Beginning

Three years ago, at the age of 51, I walked into the jiu jitsu gym.  I wasn’t returning to some skill I learned when I was younger.  I was starting fresh.  As a beginner.  To be honest, I had some idea about what jiu jitsu involved… but I had no idea on how to participate.

I was a beginner!

The fact is, every accomplished person in every single field started the same way.  As a beginner.  It is an unavoidable part of starting anything and learning anything.  And at that point, you don’t even know all the things you don’t know!

Interview with Tom Vanderbilt, journalist and author of the book, Beginners.This is the first discovery of mastery.  The NOT knowing of everything.  So that you can start learning.  It is what the Zen masters refer to as “The Beginner Mind.”  It is the natural state of beginning, and a good mindset to nurture throughout life, even as mastery comes in other areas.

Which is why it is interesting that many adults hit a point in life when they are unwilling to start new, to become the beginner.  And unfortunately, that cuts off the path of growth.  It holds us back from new experiences and new learning.

My guest on this episode is Tom Vanderbilt, accomplished journalist and author, and intentional beginner.  His recent book, Beginnings, recounts Tom’s decision and path on learning some new skills and interests.  He decided to learn to play chess, draw, sing, juggle, and surf.  He even learned how to make a titanium wedding band to replace the ones lost learning to surf.

In this episode, Tom and I discuss the process of learning, the Beginner’s Mind, why we struggle to reengage with beginning, and how to do it anyway.  We also discuss the powerful advantage to the learning process, straight through adulthood.

Tom’s book is a must-read, since growth and learning are Thrive Principle skills for thriving people.

Listen in below.

RELATED RESOURCES
>>Tom’s Website and Book Info<<
Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
MORE Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
Even More Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
Still Even MORE Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
The Growth Mindset
Growth Mindsets for Tough Times
The Power of  a Challenge
Learn or Learn

 

Dealing with Election Anxiety

Dealing With Election AnxietyHasn’t 2020 been a doozy of a year?  Pandemics, weather, policitics… asteroids???  What else can happen?

A national election, of course (in the United States, anyway).  And not just any election.  It would be a doozy, too, any other year.

But this year??

According to a recent poll, over 70% of those polled in the States say that the election is a significant source of stress.  And 77% saya they are worried about the future of the US.

How do we deal with the Election Anxiety?  How can we keep from feeling the negative impact of the election on our emotional well-being?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover what causes the anxiety, and six ways to deal with it.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with Covid Series
What CAN You Control?
My Books

Still Even MORE Lessons from Jiu Jitsu

Jiu jitsu has taught me some (lots of) lessons… about jiu jitsu and about life.  In this episode, I reflect further on my jiu jitsu (and life) journey.Just a little over 2 years ago (exactly 2 years ago, as I recorded this episode of my Thriveology Podcast), I started studying jiu jitsu.  At that point, I had no idea where it would go.  I have a life-long interest in martial arts, but had not practiced since being a teenager (tae kwon do at that time).

I knew I wanted to try something out, to take on a challenge.  And it was winter… so maybe a way to get some exercise inside would make sense.  As soon as my kids (both adults) left after Christmas… and when I knew the new insurance policy was in place… I started.

It has been quite a journey!  I am just a few classes away from getting the first stripe on my blue belt.  My blue belt is now several months old… making me an advanced white belt!  Still, I am far from where I was when I started.

At several prior junctures, I have reflected on my learning process in jiu jitsu — and how it applies to life — so I thought it was time for another.

And if you missed the earlier episodes, they are linked in the Related Resources below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Lessons Learned From Jiu Jitsu
More Lessons Learned from Jiu Jitsu
Even More Lessons Learned from Jiu Jitsu
Growth Mindset
Gracie University
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Louisville (come join us!)

Curing Insomnia

Ruth Stern - Healing InsomniaOver 40 million people.  Every year.  That is the number who suffer from insomnia, in the United States alone.  It’s just a little “missed sleep,” right?  Maybe a little cranky in the morning, but nothing that a cup of coffee can’t fix. Right?

Wrong.

First, insomnia is incredibly frustrating.  When you want to sleep, but can’t, it is frustrating.  Especially if everyone else is peacefully slumbering everywhere else in your house!

Second, a lack of sleep is detrimental to our mental and physical well-being.  Each year, more studies show how important sleep is.  It is implicated in anxiety and depression.  It is tied to higher rates of accidents.  It contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, weight gain, and many other chronic issues.

Let alone that crankiness that can make the day so hard!

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss curing insomnia with Ruth Stern.  After suffering from insomnia for 19 years, Ruth set out to find a solution.  A trained therapist, Ruth turned to an energy psychology technique to help herself to heal from insomnia.  An overnight cure?  Nope.  But it worked.  And has worked for many others.

Listen in as Ruth Stern and I discuss curing insomnia.

RELATED RESOURCES
Your Thriving Body Series
Starting And Ending Your Day Right
Dealing with Depression and Anxiety
Grab Ruth Stern’s Healing Your Sleep Now Mini-Training HERE

Re-Writing Reality: Reprogramming the Subconscious

Carl HunterWhat is “reality”?  Is it “out there” or in us?  Or more importantly, is there something about us that creates our experience of reality?  And if so, can we somehow find a way to “re-write” reality in a way that shifts it to more of what we want and less of what we don’t want?

There are plenty of philosophical wonderings in there.  Lots of spiritual traditions have tried to tackle this one.  Are we dreamers or being dreamed?  Do we construct everything we experience?  Is there only what we see and experience?  Do we “cause” everything that happens to us?  Is this just one big hallucination/delusion/matrix?

Big questions that can keep us thinking for a long time.  And yet, the thinking may not mean anything to our daily lives.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I interview Carl Hunter.  At one point in his life, things were not going the way that Carl wanted.  He was adrift, unhappy, and frustrated that he couldn’t make headway.

So, he started searching.  Was there some way to make a shift?  To build a life the way he wanted it to be?

In his search, a friend told him about a course that the friend’s family member was going through.  That course promised to help people build a life they wanted… through the process of “reprogramming the sub-conscious.”

Carl didn’t know if he believed in the process.  But he had nothing to lose by trying.  So, he made himself the guinea pig of the process.  He tried it out.  And according to Carl, within 12 hours, life was going differently.  First in a small way.  But as Carl continued to experiment, life was changing in bigger and more significant ways.

Over time, Carl did more and more research, refining the methodology and techniques.  He calls it “switching from manual to automatic.”  In today’s interview, Carl proposes the “manual” method for you to try.  No need to accept his theories.  Test them for yourself.

Listen in to learn the simple method.  Then, test it out!

RELATED RESOURCES
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?
MindFlavors Website
Free MindFlavors Ebook

Young(er) At Any Age

Dr. Ron Kaiser, author of Re-juvenaging.

My friend tells me, “Aging ain’t for sissy’s, but I ain’t ready for the alternative!”

It happens to every single one of us who are fortunate enough for it to happen.  We get older.  Moment by moment, day by day, year by year… and hopefully, decade by decade.

Personally, I am planning on being around for a long time.  I’m already in what I refer to as “Bonus Time,” after a health scare over 15 years ago.

One of my things to do is look for “aging mentors.”  These are people who are older than me, at varying levels, who seem to be doing it right.  Not so much in the fact that they are still alive, as in how they live.

Ron Kaiser is one of those guys.  81 years old, still a full time psychologist, still doing yoga and exercising, still engaged in learning… still engaged in living.

Recently, I had the good fortune of interviewing Ron.  He and I met at a conference and I said, “I have to get you on Thriveology.  Your information is important at any age!”  And now, I have.

Be sure and listen in to the interview below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
The Mental Health Gym
Dealing with Grief
Showing Up
Your Thriving Body

The Habits Series

You become your habits.How much of your life is ruled by habits?  10%?  25%?  50%?  100%

Well, according to researchers, somewhere between 40 and 95% of life is attributable to habit.  Lots of times, we think we are making a choice… but we are repeating our prior choice, over and over again.  That would be a habit.

Our lives are ruled by habit, from the time we get up until the time we go to bed… especially when we get up and go to bed!

Which means that if we want to change our lives, we have to change our habits.  Either breaking a habit or making a habit.  Something has to shift for there to be a change.

Which is why I created the series on habits.  You can access each of the 6 episodes below.

Habit Series:
You Become Your Habits

Habit Sticking

Habiting Your Goals

LinchPin Habits

Thought Habits

Evolutionary Habits, Revolutionary Habits

Are You Bending Your Map?

BendingTheMapDid you know that it is common to find a lost person with a broken compass?  No, they are not lost because their compass was broken.  They broke their compass because they didn’t believe the compass.  They believed they were somewhere other than where the compass said.  And many times, they decided that the map they were using was also wrong… and they were right.

Survival experts refer to this as “bending the map.”  They are trying to force their map to match what they perceive, rather than letting the map inform their understanding of where they are.

Guess what?  It doesn’t just happen in survival situations.  We do it every day.  We bend our perceptions to match what we want to see… not what is there to be seen.  And we often find ourselves way off-course.  So far off that we might have just compromised our values.

The good news is there are some simple ways to keep this tendency in check.  This is a skill we desperately need these days.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn how to not bend your map!

RELATED RESOURCES
Raising Standards
Careful of Thoughts
Perspective
Thrive Principles Book

Surviving To Thriving

FromSurvivingToThrivingWe always start at survival.  You have to survive to do anything else.  Surviving is based in dealing with scarcity and threats.

Sometimes, people get stuck in survival mode… whether it is necessary or not.  For most people, survival mode is less a necessity and more a habit.

Then, we live.  Living is about finding comfort.  People to support you, work to do, things to enjoy.  And for many people, this is the stage that feels like success.  The paycheck and opportunity gives enough comfort to enjoy life.

So, many people get stuck in the live mode.

But then, there is the opportunity to thrive.

Survive >>>> Live >>>>> Thrive

What makes the shift?  Realizing that the living isn’t enough.  There is something more.  Something deeper and more satisfying.  It’s about finding your purpose, finding your deeper meaning, making an impact in the world.

It requires taking on the challenges, looking for the opportunities… growing and stretching.

While surviving is about scarcity, living is about comfort, thriving is about abundance.  It isn’t a change in what is around you, as much as a shift in perspective.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about making the shifts.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning and Purpose
Making An Impact
Building A Thriving Life

Your Built-In Importance Indicator

Tools To Thrive Series

Your Built-In Importance IndicatorWouldn’t it be nice if you had a built-in detector that let you know when something is important?  Kind of like a treasure detector to point out when to pay attention and dig in?

Guess what?

You do!

But you probably aren’t using it the way it was designed.  Most people aren’t.  In fact, most people use this indicator as an Avoidance Indicator — using it to AVOID things, even important things.

Used correctly, this built-in indicator will help you decide what is important and what is trivial.  It will also guide your choices.  Used incorrectly, and it will keep you stuck, small, and missing opportunities.

Ready to learn how to use it?  Listen below. . .

 

Tools of Thriving Series
Introduction
Thought Awareness
Only Control What You Can

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift