Change Your Algorithms

All around the news, we are hearing about algorithms built into our social media.  It directs what we see and hear. It is how all social media decides what to feed you next.  If you like this video, then you might like this one.  If you know this person, then you may know this person.  If you respond to this ad, then you might respond to this one.  The task?  To keep you on the app or the website.  Because that is the thing about social media:  they want your attention and your time.  

But guess what?  You have algorithms that are running inside of you.  They are your “Personal Algorithms.”  They are your habits that run your daily life.  And they don’t really function that differently than what the tech companies use.

In essence, algorithms are simply If/Then formulas.  “If” this happens, “then” you do this.  In life, they represent your own daily habits and reactions.  The “If” is a trigger.  Something happens.  And when it does, you “then” do something.  If your stomach growls, then you grab a bite to eat.  If you are walking by the cookie jar, then you grab one and eat it.  If the alarm goes off, then you hit the snooze several times.  If/Then.

Those algorithms can keep you stuck or free you up, depending on how you use them.

Michael Balchan, CEO of Heroic.My guest this week is Michael Balchan.  He is the CEO of Heroic.us, an app based approach to thriving more in life.  Listen in as we discuss your habits, your life, your algorithms, and how to be on your own “heroic journey.”

Throughout his adulthood, Michael has been trying to not just “punch the clock,” but to thrive.  And over the years, he immersed himself in learning and executing.  He sought wisdom from others, then worked to apply it into his life.

Along the way, he moved from finance professional to professional coach.  And on that path, he realized his own mission was to help the world to thrive.

On this episode, we talk about ways to thrive, and a new resource to help you thrive.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Heroic.us
Thrive Principles Simplified
The Habits Series

Seek Clarity

The Thrive Code

If you want to thrive in life, seek clarity in what is important and what creates fulfillment for you.Did you ever have one of those Magic 8-Balls when you were growing up?  I never had one, but a friend down the street did.  You were supposed to ask Yes/No questions of the ball, then turn it over and a die would float to the surface, revealing your answer.

For whatever reason, we could spend lots of time asking a question, shaking and flipping the 8-Ball, and study our answer.  Of course, if we didn’t like the answer, we would just shake it again and get another answer.

On a side note, I always wondered why an 8 ball from billiards was ever supposed to be “magical” in answering questions.  I recently read that Brunswick Billiards bought the rights to the toy as some point.  So, no, nothing magical about an 8 ball, except for the billiards company being involved!

Anyway, there was this one answer that always left me frustrated:  Reply hazy, try again.

Naturally, I would.  I’d just shake again and try for another answer.  But I remember this one time… I just kept getting the same answer — Reply hazy, try again.  So, I kept trying again.  And I didn’t get anywhere!

Well, life can be that way.  When things aren’t clear, it can be frustrating and paralyzing.  If we don’t have clarity about some decisions, sometimes we do nothing.

It turns out that having some clarity helps to make life easier. It helps us to thrive.

But, and this is important, seeking clarity is quite a help in thriving.  In fact, when we seek clarity, we tend to find enough of it to move forward.  And sense clarity changes over time, you do have to keep seeking it.  What was clear… what made sense… at one point or stage in life, may no longer make sense at another point.  So, we have to keep seeking clarity — and finding it along the way.

This is the code.  The Thrive Code.

Listen for more about seeking clarity below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Challenge
Control
Community
Contribution
Create
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Lee’s Books

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

Change in the Shadow of Terror

Surviving 9/11 and Finding Meaning

Kushal Choksi survived 9/11 and found his purpose.Sometimes, success comes from being at the right place at the right time.  Sometimes, tragedy comes from being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But what happens when you are at the right place at the wrong time?

For Kushal  Choksi, it saved his life.  It was September 11, 2001.  Kushal was running late, and rushing to get to a meeting in the World Trade Towers.  He was racing through the mezzanine when a horrific impact jarred him and threw the world into chaos.  What had happened?  What should they do?

Some people were frozen in place.  Others were fleeing the building.  Still others were simply trying to get back to their day, oblivious to the danger that was mounting.  Choksi headed for the door, but was met by a security guard who was imploring people to return to the building.  Given the debris raining down, that made some sense.

But before he could turn, another voice and a strong hand on his shoulder said, “No, get out!”  Kushal did.  That decision saved his life.

And that day completely reordered Choksi’s life.  He was lost for some time after.  What seemed like the recipe for success was floundering.  It was not just about being wealthy and powerful.  Somehow, the “American Dream” no longer seemed the goal.

What then?

After much seeking, Kushal found his way forward with new tools for dealing with his anxiety and fears.  And that led him to another path of success.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, as we approach the 20th anniversary of that horrific attack, I had a chance to sit down with Kushal and talk about meaning, purpose, breath, and mindfulness.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Kushal Choksi’s Website
Amazon Link to Kushal’s book, On A Wing And A Prayer
Free of Fear Series
Breathe
Order, Disorder, Reorder

Responsibility vs. 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.

RELATED RESOURCES
Responsibility
NMF Syndrome In Marriage
Showing Up
Thrive Principles Book
Immutable Laws of Living Book

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

 

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

The Art of Undoing

Erika Gerdes, Authenticity AdvocateHave you ever arrived at that spot in life…the place you were pushing to be…only to look around and realize it was not what you thought it would be?  In fact, it isn’t even what you want?

Maybe that dream job, relationship, or status, really wasn’t the dream, after all.  Even if you worked hard to get there.  Even if you sacrificed to get there.

Do you stay?  Or do you step back and undo?

Market researchers talk about the “sunk cost fallacy.”  A “sunk cost” is the amount you have already paid or invested in something, whether time or resources.  It is already gone.  Already “sunk” (thus the name).  The fallacy part is the tendency for people to keep pushing ahead, sticking with something because of the sunk cost.  You hold onto a stock because you invested in it…even as the price plummets. Instead of leaving a losing game, you stay in because of what you have already lost.

We do it every day.

My guest in this episode is Erika Gerdes.  She dreamed of working at Google.  But the thought was intimidating enough that she never applied.  But she ended up there, anyway, after answering an anonymous Craigs List ad.  And there she stayed for 13 years.

Along the way, though, she discovered that her “dream job” was not fulfilling her dream.  So, she finally left…at the height of her career…and became an Authenticity Advocate.  She found her voice in helping others find their voice, her calling in helping others discover their calling.

What she discovered is that sometimes, you have to UN-do things to do things you want to do.  You have to practice the art of undoing.

We discuss Undoing, Authenticity, Courage, Mission, and more during our conversation.  Listen in below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Erika’s Website (with free resources)
MPI Triangle
From Fear to Courage