpose.  And we discuss how to move toward that purpose.

RELATED RESOURCES
MPI Triad
Meaning Matters
Thrive Principles Book
All of My Books

Is the Present Perfect?

Is the present perfect?  Yes.  Find out how in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.My client was telling me about lots of struggles, difficult times, and a few positive moments.  I noted, as I have many times with many clients, “It sounds like your present is perfect.”

She went silent.  I was silent.  But I could see her processing and struggling with my words.  I sat quietly.

She finally erupted: “Perfect?!? How can you say that?  After all the stuff I told you… how can you tell me that things are perfect?”

I told her, “I didn’t say great.  I didn’t say it was how you wanted them to be.  Only that the present is perfect.”

In that moment, I could see her gears turning… but she still couldn’t make sense of what I was saying.

How can things feel upside-down and inside-out, and be perfect?

“Perfect” does not mean preferred.  It means something is complete.  A perfectly cooked steak is complete. It is cooked to a certain level.  But also consider a “perfect storm,” the perfect combination of  circumstances that mean the storm is more powerful than when those circumstances don’t combine.

The idea of the Present Perfect, which sounds like grammar, comes from life coach, Thomas Leonard.  He noted that the Present Perfect is the fact that this moment perfectly reflects everthing that has come before, up until now.

Why does that matter?  We explore it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article on the Present Perfect
Importance of Acceptance
What Can You Control?
Accept or Act
My Books

From Fear to Courage

FearVersusCourageI don’t know about you, but I don’t much enjoy feeling fear.  I’d rather it not be a part of my life.

And yet, it is.

Fear is part of our wiring, deep in our DNA and deep in the circuitry of our brains. It keeps us safe — sometimes super-safe.  Which is the problem.

There is a central life coaching question:  “Where do you want to be?”  (Few people seek out coaching because everything is great, they are happy, and life is where they want it to be.)

The next question is “What keeps you from getting there?”  When I dig in with clients, that question often hits against external barriers.  Things the client can’t change.

But dig long enough and dig deep enough, and you hit fear.  Fear is what often keeps us from getting what we want in life, from getting the life we most deeply dream about.

If fear is a fact of life (it is), then fear isn’t really as much in our way as we let it be.  After all, other people (who also have fears) have made it.

What breaks through the fear, to get us to the life we want?

It is not being “fearless.”  That won’t happen… although you can have LESS fear.

Nope.

It is COURAGE.  And courage is not the opposite of fear… it is action in the direction of fear.  Which is what dissipates fear.

Let’s talk about fear… and more important, courage… in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
We ALL Have Fears
Facing Fears
Your Fierce Life
Book:  Thrive Principles
Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

Is Your Mind Set?

Is your mind set?  Growth and fixed mindset, and how to change yours.I’m not an athlete, I told myself.  I was the last chosen for teams pretty much every time.  And more often than not, admittedly, I dropped the ball or didn’t run fast enough.  So I lived up to the low expectations of being a teammate.

That kept me believing that I was not an athlete.  And so, I never tried to be athletic.

Years later, when I was recovering from being sick, I decided I needed to get into shape.  I was motivated by a scuba class when I realized how out of shape I was.  I dragged myself into the weight room, so I wouldn’t embarrass myself in class.  I took to the pool for the same reason.

And I slowly got into shape.  Which led to a friend asking if I wanted to adventure race.  Why not?  I might as well, I reasoned.  Then, I trained and completed a trail marathon.  And ran quite a few 5k’s.  Not an athlete, though.

Then, at a conference, someone told me she wanted to write a book, but she “wasn’t a writer.”  I asked what she was doing.  She wrote every single day.  And she had lots of pieces put together for her future book.  But, she “wasn’t a writer.”

I noted to her that writers do one thing.  They write.  She was writing, ergo she was a writer!

Then I went for a run.  And thought about that discussion.  Runners are athletes.  Runners run.  I was running.  Ergo, I was a runner… and maybe an athlete?

My mindset had tripped me up.  I had myself in a fixed mindset.  And to get to a better place, I needed to shift to a growth mindset.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss Dr. Carol Dweck’s concept of growth and fixed mindsets from her book, Mindset.  A fixed mindset keeps us stuck.  But a growth mindset always gives room for growth and change.

Listen in to discover where your mindset is stuck… and how to shift it to growth.

RELATED RESOURCES
Mindset Book
Your Different “Can’ts”
What I Learned From Jiu Jitsu
Link To My Books On Thriving