Broken??

broken plate meme has it all wrongHave you seen this picture in your FB feed or on Twitter?  It crossed my path a number of times.

The first time I saw it, I was immediately uncomfortable.  But it took a little time for me to be clear on why.

There is a point to it:  just because you apologize doesn’t mean everything is okay.

I like that point.

But I worry about going the other way:  if someone hurts you, you are shattered.  With that, I disagree.

Not just a little.

A lot.

I firmly believe that we are all built to heal from hurts.  I firmly believe that encoded within us is the capacity to not just move forward, but to thrive, even when someone deeply wounds us.

We humans are natural story-tellers.  And we all LOVE to tell the “someone done me wrong” stories — thus, 90% of country songs!

And people do, indeed, do us wrong (and we do others wrong).

The problem is not the stories.  It is our attachment to those stories.  When we begin to define ourselves by the stories of what happened to us, we become that story.  It no longer happened TO us, it IS us.

And we get stuck.  We become defined by the story, (almost always, A story).  Then, we are limited.  We stop growing.  We stay attached to the story.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss what happens with a story, and why we can’t allow ourselves to be caught by the story.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Apologies
How to Forgive
Book: The Forgive Process
Book: 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

Growth Mindset In The Pandemic

Coping with COVID

2020.   ¯\_(?)_/¯  Am I right?  And we just keep stretching on into 2021.  The pandemic isn’t over, the virus isn’t gone.  And here we still are.

Having a growth mindset in the midst of a pandemic.Thriving?

Stuck?

Research psychologist, Carol Dweck, says that there are two mindsets we can have:  fixed and growth.

In the fixed mindset, we think we are just the way we are.  Our personalities and skills are just a part of who we are.  “A natural athlete/writer/salesman/comedian,” or whatever else.  We just are born with those skills… or personalities.

In a growth mindset, we can learn… grow and change.  We can get better in something we want to improve.  No, that doesn’t mean that anyone can be a world-class athlete.  But if I want to improve my abilities, I can.  If I want to shoot better free-throws, I can practice.  If I want to improve my writing, I can practice.  I can get better through, learning, effort, and practice.

It seems obvious when we look at it that way, but many of us accidentally fall into a fixed mindset, both of ourselves and others.  Experts change their recommendations, and we can either see that as a failure on their part, “wishy-washy” and up to no good.  Or we can see that they, too, are learning and sharing from what they are learning.  Fixed or growth.

And we can also look at how we, ourselves, are learning to shift, pivot, alter, and change our lives in the face of a pandemic.  When we get back to normal, it won’t be the normal of December 2020.  It will be different.  How will we shift?

RELATED RESOURCES
Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset
Podcast on Growth
Podcasts on Coping with COVID

How to Break Out of a Rut

Stuck in a rut?  How to break free in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.We all have times in life where we just feel… stuck… in a rut.  Life on repeat.  Another day, another week, another month, another year clicks by, same ol’ same ol’.

That is the definition of a rut, just moving forward on a path of least resistance, unable to change direction or shift focus.  A rut.

For many, this pandemic has been one big rut, stuck going forward, time passing by but little changing.

Can you get free from a rut?  Can you break out of a rut?

Yes, you can!

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore the nature of a rut, deciding if you are really stuck in a rut (or just resting), and how to break out of the rut.

Listen in below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Order, Disorder, Reorder
Changing Limiting Beliefs
The Thrive Journal

 

From “If” to “Is”

Why “If” keeps you stuck… and how to shift

Are you stuck in the “If’s” of life:  What if, If only, Only if?  Shift to Is.. What ISAt the beginning of my career, I was a hospital chaplain.  One of my tasks was to help people accept what was going on… to accept the diagnosis, the outcome of an accident or tragedy, to accept the changes.  Interestingly, many times, it seemed that those wanting the person to “accept” were really looking for resignation.  Kind of giving up.

I think our understanding of acceptance has expanded since then.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.

You see, we all want some “alternate reality,” some different space where things didn’t, aren’t, or won’t happen.  Where we get to choose to undo/redo, or not do what we don’t like.  The alternate reality where things happened or happen or will happen differently.

Except they don’t.  They happened as they did.  They are happening as they are.  And they will happen as they will.

Yes, we have some control about what we do in this moment, and what we will do to move toward the next.  But not enough to create our alternate reality where we get to choose everything (we do get to choose our own response, though).

There are 3 “If’s” we play out in our mind.  One shift matters, if we want to thrive.  The shift to “Is.”

I unpack what that is about and talk about how we can make the shift in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Grief
When to Act, How to Accept
Is the Present Perfect?
Book:  The Thrive Principles

5 Lessons from 55 Trips Around the Sun

5 lessons I’ve learned from my 55 years on earth. Another year has passed.  I added a year to when I answer, “How old are you?”  Well, at least in theory.  I am an unreliable narrator for reporting my age.  By accident.  But on a repeated basis.

That said, as I recorded this episode of the podcast, and write these words, I am celebrating 55 trips around the sun (and I complain I don’t get to travel much!).

I’m not sure about claiming wisdom, but I do claim some lessons from those years.  Lessons I keep learning and relearning.  Lessons I must remind myself about.  But lessons that matter to my life.

While there are quite a few, 5 seemed to be appropriate for 55 years.  5 lessons from 55 years on this earth!

I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned!  And I’d love to hear any questions or thoughts you might have about thriving.  But until then, listen in on the 5 lessons I have learned (and keep learning), and let me know if they are lessons you share.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Do Things Happen for a Reason?
We Aren’t Getting Out Alive!
Your Purpose
Thrive Principles Book

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