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.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Thoughts are Thoughts
Meaning 
Making An Impact
Happiness?

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

 

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

How NOT To Thrive: Top 5

5 ways to guarantee that you don't thrive... and what to do instead.Over the years, I have tried to learn to thrive.  And I have tried to teach others how to thrive… even getting other experts to do the same.

But today, just for a moment, let’s assume you DON’T want to thrive.  In fact, you want to… well, do the opposite of thriving!  You want to be miserable and live a smaller life.  You want to feel stuck and frustrated. (I’m not going to even explain WHY you would want to do that… let’s play a little mental game and pretend you just don’t want to thrive.)

What then?

How would you go about NOT thriving?  How would you really make yourself as miserable as possible?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I start in on my Top 10 List of How NOT To Thrive.  I cover 5 top ways to NOT thrive in this episode, and follow up with the other 5 in the next episode.

Why in the world would I do this?

Because if you know how to NOT thrive, then you can NOT do the NOT’s.  You can do the opposite, and move toward thriving.  It is also a good way to run through the list and see if you find yourself falling into any of the non-thriving traps.  They are all around us!  And sometimes, we are doing them… not even realizing it.

Listen below for part 1 of How To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It Isn’t Personal
It IS What It IS
Forgiving
Hard Isn’t The Question
Dealing with Fear
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

Paths to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is such a buzzword these days that you may find yourself “tuning out” when you hear the term.  Ironic, since that is quite the opposite of being mindful!

Simply put, mindfulness is the state of being present with your body in the present moment.  In other words, you are aware of your bodily experience of this immediate moment.

The nice thing about mindfulness is that it is easy to practice, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  It is simply a matter of calling yourself back to this moment, in your own body.

And then… it slips away again, through distractions and thoughts.  Thoughts about the past and future pull us from the present.  We distract ourselves right out of the experience of living in this moment.

Joanne King, Pathways to Mindfulness.  Mindful eating and ending dieting.My guest on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, Joanne King, offers a number of pathways to mindfulness.

Of particular interest is Joanne’s approach to mindful eating.  How often do you find yourself scarfing down a meal, not even noticing the taste, texture, spices, smells, and ingredients… the experience of eating?  I have.

According to Joanne, this means that we often eat beyond what we need… and not necessarily even what we need to eat.  When people shift to mindful eating, Joanne reports, they eat better and naturally lose weight.

And… it is an opportunity to enter into mindfulness.

Join me as I discuss pathways to mindfulness with Joanne King.

RELATED RESOURCES
Joanne’s website
Using Mindfulness to Thrive
The Importance of Being Present
Confidence… in the Moment

Big WHY Vs. Little Why’s

Your BIG WHY versus the little why's that keep you stuck.What’s your WHY?  Your BIG WHY?  Why you are here.  The WHY that is your life purpose?

I think we all have one… even if we haven’t found it yet.  It’s there.  Within us.  Your first task is to find it.  That’s important.  But finding it isn’t enough.  Second, you have to move toward it, work toward it… try to fulfill it.  If it is big enough, it may just take you the rest of your life!

But what could get in your way??

The little “why’s.”  Your questions about “why did this happen?”, “why are things this way?”, “why do I feel this way?”

Those little why’s can drown out the BIG WHY.  It draws our attention away from what is important.  And yet, those little why’s get our attention and energy.  They keep us in circles, chasing after nothing helpful or useful.  Just stuck.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss our BIG WHY and the little why’s that keep us away from the BIG WHY.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning/Purpose/Impact
Showing Up
Accepting WHAT IS
What Can You Control?
What I Learned As A Chaplain, Pt. 1
What I Learned As A Chaplain, Pt. 2
Thrive Principles Book

How To Guarantee You DON’T Thrive

Part 1

5 ways to guarantee that you don't thrive... and what to do instead.Over the years, I have tried to learn to thrive.  And I have tried to teach others how to thrive… even getting other experts to do the same.

But today, just for a moment, let’s assume you DON’T want to thrive.  In fact, you want to… well, do the opposite of thriving!  You want to be miserable and live a smaller life.  You want to feel stuck and frustrated. (I’m not going to even explain WHY you would want to do that… let’s play a little mental game and pretend you just don’t want to thrive.)

What then?

How would you go about NOT thriving?  How would you really make yourself as miserable as possible?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I start in on my Top 10 List of How NOT To Thrive.  I cover 5 top ways to NOT thrive in this episode, and follow up with the other 5 in the next episode.

Why in the world would I do this?

Because if you know how to NOT thrive, then you can NOT do the NOT’s.  You can do the opposite, and move toward thriving.  It is also a good way to run through the list and see if you find yourself falling into any of the non-thriving traps.  They are all around us!  And sometimes, we are doing them… not even realizing it.

Listen below for part 1 of How To Guarantee You Don’t Thrive.

RELATED RESOURCES:
It Isn’t Personal
It IS What It IS
Forgiving
Hard Isn’t The Question
Dealing with Fear
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

2 Targets To Thrive

Two targets for thriving in good and bad times.“But where do I start?”, he asked. I was at a conference talking about thriving. I’d spent a good amount of time discussing some principles of thriving. But I could tell it was a bit overwhelming to my new friend.

He challenged me, “You said I could thrive, no matter what life is throwing my way. So, where do I start if things are going well, and where do I start when things are not going so well?”

I thought for a brief moment and said, “Either way, you aim at two targets. They both apply, whether things are going well or not so well. When you are at the top of your game or at the bottom, these two targets remain.”

“It can’t be that easy,” he replied.

“Easy? I never mentioned ‘easy.’ I just said that there are two targets, no matter where you are,” I offered.

“OK,” he responded, “I’m all ears. What are the two targets?”

Gratitude and Growth.

Those are the two targets. Targets… you aim at them. You may not always hit them. But you aim at them.

When things are good, it is easier to remember to practice gratitude — and yet, we often forget to do it. When things are tough, there are still things for which to be grateful. But it can be a challenge.

When times are tough, growth is often the outcome. But it isn’t always fun to find the lessons. And when things are good, we think we have it down — no need to learn. And yet, there are plenty of things to learn at the top. And at that bottom. And in between.

In this episode of the podcast, I discuss these two targets. And how to hit them.

RELATED RESOURCES
Gratitude
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Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids

Raising Thriving Children Series

Teaching Thrive Principles to children and young adults.In my recent book, Thrive Principles, I provide 15 strategies for living a thriving life.  In that book, I note that this does not mean an absence of struggle and tough times.  I suggest, instead, that these tough times are the fuel for thriving.  They are the times we build our thriving muscles — IF we understand how to thrive.

Guess what?

This is a great list of strategies to teach children and young people.  Imagine entering adulthood with those strategies and skills at the ready.  Imagine that when the tougher times come, young adults already know how to move through them — and thrive!

I’ve noticed that many people never learn to thrive.  And many learn to thrive only when they are at a tough point.  Then, when nothing is working, they finally have to find a way to thrive — in the midst of struggle!

Wouldn’t it be easier to master those skills along the way, when we are just trying to figure out the skills of life, anyway?  What if we just learned the helpful skills — not the unhelpful coping strategies that usually cause more struggle down the road?

Take a listen to the podcast to hear how those Thrive Principles can help your child.  (And if you think YOU might benefit, LEARN MORE HERE or grab Thrive Principles wherever you like to buy your books.)

Raising Thriving Children Series
Introduction
Eggs, Balls, And Turtles
The Important Influence On Children
Ingredients To Thriving Children
Antidote To A Narcissistic World

The Appreciation Approach

Tools to Thrive Series

The Appreciation ApproachYour brain is really only capable of being in one of two modes:  fear/threat or love/appreciation. Unfortunately, the fear/threat mode is pretty much the default and automatic.

Fortunately, changing to manual and shifting to love/appreciation is not complicated.

More than that, there is plenty of research to point to the specific benefits of that shift:

  • Better emotional health,
  • Higher pain tolerance,
  • Higher sociability,
  • Greater life satisfaction,
  • More sleep,
  • More exercise,
  • etc., etc., etc.

There really isn’t much of a downside to gratitude and appreciation.  It just requires a shift in habits to get there.

Got 10 minutes or so per day, just for the next month?  YOU can build your appreciation/gratitude  toolkit and add it to your Thriving Toolbox.

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

The Responsibility Formula
The Perspective Shift
Your Built-In Importance Indicator
The Importance Matrix