Act or 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.

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Embracing “We’ll See”

EmbraceWellSeeFor me, “We’ll See” was my philosophy of survival when I was sick.

The doctor gave me a diagnosis with a bad prognosis.  Lots of ways I could be sick and die.  Lots of ways my body could betray me.

Oh, and this was 15 years ago.  WebMD was the “go-to” for facts on how we would die from any symptom or condition.  So, family and friends let me know all the ways my body could fail me, based on my diagnosis.  And shared the facts in excrutiating detail.

I was not in denial.  I simply knew that there were many ways things COULD go wrong.  But that meant little on how things WOULD go wrong.

It was overwhelming to face the “could’s.”  I had only space to deal with the “would’s.”

So, I took to a single response, “We’ll see.”  For a bit, the tone and volume would go up.  Until the person realized that “We’ll see” was where I was standing.

I find it most helpful to deal with things as they happen, not trying to figure out all the many things that might happen.

This is something I suggest for all of us.  So many things we could worry about.  Or we could just use the energy to deal with what is.  What becomes.  What happens.

Embrace “We’ll See.”  I discuss it in this episode of the podcast.

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Embracing “I Don’t Know”

EmbraceIDontKnowHow much can any of us really know?

But how often do we still choose to have an opinion on everything?  Someone asks about a topic, and we give an opinion.  Then, we have to back that opinion up.

According to neuro-science, we look for evidence to support opinion we created, based on emotions.  In other words, our opinions often come first – based on emotions – and our reasons come second.

That sounds a bit dangerous around complex issues, doesn’t it?

Not knowing is a great ending point or a great starting point.

Maybe the question is about a topic over which you really don’t care?  Knowing about it is simply not that important.  “I don’t know” is a great way of admitting you don’t know and don’t care.

Or perhaps it is something over which you care… but which you don’t know right now.  “I don’t know” can start the process of learning.

The danger is in trying to know… when you don’t.

I discuss how to embrace “I don’t know” in this podcast episode.

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Why Being Thankful Matters

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 dog, Ziggy, 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 week’s 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!

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Responsibility In A Culture Of Blame

Responsibility in a culture of blame.Blame is rampant in today’s world.  We all quickly point the finger at someone/something else, proclaiming, “It’s not my fault!”

Interestingly, I also notice how rampant it is for people to take the credit for successes.

They/we claim credit for what goes right but refuse blame for anything that goes wrong.

We live in a “culture of blame.”

Which is what often keeps us from growing.  From changing.  From learning from our mistakes.  If someone/something else is to blame, what could I (or you) do?  Not my fault… not my problem.

Change requires us to change the equation.  To take responsibility, when we are responsibible.  To share credit when others deserve credit.

Great leadership is about accepting ultimate responsibility for mistakes and problems, while giving credit for successes.

So, how do we turn the equation around?  I discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.

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Beyond 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.

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Free of Fear Series

The Other Side of Fear.Fear is an unavoidable part of life.  The question is whether fear rules your life, or is just a part of life.  Your brain is built for fear — it is attempting to look for all the threats possible… and does a better-than-helpful job at that!

There is no way to be “fearless.”  But you CAN have less fear.  And you can decide how to act, regardless of fear (not because of fear or even in spite of fear, but regardless).

My podcast episodes on dealing with fear can help you decide how to live, regardless of fear in your life.

Here are the links to the episodes:

The Other Side Of Fear

3 Myths of Fear

4 Steps to Taming Your Fear

Worry Less, Live More

2 Magic Questions To Live Beyond Fear

3 Ways Fear Keeps You Stuck

Fear Life or Fierce Life?

Beliefs, Behavior, and A Fierce Life

 

 

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

Change Your Life Using SSC

StartStopContinueHave you heard of Kaizen?  It is the principle of continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement is a great model for change.  It is based on constant changes toward a better outcome.  No need for sudden upheaval or change (although that is sometimes necessary).  Instead, course corrections are made along the way, nudging something toward improvement.

That “something”?  It might be a product (like Japanese automobiles, where Kaizen became the method of them becoming excellent automobiles), companies, or even individuals.

But how, you might wonder, do you actually DO that continuous improvement?

Let me offer a super-simple tool that you can apply to your own life, to your company or workplace, or even to a relationship or organization.

SSC – Start, Stop, Continue

Three benchmarks:  What do you need to Start?  What do you need to Stop?  What do you need to Continue?

In this week’s episode, I discuss how to apply SSC to your own life… and to other areas in your life.

Listen in for a new tool.

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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!

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