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I take on new themes every year. Often they are small phrases or tiny one word concepts that help me improve my life. Believe me, you can spend a lifetime appreciating the implications of seemingly small words. Here are 5 G-words whose lessons will bring you greater wealth and happiness.

Gratitude

There’s an old saying “Where you look is where you go.” And if you can look down on your feet and smile in appreciation for the shoes covering them, it’s easier to imagine all the wonderful places they are taking you. That’s the power of gratitude. Gratitude shifts your focus from a place of lack, to a place abundant with opportunity. In the business world, this is the ideal mental space that helps put you in a state of flow. Gratitude shifts your center of gravity, and pulls your attention to creative possibility. It picks your head up and helps you walk forward with a smile and rose colored glasses that filter the noise and focus on the treasures.

Resentment and fear generate very little momentum. Competitive thinking is rooted in scarcity, fearing there isn’t enough for everyone. Right out of the gate, this mindset creates anxiety and distress, and this is where many people anxiously attempt to make themselves feel busy. They narrow their vision and confuse speed, and things like multi-tasking, with being productive. They feel desperate for sales, people notice and are turned off by it. They overwork on the wrong tasks, don’t get enough sleep, and suffer from burnout.

On the other hand, gratitude helps you appreciate your true gifts, to broaden your vision, calm your mind, and creatively act. If you believe there are more than a few successful outcomes, or better yet, that an abundance of successful outcomes exist, you  no longer need to focus on perfection or the destination, and you can focus more on the journey. This approach aids in increasing true productivity; the quality and efficiency of your work, and the happiness of your mind. Over time, this leads to the elevation, connection and growth of yourself and of those around you.

Elevating yourself with gratitude often inspires others to adopt the same behavior.  When you truly connect in this way, you will begin to see more like-minded individuals come your way. And off we go.

Building a personal gratitude practice or integrating it into your culture can not only make you a happier person, but a more efficient and wealthier one as well.

Action Items:

  • To get started, take notice of and appreciate small things. Reframe all your critical observations and judgements into things you are thankful for. If you’re really good at cynical judgement, you can learn to use that keen vision to reflect internally and make an observation of appreciation and gratitude within yourself. Humans are blessed with the gift of discerning observation, and if we choose to use it to empower ourselves, we can become aware of a lot to be thankful for. Underneath all the baggage of our judgemental minds, are wonderful attributes waiting to get noticed. The more you begin to appreciate, the more opportunities you’ll notice. The more you give thanks and recognize opportunities, the faster you’ll develop an expectation that more good things are on the way. And that is where faith is born. The faith that stems from gratitude is a powerful force that can help you command value and advancement in your life.
  • Find things to be thankful for. Start with simple things and make a list. It can include your wife, kids, shoes, your watch, your dog, car, fancy laptop, whatever. Start a list.  Implementing this active practice will help you generate gratitude that can be extended beyond the things that are easy to spot, and extend to the less visible ( friendly attitudes, letters, notes, kind words, thoughtful expressions, recalling a happy memory from the past, etc.).
  • Next, extend your list to include the opportunities that lie before you. Everyone has opportunities to advance themselves. It may be tough to see them at first, but it gets easier as you go. Call attention to these things, write them down. Say thank you for the opportunities that lie in front of you, those that you notice, and those beyond your vision.
  • Start expressing gratitude for the opportunities you can’t yet see. This is a humbling yet positive reminder that there is more to the world than what we perceive. There is more opportunity than we can imagine. Be thankful.
  • Stop complaining. Everything you have experienced has lead up to this moment and these opportunities, which have all helped in your advancement. Be thankful for all the imperfect, dysfunctional conditions that have brought these opportunities and aided in your development thus far. This includes the corrupt politicians, lawyers, and anyone else you normally struggle to appreciate.

Grace

Grace comes from the  Latin ‘gratus’ meaning pleasing, thankful. In modern times to the Western world, when we think of Grace we think in terms of having God’s favor, despite our being human (undeserving sinners). I think of grace in a slightly broader and more positive manner. Here’s my definition – being a gracious person means extending courtesy and kindness despite perceived appearances. Aspire to be a gracious person and look beyond your preconceived notions and judgements, and connect to a world beyond what is easily perceived. This is an act of faith. It is an extension of gratitude for living in a world of abundance beyond our perception. Acting with grace and granting it to others will extend your faith and gratitude.

Action Items:

  • Hold the door for others. This isn’t for them. It’s for you. It’s a reminder action to call attention to your grateful, advancing self, appreciative of opportunities to connect with others.
  • Consciously start your sentences with please and thank you more often.
  • Ask more questions regarding your observations.
  • When someone criticizes you or even judges you, fairly or not, before you assert your healthy boundaries, grant them a little grace and kindness. Consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. Ask one or two questions in a kind tone before becoming defensive.

Giving

Aspiring to be grateful, gracious people, we end up giving a heck of a lot more, and feeling the need to “take” less because we become more aware of how much is actually given to us. Giving is a key to success and there are so many things we can give that do not cost a thing. We can of course give grace to strangers by being kind to them, by doing things we know all appreciate like holding doors, or using your barista’s name, giving conversation, giving an ear to listen to others, and so on. If you want to receive big things from the world, make room by giving. Simply having a giving attitude and starting with all the seemingly small, emotional and connective kindnesses, is a great place to start. This will reinforce your faith in the abundant world.

“Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.” -Walt Whitman

That’s one of my favorite quotes that reminds me that there are very few truly altruistic actions. Don’t get hung up on codependent notions of sacrifice or altruism. There’s a lot of ego and dysfunctional codependent attitudes in attachment to these ideas. Isn’t it more than fair to think that when we give, we receive? We benefit in giving. We receive in giving. Our influence increases, as does our standing in the community. Our attitude is elevated and more opportunities to connect and grow find their way to our awareness. Give more and receive more. The immediate gifts you receive may merely reinforce your attitude of gratitude, and as previously mentioned, this can improve your ability to recognize opportunities and create new ones.

Action Items:

    • Start with a simple smile. How about a little PDA for your life? Give some Public Displays of Appreciation for your life. Show your smile more often. People are attracted to happy people. Happy people are advancing people. Advancing people and happy people are attracted to each other. Advancing people create opportunities together in connection and abundance. It starts with a smile. Let the haters, and competitive, scarcity believers be confounded, disturbed, and ruffled by your presence. Their discomfort will keep them away from you. And you will only attract people who are in a place of abundance and gratitude.
    • Give simple greetings and use people’s names. Give some mind share to people’s names. Learn more names and use them. People’s moods are elevated by simply hearing their names. Learn your baristas’ names at your favorite coffee joint. Say hello every visit and use their name out loud every time. This will help you commit to memory. Unlike last nights episode of whatever you watched, remembering names and using people’s names in simple greetings will actually serve you in your life and career. You can spare the mental capacity to learn people’s names and give more greetings.
    • Give yourself more time to do things. As a society, we’re addicted to speed, and getting things done as quickly as possible. Often, this means things get done poorly which in turn leads to poorer results, which leads to fear, scarcity, anxiety and distress. Give yourself the gift of redefining your benchmark. For important tasks, give yourself twice as long as you believe necessary. If you finish early, reflect on your effort and see if there are 10 refinements you can implement to improve things. Give yourself at least a 20% buffer with your estimate. If you are not in charge of time, give yourself the opportunity for more time by asking for a 20% time buffer to do things well.

 

  • Give opportunities to complete strangers. Have you ever hoarded ideas or knowledge that were gained through expensive lessons? I know I have. This comes from a scarcity mindset. There are many opportunities, connections, ideas, and information that you can give that won’t affect your workflow. You can give recommendations for good books, restaurants, people, ideas, etc. Don’t limit your giving to your most coveted ideas. Make a list of all the knowledge you are comfortable giving away. This will help you preserve healthy boundaries while advancing your life and creating more opportunities through giving.
  • Give referrals. It is wonderful to connect good vendors to good clients. It advances both parties and is a very efficient means of cultivating growth.

Growth

Expanse, advancement, increase, more, I love these words. I am an advancing person, a growth minded person. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and act on that gratitude by attempting to live life to my maximum potential, by reaching out for more. If you want more out of life, you need to do more than think with gratitude, you need to act upon it and with it everyday. A fundamental appreciation for your life can help motivate you to aspire to be an advancing person. Incorporate growth into your daily mantra and find ways to improve your life.

Action Items:

  • Grow by aiming your willpower inward and refining your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes until you are satisfied with the results. Willpower is most effectively used on yourself, not others, but many people seem to believe the opposite is true.
  • Find one growth book, and study it. I said ONE book. And I said STUDY it. That means read it, highlight it, re-read your highlights, discuss it with others, and write about it. A few easy to read, recommendations from a growth minded, prolific reader (and book snob):
    • The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles (This is where “New Thought”, and “New Age” and “The Secret” came from – way back in 1910!!!)
    • 15 Immutable Laws of Growth – John Maxwell (Covers so much in an easy to read package)
    • The Go Giver – A simple story approach to how giving can grow your life.
  • Do things to advance yourself each day. Hoping you’ll advance by someone else noticing your hard work is not likely to produce much fruit. Doing things to advance yourself each and everyday will. In order to grow, you must own your power. Recognize your own ability to improve yourself and your condition. What tiny insight can help you own your stuff, cultivate a bit more gratitude, appreciate more in your life, and look forward to the opportunities on the way?

Gentleness

Gentle means to be kind and tender, or moderate in action. And in this way gentleness is a reminder to grant grace to yourself and others. We are all wounded children on the inside, and are to be handled with care.

Action Items:

  • Use kind words about yourself in your self talk. Limit your criticisms to recognize how you are feeling in the moment. And avoid labels or absolutes unless they’re in alignment with your aspirations. It’s okay to be honest with your feelings. If you feel like crap, just recognize that that is happening in the moment. If you can, challenge yourself to get on the good foot in the next moment. “I feel like crap right now, but give me a minute and I’ll be back to being my usual awesome self.”
  • Be gentle in your growth goals by slowing down. Oftentimes people set themselves up for failure by setting extreme goals with short time periods associated with them. You’ve heard them all before:
  • Losing 10 lbs in two weeks
  • Learn a language in a weekend
  • Build your website in a weekend
  • 6 second abs!

How often have you seen results or how long have you stuck to extreme goals? Most people are harsh on themselves when they set the goals, and beat themselves up after they fail, only to ensure they never aspire to the feat again.

Try extredium- it’s a slower pace for people recovering from chronic fatigue and failure. Being Gentle with yourself involves a slower pace than what you are used to reading about. Slow down. I love extredium, it’s almost oxymoronic like, ‘intense relaxation.’ It makes me laugh, but reminds me. Try this for a while, moderate gains, slower running, or even walking, lose 1lb a week instead of trying to lose 2! Start reading more by trying to get through 1 book instead of the top 10 or 100.  Small, gentle, course corrections on your life can go a long way towards improving your life for the long haul and they are much more enjoyable.

Wrapping Up

These are 5G words that can transform your life if you want to: Gratitude, Grace, Giving, Growth, and Gentleness. They are all interconnected, overlapping, and redundant in some ways, and isn’t that just a sure-fire way to reinforce your ability to build an abundant growth engine in your life?

 

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

1. The desire to be wealthy is perfectly healthy and natural.

Just like a plant desires sunlight to grow, we desire wealth to grow and live abundantly. The nature of life is the seeking of abundance. We can only g row and live more fully by having more time and means to do so.  Thus material wealth allows us to grow. So it is in alignment with the natural order of life that we seek to live fully, that we seek wealth and desire to be rich.

2. Nature is friendly to your plans.

Everything is naturally for you. The universe desires that you have all that you want. There’s a conscious life within us and around us that seeks to live more fully through us. In order to live more fully, to grow and learn requires ample use of materials. You can call it God, The Force, or whatever resonates with your spirit, and whatever that is just know this is true. They are all here to advocate for your success but it is you who must be open to receive their gifts.

“The ambitious climbs up high and perilous stairs and never cares how to come down; the desire of rising hath swallowed up his fear of a fall.” -Thomas Adams

3. God lives through you and wants you to be rich.

He wants you to be all you can be. He knows you can be more if you had more and wants you to have more! He wants you to make beautiful music, enjoy fine foods, fine clothes, and all that has and will be created. It is your thoughts, beliefs, actions and hands that will make it all happen.

4. There is enough treasure for everyone to live like kings and queens should they so choose.

There is nothing on this planet that you cannot have. There is plenty; an abundant wealth for all to be had. When we run out of oil, we will master solar  power. When the sun goes out, we will master space travel, windpower or other means. There is a never ending supply of wealth and abundance waiting for us both in the visible world and beyond the visible world of our perception. No one is kept in poverty by a shortness in supply of riches.

Though it’s awfully tempting to outsource accountability for the creation of opportunity to the cosmos, it’s really within our perception to recognize the abundance of ample opportunities in front of us.

It’s tempting to limit your thinking to what you can visibly see. It requires more effort to think the life and world you want than simply think about the easiest one that is being handed to you. The real and worthy hard work, is that of consecutive thought – focused thought on what we want.

5. The 5 hour power path to success opportunity is giving. You can give without spending a dime.

Giving takes many forms, you can give praise, recognition, affection, appreciation without spending. People appreciate simple things like hearing “thank you”, receiving validation and using their name are known to elevate moods, minds, and spirits. These are gifts, that serve better than any sales tactics I know. Take a 5 hour challenge and give these no cost gifts freely and measure your returns. If never hurts to be kind.

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” – Zig Ziglar

6. Focusing on creating value will help you attract wealth.

Competing for it will discourage its creation. Focusing on creating, and being creative about it will help you attract wealth. Asking yourself what can you can share with the world and how it improves their condition will help you communicate in terms of increase and benefits for others. Since the ultimate desire for everyone is increase of one sort or another, define what you do in terms of increasing, advancing and improving those you deal with. Doing so will attract more people who will over time associate you with increase, and advancement.

“Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value; then you are adding to the life of the world by every business transaction.” – Wallace D. Wattles

7. You need only to focus on getting rich.

The purpose of will is to manifest our intentions in our own lives. There’s no need nor use to attempting influence others to do our will. Spending our mental energy by trying to manipulate others doesn’t produce consistently good results. Using our willpower to stay focused on our vision, mission, and desires however, produces amazing results.

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” – Zig Ziglar

Pro Tip: Filtering out the noise, or any contradictory voice, naysayer, doomsdayer, will continue to help you focus your thoughts on becoming wealthy. Cultivate that which serves you and hit the eject button on that which does not.

Limiting beliefs are those that hold you back from advancing your life. If you believe it is a sin to aspire to achieve, to rise above, to be wealthy, to easily build wealth, and to enjoy life, you will make life harder for yourself to do so. Limiting beliefs like these are thriving in society today, floating in our subconscious minds and woven into the fabric of our culture.

One overarching example of a huge, limiting belief that holds people back is the belief that you should feel ashamed and guilty for your desires and aspirations for a healthy, wealthy and abundant life, and your actions to build it.  Many of these limiting beliefs are instilled in us from a very young age by exploiting our faith in ourselves and our relationship to God, or whatever cosmic entity we choose to believe in.

Limiting beliefs haunt the attics and basements of our subconscious minds. So it’s good to check all the crawl spaces and clean out any toxic or limiting beliefs if we wish to advance ourselves.

Many of these limiting beliefs are as old as time and are were created by those who believe in a world of scarcity and competition. Thousands of years after the birth of civilization and democracy, there are still people in this world who believe they benefit from holding others back, and worse, getting others to hold themselves back. Limiting beliefs are used as a tool, viruses of the mind, to manipulate the masses into actions that support a larger plot, just as a hacker or con artist runs a scam. And worse still, these mental viruses, get people to regulate themselves through shame, guilt and connection to religious belief. These limiting beliefs often originate from master manipulators and are spread unwittingly from one person to entire communities.

These ancient, limiting subconscious roadblocks are integrated to our culture including religion, politics and social contracts. They are very much a part of our lives, even those who do not actively seek them out.  In effect these ideas are holding back the people they claim to serve and are known and supported by those who believe they can only advance by controlling others, and limiting them to modesty, servitude, slavery and suffering. Scary and Matrix-y right? Read on to take the red pill.

I’ve been on a personal journey to explore a few fundamental beliefs at the core of our culture, and have found many are fit for the eject button. I’ve been exploring the gutters, closets, attics, hides, and basements of my belief system and will share what I believe are some limiting beliefs and some ways to reframe them and build a foundation of belief that truly serves me. Hold on to your huggies, grab your adult pants, because this ride will likely challenge and trigger you at first.

1. The Value/Effort Relationship – Value created is mostly dependent on effort put into the process. For example, hard work is valuable.

Why it’s limiting: If you believe this, then it is really convince yourself of the extreme, that simply putting in big effort will yield a big return. The world doesn’t work this way. Plenty of people work harder than you or me, for pennies per hour. The relationship between value and effort isn’t so simple.

Re-Frame: Value is a noticeable improvement in the customer condition. The creation of value is in the eye of the beholder and it is your job to increase awareness of value you provide. So, start thinking in terms of how goods and/or services the you offer improve the conditions of others and strive to be an excellent communicator in this area. This is how you command value.

2. The Blue Collar Mantra – If I just work hard, someone will notice and reward me. The secret to getting rich is hard work.

Why it’s limiting: These notions encourage you to be inefficient, ignore your needs, struggles, and sacrifice yourself, for some external person or force to reward you. You are not advancing yourself by breaking your back for others, expecting others to notice. In fact, you’re projecting your desires on the rest of the world, hoping they will fairly recognize and meet your needs, like a genie doling out wishes.

Re-Frame: Work hard to advance yourself! Working hard to advance yourself exerting your will upon yourself to grow and develop mind body and soul will yield far more fruits than working for others hoping for equal rewards.

3. The Blue Collar Corollary – There’s no such thing as easy money…legally at Least.

Why it’s limiting: As you may notice, these build on each other, and that just makes them more toxic. People make large sums of easy money effortlessly every day. If you only believe in Hard Money, you’ll always be working hard to earn it. If this were true, no one would be rich, nor have time to enjoy their wealth. They’d be busy working hard for every nickel.

Riches = Easy Money. In fact, wealth is free time and plenty of resources to advance yourself in any way you see fit. You can’t be focused on hard work all the time and call yourself wealthy. So since we know wealthy people do exist, we know riches exist.

Re-Frame: There are riches to be found and I will find them. Treasures come in many forms to those who look to see them.

4. Blue Collar Corollary #2 – Since there’s no such thing as easy money that’s legal, all rich people are crooks.

Why it’s limiting: A few things happens with this belief;

  • You hold a pessimistic view of the world and life sucks. This alone pushes opportunities away from you.
  • Your bitterness and envy towards wealthy people and judgement of them as criminals ensures that you don’t associate with them and are never provided with the opportunities that wealthy people can provide.
  • You believe your only path to wealth is in criminal activity and start a life of crimes, that may start petty and escalate.

Re-Frame: Wealthy people are advancing people. I am an advancing person and deserve to be wealthy.

5. Surrender to God’s Plan / God has a plan for all of us/ Leave it in God’s hands

Why it’s Limiting:  The “God’s plan” idea is often a veiled initiative to get people to submit to and accept present circumstances especially when they are oppressed or being manipulated and/or controlled by others. This is an exploitation of faith as old as time and can keep us from reaching for more and chasing our dreams. Invading armies, oligarchs, tyrants and radical fundamentalists often view the subjugation of others as a divine right of the ruling class.

An extension of this idea is the notion that we should all just accept the place, or station, into which we were born. This is the argument of slave owners. They want you to accept your current position rather than rise above it. And this hasn’t disappeared from today’s society. Some employers feel entitled to unlimited access (24hrs/day) and abuse their employees while only paying for a third of that time. The worst of them convince employees that this is good behavior. I personally disagree with that idea.

This also helps you escape accountability for your own life and the fate of others. It is a cop out that stifles creative thinking. Imagine how fewer prison breaks, strikes, protest there’d be if there were a big sign right next to the cafeteria that read “It’s all part of God’s plan.” Nope.

Re-Frame: Have faith in yourself. God acts through you and wants you to be all you can be, and have all you have, so that you can better express yourself and God can express himself through you. I believe we should aspire to grow and reach out to break the pot we were born in. Don’t accept a limited life as a houseplant. Aspire to be the mighty oak. Dig in, reach big, and don’t worry. That little voice inside you that wants more than you have is the voice of God acting through you.

6. It’s part of “God’s Plan” or “God’s Will” that you should be poor.

Why it’s limiting: This contradicts the notion of free will as you’ll find many of these do. And if you believe you will be judged for your actions and simultaneously your actions are all predetermined in God’s plan, you cannot possibly be held accountable because you have no choice in the matter. So, if you believe in free will, if you believe your actions matter, throw this belief overboard.

This is like saying God wants you to suffer, and indeed we will get to that too.

Re-Frame: It is God’s will that I should seek to advance myself and express myself fully; that I should make the most of myself for myself and for others.

7. The Glory is The Struggle.

Why it’s limiting: This magical gem of a belief encourages you to seek out suffering and struggle with the implied return for God’s favor when evaluating whether or not you get into heaven. Often it’s used alongside difficult work that people are underpaid, undervalued and abused. This is probably why slaves weren’t needed to build the pyramids, it’s part of the original pyramid scheme.This is also the same approach terrorists use to convince people to become suicide bombers. It’s spiritual terrorism.

Re-Frame: The glory is in the enjoyment and appreciation for opportunities and the many gifts of life. God wants you to be all you can be. He wants you to enjoy life and express yourself to your fullest. He knows you can do that best with command of all the materials you need.

8. Those Who Become Wealthy Are Favored by God or Chosen to Have Such Wealth.

Why it’s Limiting:  On the one hand, this idea validates the wealthy as having a divine right to preserve their wealth, and it’s still used today. This also emboldened wealthy throughout history to do all sorts of things from the philanthropic to the downright maniacal. This is at the core of class warfare and it certainly still thrives today. Don’t buy in.

On the other hand, the corollary is that if some are “chosen” to be rich others/most are “chosen” to be poor. By believing this, it’s really easy to feel cast out as a helpless, unworthy, and of course being one of the many to be selected by God’s Plan to be poor. This reeks of mighty brown BS. Don’t buy in.

This idea also contradicts the notion of free will and serves as a cop out for being poor. This reinforces the poverty mindset, because if you’re not rich yet, you must not be chosen, right? Also, it places the idea of building wealth entirely outside of your hands, and in the hands of others. It externalizes the blessings of growth and life, and the accountability. It is not likely that someone will come along and magically make you rich or choose that you should become wealthy. It is more likely that if you are advancing yourself and seeking wealth that you will one day have it. You have everything within yourself to improve your condition and advance.

Re-Frame: Those who become wealthy can better develop their minds, bodies and spirits and in doing so please God, as he can better express himself through them. God wants you to be rich. Many of the wealthiest people and leading politicians have made comments to the tune of “being the chosen ones”. Good news – we’re all the chosen ones.

9. God Favors Modesty and Wants You to Enjoy Being Poor.

Why it’s limiting: This belief is another piece of magical thinking that gets people to feel ashamed of their desire to live beyond a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. If you accept that it is part of a cosmic or divine plan that you should live in poverty, and that it is up to others to choose if you shall join the wealthy class, you are condemning yourself to a limiting lifestyle. And indeed this turd of a belief is wrapped up in the packaging of leading “a virtuous” life. It encourages and reinforces good-willed, well-intentioned people to be poor.

This idea also prevents you from asking for a raise or striving for better. It prevents you from dreaming big and shames you for aspiring altogether. This belief creates the voice in your head that you shouldn’t have the things you desire because it’s better to live without them. And God will favor you more if you do. If you’ve seen the movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, then you know the song “If I Were a Rich Man,” where Tevia sings about what he’d do if he had wealth.

If God wanted you to accept your place and live modesty, he’d take everything from you and let you die in the basket you were born in, or to live in sickness and struggle to find food. We left the cave for a reason!

Re-Frame: God wants you to enjoy life. We advance our lives through knowledge, experience, training, and aspiration. Just as we advanced our worlds as we learned how to read, write, and do basic mathematics, our ability and right to expand our lives does not deserve to end when we leave school. This is a natural part of life and is not to be discouraged. God wants us to live abundantly and prosper, not merely to live and barely get by. God wants you to enjoy life and live it to the fullest including your growth and wealth!

10. God Wants You to Sacrifice Yourself For Others.

Why this is limiting: This is a powerful one. It’s often used as a rationalization to suppress and deny your needs, desires, and natural instinct to eliminate sources of suffering and martyr yourself for others.

God requires nothing of the kind. What he desires is that you make the most of yourself for yourself and others. As a society, we struggle with a lot of dysfunction because of this belief. Sacrifice is needed at times but more often than not, so are healthy boundaries. Often the call to sacrifice is passed down to those who can least afford to make it, the poor, the lowest ranked and so on. No thank you I’ll pass on this one.

Re-Frame: God wants you to make the most of yourself for yourself and for others. The more you develop your mind, body and spirit,  the more you enjoy, the more you are grateful for, the more giving and generous you can be. By advancing yourself you can advance others, this naturally includes having things that you desire and all that you need to advance yourself.

11. All Giving Comes at a Cost.

Why this is limiting: This isn’t actively/consciously thought of or talked about, but ask yourself if you buy this one. We trick ourselves into believing that giving requires the sacrifice of monetary value.  Most of us buy this BS.

Are you generous? Do you believe generosity only has to do with the distribution of material wealth?Are you kind all the time? Are you opening doors, giving genuine thank yous, using people’s name on regular basis? In traffic, do you let people merge into your lane in front of you or do you speed up? Speeding up actually costs more money in terms of gas. And as long as you keep a safe distance and don’t crash, I can’t imagine giving kindness to cost you anything. It can only bring you more opportunities for wealth, but what do most people fool themselves into believing? Scarcity and competition? Giving costs? I must take! Right? Wrong. Throw this notion away. Giving is the key to success. Giving is what abundant and faithful people do in appreciation for living now and in the future in such wealth of opportunities and means.

Re-Frame: There are many ways to give first that will bring wealth and abundance into my life that cost nothing at all. There are many small kindnesses I can perform everyday that lead to new opportunities to grow, be grateful, expand my faith, build relationships that build wealth in all forms.

12. Money is the root of all evil, and the desire to be wealthy is evil.

Why this is limiting: If you believe this, you aren’t going to attract or seek out wealth or the means to cultivate the materials, experiences and opportunities that allow you to advance your life and live abundantly.

I honestly think that this belief is perpetuated by poor people trying to rationalize their status in life. If poverty is treating you well, well then, more power to you I guess. For me, I love money. It allows me to visit amazing places, enjoy fine things, meet more wonderful people, and enjoy many amazing experiences. This feels like the opposite of evil and serves me just fine.

Do we fault a plant for wanting more sunshine? Why do we fault ourselves for desiring what makes us grow? Money allows us to grow by affording us time and materials to do so. Is badmouthing money bringing you a better life? I doubt it. Show some gratitude for every penny and see if you can reverse that relationship. Speak well of wealth, you have a right to it.

Re-Frame: Money provides means that provide materials for me to advance myself. I love advancing myself and having the means to do it. I love money and am thankful for having so much of it in my life.

13. Desire is Greed, Sensuous Experiences Are a Sin  

Why this is limiting: By placing the soul as holier or separate from the needs of body and mind, this belief encourages the suffering, living in lack and scarcity, while you’re here in the moment on the planet. It is also used to reinforce the notion that humanity exists as a life-long endurance test of suffering, at the end of which is a final judgement for all eternity. It encourages people (treated as peasants, slaves and serfs) to suck it up and get walked on, and seeking out enjoyment is out of alignment with that idea.

Radical Idea/Cosmic Truth: We live to advance mind, body and spirit, none more holy than the other, we have a natural desire to advance them all, as they are connected to say the least.

At one point in time, anything that wasn’t for the spirit or soul, was bad for you, and a sin. And focusing on enjoying any experience could be labeled a sin.

And in essence, despite the governing documents society lives by, the spiritual aspects of our culture tell us that being happy is a sin. And this attitude is still around today. Getting our needs met is a sin?  Enjoying a Margarita is a sin? Enjoying time with family is a sin? Really? Growing is a sin? Wealth is a sin? These ancient relics for beliefs still collect cobwebs at the foundation of our societal ideas and our psyche. This is yet another way to say suffering and struggling are the only virtuous endeavors in life. Enjoying the moment is wrong. The remnants of this idea and others are still present and largely a part of our culture. It’s time to grab a broom and clean them out.

George Carlin aptly captures the lack of integrity/consistency with religious beliefs in society. He drives at a larger point which is to say that within religion there are nested beliefs, that if we were to examine closely, just don’t make sense. And while you and I might not agree with all of it, there are certainly some elements of truth reasonable people can agree on.

Enjoyment at Work – Many people have a hard time believing that people who enjoy their jobs are actually working. If you enjoy it, it must not be work right? We define work as a tolerated segment of suffering, and that doesn’t work for me. At least in my life, these ideas don’t serve me at all. I love my work. I enjoy the challenges and demands of it.And I choose to replace these negative beliefs with beliefs that encourage and support my growth, happiness and abundance.

Re-Frame: Experiences and opportunities to enrich and advance mind, body and spirit, are enjoyable. God wants you to enjoy life and advance yourself to your fullest.

14. Be ashamed of pride and confidence.

Why this is limiting: This started off as beware excessive pride/confidence, known as hubris and dates back to the Ancient Greeks, Homer and The Odyssey. Here’s the wrinkle though; the term excessive is subjective and in the eye of the beholder (judge).

This idea basically limits you to having the pride and confidence that other people can tolerate, and has nothing to do with cosmic consequences for having too much. Overtime, the judges (people who live in a world of scarcity, fear and competition) became keeningly aware of what happens when people are proud and confident (they rise, seemingly above others).

As soon as you outsource these kind of judgements, and accept this tainted advice, it’s amazing how quickly dysfunctional, and polluted people (everyone), will then put you under their boot. We’re all scared little children from time to time, and if we believe we will find comfort in keeping things status quo, we will aspire to prevent people from rising above.

Your faith in yourself, mind, body and spirit, is woven into and a part of the divine. It isn’t to be traded away for a false sense of connection to a community, deity or otherwise. It is codependent and dysfunctional to believe so. It’s true you should be mindful and aware of the interconnectedness of things, but don’t confuse that with heeding the toxic judgements of others. Usually, it’s coming from a polluted place.

Re-Frame: Take pride in your achievements to recognize momentum of your advancement, have confidence in your ability to learn, grow, advance and cultivate abundance. Celebrate your faith in these things. Wear them as armor to help guard your thoughts and feelings from the spears and blades of other people’s judgements.

My point in presenting these to you, is to remind you to search in the basements of your belief system for these sabotaging myths that will get in the way of a healthy relationship to a grateful and happy life of wealth and abundance.

In this post, we’ll discuss 7 metrics that are fit to help any endeavor, of any size elevate and grow forward.

A wise, old man (Joe Rohde) once told me, “where you look is where you go.” This is true in business and life. And it’s really easy to focus on the wrong things, the numbers that don’t matter or map out to our goals. However, it’s just as easy to focus on positive pursuits.

For every new trend, there seems to be a new metric marketed alongside it. Measure what matters we’re told, and then all the marketers get busy BSing you on what matters. The devil is truly in the details here. What bad metric BS beliefs are you buying these days?

If only we were to increase our Klout score, Facebook or Twitter following, we’d be successful right? If you ever rode one of these trendy waves, like social media metrics, you know exactly how full of mighty brown BS they are, and how they end for businesses large and small.

Often times, these “critical metrics” don’t map out to significant insight either professionally or personally.  They can turn out to be a misdirection or part of a great scam or value vacuum.

Many of the “mission critical” metrics also don’t scale down to fit or be relevant to businesses of differing  sizes. And no marketer wants to scare-off potential business by sharing the facts. What works for the enterprise may bankrupt smaller endeavors. The .0001 percent positive return may be accepted as a win for a big company, but can be a huge and crippling loss for a small business. Similarly, a million dollars for a 1 percent performance gain, again may be good for the goose but not the gander. So, how do we help everyone here? What metrics matter to everyone?

If where you look is where you go, what exactly are the right things to look at? Well, we’ve come up with a prioritized list of six metrics that will serve you in business and life regardless of the size of the endeavor. These six will serve you now, in the near and long term, both in business and in life.

  1. Relationships – It’s the people, not the brand, not the project, that are the true golden geese for wealth, abundance and prosperity. Read more
  2. Revenue – Money matters more than hype and hot air.  Read more
  3. Products Everyone produces something, hardware, software, paper, TPS reports. Products speak for us in our absence and allow us to scale and grow. Read more
  4. Meetings – If you’re like me, the more face time you get, the more business you close and the stronger connections you build. Read more
  5. Fans – People who love you, what you do and want to see you succeed. Facebook fans DO NOT count here. Read more
  6. Traffic – How many people are given the opportunity to have a moment of focused attention on your presence. Read more
  7. TEA (Time, Energy, and Attention) – Where are you pouring your TEA? This is a key metric that will help optimize your processes, evaluate systems, elevate your performance and help you decide the best course of action. Read more

We use these metrics in this order for other projects, systems and productivity tools. Give them a try and see if they work for you.

Relationships : The MVP of Metrics

Track this: The number of people you are serving face to face, the type, level and commitment to service.

Simply tracking and valuing this will make it easier for you to create and give more value in your products and services, and build stronger bonds of loyalty and trust with your customers and business community.

As the saying goes, all things being equal, people do business with those they know, like and trust. So a good measure (metric) of the trust and likability you are producing is the number and quality of relationships you have.  The most important relationships are those based on face to face connection.

Digital Truth: Connecting and relating online is not a relationship. We fall in love with ideas, and then project unrealistic expectations that are out of alignment with the reality of those people we connect with. It gets murky quickly. A better plan, is to focus on building quality,  face to face relationships with people. I say this as a sinner, a guy who once drank the kool-aid and thought that those connections online were equal to those in real life. This is in no way true, and falling for this was very costly. We only have so much time in the day and if you are giving up your time for people, they’d better be REAL people, who genuinely know you and care about you.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Expand Your Vision to the Value of Connecting With Many People from all walks

When I mention people, don’t confuse that with prospects only. I mean other awesome, interesting, compassionate, growth minded human beings who will bring you untold riches if you invest in them appropriately. Everyone “knows a guy who knows a guy”, and, “knows a guy who needs a guy.” By increasing the quality and number of your relationships, you’ll exponentially increase your opportunities. These can be friends, partners, referrals, connectors, fans, influencers. They are people. Welcome opportunity, wealth and abundance in all of its forms as it comes to your awareness.

Do: Treat people like wrapped gifts – You don’t know who they are or what they’ll bring until things unfold in due time. It doesn’t hurt to be kind to them. They could be fragile gifts. You don’t want to shake or drop that new chandelier or big screen!

Don’t: Limit your attention/focus to qualified prospects

Don’t make the mistake of limiting your connective vision to qualified prospects only. Doing so will ensure you have sales breath (desperation), and a taker’s attitude when you meet them. You hate this when people do it to you, so be sure to check yourself.  Also, you never  know where your next referral will come from.

Don’t use fake/pseudo relationship metrics to give you a false sense of influence.

The number of fans or followers on your Twitter feed are inconsequential compared to face to face relationships. These pseudo connections trick people into thinking they have enough “friends” and “connections” when in fact they have none. They are apples and oranges. They have some value but it is eclipsed by the capability of a good friend, partner, referral, etc.

Pro Tip: Reframe your attitude to align with this truth:

More and Better Relationships = More Wealth & Abundance

People are like wrapped gifts; they are for you and of untold bounty. The point of measuring relationships isn’t to make it easier to get, but also easier to give. That is, to recognize that giving more, a bit more time to make a personal connection, bake in a bit more time adding to quality of your product or service, is what will get you more wealth.

I can’t stress this enough. If you never ask yourself “Does this add value?” or, “Does this serve people?” your endeavor will stall out. This is more important than revenue. If you’re sacrificing the people to save the numbers, the corruption and lack of integrity will destroy trust with your team, employees, community and customers sooner or later. On the positive side of things, relationships yield infinite and untold truths to those who treat people in such a way. Your attitudes and beliefs produce your actions and results. And if you place more trust in money than people, you’ll surround yourself not in riches but in problems.

Track This: The number and quality of face to face meetings you have with people.

Meetings offer opportunities to get belly to belly with people that matter to you. Getting face to face with your customers, partners and your team is certainly better in cases where you want to increase connection, meaning and value. If culture and performance matters to your organization, you need to consider these elements when deciding when, where, why and how often to have meetings.

Belly to belly meetings allow you to do many things including:

  • Build/reinforce rapport
  • Connect and form genuine relationships beyond tasks and agenda items
  • Show respect, regard to valued parties
  • Create an omni-dimensional opportunity to collaborate and make decisions
  • Read body language and other nonverbal communications

If you don’t need these things and an email will suffice, then by all means don’t abuse this tool. However, when you’re measuring what matters in meetings, be sure to account for all of the blessings of getting face to face.

All the technology out there is great but it is also an abstract proxy of a real relationship or connection for the parties involved. Hence, the reason we see so many remote workers being called back into the office.

Technology creates abstraction, distance, disconnection and increased likelihood of insincerity. According to multiple studies, all the wonderful technological terrors we’ve created (video conferencing, social media and so on) actually increase the disconnect and devaluing of people and relationships. For example, people are more likely to be deceptive over video conference than they are face to face because to some extent, the mind sees the person on the screen as an abstraction; that is, more of a cartoon than a human being. I say all this as a technologist. These abstractions continue as things get more digitized, like on social media. People get depressed with pseudo-relationships. They want the satisfaction of a real connection.

Darth Vader put it best, “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

All the technology is great and amazing, but compared to the Force of real connection and getting face to face, it is insignificant. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. But I am also pragmatic and practical, and I recognize where it serves and where it doesn’t. Don’t let the tech tools replace all your meetings. Recognize and measure what you get from getting belly to belly. Make strategic considerations for all of the benefits of getting face to face vs. phoning it in. This goes beyond achieving the items on the agenda.

Meetings Won’t Help Those Who Don’t Meet to Create Value

Many people try to avoid meetings. I believe this is because they go in without any intent to create value and fail to account for the value created beyond the agenda items. Then they proceed to victimize themselves by thinking the meeting was a waste of time. If rapport, relationships, community and connection building are a waste of time, dollars to donuts your company culture is struggling.

Would you want your congressional representatives to phone it in to a session, or fight on the floor in a rigorous debate? Which do you believe is more effective?

How about your lawyer? When it’s time to put up a defense or resolve a conflict, do you think a skype or hangout session will do?

When you need to inspire your team to perform, to show them that you care and that you are in fact leading, is an email or conference call the appropriate representation and embodiment of your commitment?  STEP IT UP.

My point is, when it matters, people show up. People have face to face meetings. The corollary is also true, many meetings that don’t matter or are unimportant take lesser forms. There are endless useless conference calls and committee sessions that take on a variety of forms. That’s fine, just be honest with yourself and your team about what you expect to get from your meetings. Measure the results and decide what is best for you and your team.

Track This: The number and quality of those people who like you, like what you do, and want you to succeed.

Let’s begin by defining what I mean when I say fan. I’ll give you a hint, it has little to do with social media. A fan is someone who knows you, likes you, likes what you do and wants to see you succeed. This is very different than someone who likes what you say, imagines who you are, and wants to get to know you.

How many people out there fit this description for you and your endeavors? Make a list. Write their names down. It will make you feel good. Include the family and friends (who fit the description of course).  Look next to customers, partners, colleagues and other acquaintances who may fit the bill to finish your list.

Now, for those you considered that were a marginal fit, ask yourself:

  • What would it take to get these people I know to become my fans?
  • How can I invest in them (without selling myself short) and get them to advocate for my growth and success?
  • What role can they play in my growth and success?

You’d be surprised how many fans you can really have, and how effective real life fans are compared to the digital ones. Work on developing these marginal folks into real fans.

The small things matter and the little people can have a big impact on you and your business.

The title of fan is not reserved for only referral partners or business prospects, and I pity the poor souls who limit their thinking to such few categories. Fans are people that come from all walks of life. The friendlier they are and the more they relate to who you are and what you do, the stronger your brand truly is. They are your personal army of advocates. And when a prospect hears your name from the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, he or she is far more likely to contact you. Don’t discount anyone because of their role. You’d be amazed at the level of influence that all the so-called “little” people have in the world.

The  many roles of fans

  • Referral and Recommendation – Those interested in your success will consciously work on your behalf to connect others to you.
  • Spread the Legend – Fans share your stories and tales of epic achievement.
  • Encouragement – It feels good when the grocery store clerk remembers your name and says hello. This is a form of fan and a gift. Don’t underestimate the value of the people who can recharge your batteries and uplift your spirit. The more of these experiences you have, the more effective you can be.
  • Feedback – I’m not talking about advice on your business strategy. I’m talking about basic and more subtle forms of feedback. Do people smile as they shout your name across a building/store or parking lot? If so, this is a good sign. People go out of their way and risk a little embarrassment just to get your attention or say hello. This feels good and boosts your confidence. This is a huge moment.
  • Insight – How many TV shows involve a protagonist who gets insight from a seemingly unrelated source or unrelated topic to solve a profound puzzle? There are many enlightened ah-ha moments that come from seemingly disconnected ideas.

You don’t have to spend money to build fans. Real fans require less and give more than those on social media. Kindness is so quick and easy to give. It requires little preparation or investment. People want to feel acknowledged, have opinions validated, and held in high regard, or at least preserve their egos. Simply saying a person’s name, restating what they’ve shared with you to reflect understanding, and adding something to it go a long way to building a fan that can transform into a referral.

So be generous in giving kindness. Listen, connect, share and be open to receive the benefits of such generosity. It works.

The spiritual technology of personal empowerment not only leads to transformation of one’s life and work. It also brings new capabilities, a vision of new opportunities and a dirigible architecture that allows us to elevate ourselves, our communities and endeavors. Its added gifts are the derivative blessings that spill out and empower others. This spiritual technology and dirigible architecture that provides the means to cultivate that which truly serves and empowers and elevates us on our paths to greater living; this is what is at the core of Heroik.

To be Heroik is to pursue thrivalism; a state of prosperity of the mind, body, spirit, and adaptive mastery of environment. It is to tap into the persistent drive to cultivate all that is good and in service to us. It is our desire, matched with equal effort to our aspirations, to grow to our maximum potential. It is to live and express ourselves fully; far beyond the deceptive appearances, circumstances and perceived conditions of the world in the present moment.

It is Heroik to remember the deceptive nature of our own perceptions, and recognize our desire to quickly secure an understanding of the world, the people in it and our place amidst it all.

The desire to quickly make simple sense of it all often leads to a perspective that is reduced, finite, and static. The sense of security and confidence is false, and secretly we quake and struggle with the premise and our assumptions or “understanding”. We often rush to linear, simple, black and white interpretations, that prove to veer us away from our own well being and prosperity.

The world is ever changing, in constant motion, in great and subtle efforts beyond what the eye can see or what people can easily perceive. It is Heroik to admit this, and to know it. It is Heroik to unlock transformational truths, to know wonderful people, to see distant lands, to have extraordinary experiences and create great wealth and abundance. These are noble expressions of thrivalism.

Finding that Heroik spark within requires the courage to be vulnerable, open and authentic. It takes the wisdom to be humble with others, to balance it with the confidence of self and to take on the unknown future in a Heroik way; knowing you have within you what it takes to be the creator of your future. It takes the strength to be discerning in our endeavors.

To be Heroik, we must confront popular misconceptions about what is possible and what is known, especially about ourselves. We must not cling to, believe or accept limitation based on skewed perception; based merely upon what we can see, while neglecting to admit what we are blind to. It takes great faith in knowing that discovery and opportunity are just beyond that next patch of fog. In order to reach it we must let go of the comfortable shores of the familiar.

At times, we must defiantly reclaim that spark, that Heroik identity and rescue our own destiny from the masses. It is often the masses, starving for understanding and safe ground to grow, who devalue, and commodotize with great competitive mind and confuse this with growth and elevation. It is our birthright to explore and reaffirm our own identity, our own individual purpose and create our own path on our journey.

To ignite that Heroik spark is to take the embers of our faith and courage, and fan upon them the oxygen of opportunity and great effort of the moment. This fuels the very engine of our growth. And this is what we must put in everyday. The diligent, faithful and courageous who put forth a best effort to live fully in each moment, can rest easy each night knowing they put forth the effort to build a fuller life around them. They greet each moment with the gratitude of the momentum behind them, the knowledge of the gifts among them, as well as those gifts and opportunities that lie ahead.

It is worthy of our every effort to safeguard this spark, this engine, and this vessel. As they are all the vehicles of freedom, growth and prosperity. This dirigible architecture which elevates us, fills us with noble purpose and continually guides us, requires the liberty to freely move and explore broadly. It requires the focused attention, free from noise and distraction. And so we must protect the very right, room and opportunity to explore this spark, fire, and engine further. We must nurture the Heroik insight and wisdom to find that beginning spark within ourselves and bring it to the surface. We and finally the ability to pass it on to others.

Taking time to breathe deeply; filling our sails with the intensity of our thoughts, great ambitions of our imaginations, and highest gratitude to be on such a journey; ensures we will soar higher still. As we elevate ourselves, in position, status, thought and opportunity, we recognize that this Heroik fire is what makes it so. And this fire must be continually fed. And it is fed by every step in the direction of our growth, exploration and self discovery. What begins as a secret courage to embrace a dynamic world that does not require finite grasp, sparks to a sacred flame, and the Heroik engine within us all.

For many people it’s part of starting the day and finishing it…watching the news. But in the Information Age, does it really serve you? Much of what networks refer to as “news” these days is not in fact honest or true news. It’s politically slanted commentary, sensationalized garbage, violence and turmoil. When there’s nothing sensational at the local level, then you’re fed a healthy diet of national and global chaos, politics and turmoil. It’s dysfunctional, dishonest, codependent and toxic waste from dysfunctional people and networks in ratings wars with each other. Informing the public with important objective reporting is rare and a low priority for them. On the lighter side, it’s video clips and stories you’ve probably already seen on the Internet repurposed for television. Either way it’s mostly crap.

So, ask yourself, is it serving you? What excuses and rationalizations are you making?

Do you believe the studios, reporters, and talking heads have a sincere concern or regard for your well being and being genuinely informed? Or are they more concerned with other things?

Why are you watching it? The weather report? There’s an app for that. There’s even a weather channel!

Do you walk away from the news program “informed” or angry? Are you angry from the objective story that was reported or mostly the tone and style in which it was delivered? Are you inviting more negativity and anger than news into your life? Does anger help you in your day to day performance? Does it make you a more conscientious citizen, driver, neighbor, husband, wife, father, mother, daughter or son?

  • Many of the people behind the programming do not consider your well being or being objectively informed a priority
  • Compromising your well being for circumstances, events, things and people that don’t really affect or relate to you in the meaningful moment, is likely wasteful, needlessly taxing your  system with stress and anxiety
  • The relevant information pertinent to your life (traffic, weather, stocks, etc.) can be obtained faster at no cost to your emotional well being

Quick Fixes:

1) Power – Turn it off altogether – Is the news relevant to your business or day to day activity? I doubt it. And the parts that are relevant (stock prices, weather, traffic) you could easily minimize by grabbing an app on your phone, or quickly viewing on the web.

2) Unsubscribe & Switch – to the highlight reel – This means spending a smaller amount of time quickly scanning the headlines on the web or in the local newspaper and quickly assessing personal relevance. And it means less time getting caught up in the toxic behavior and tone of the program.

A Few More Options:

  • Check out Podcasts of news programs like BBC World News or the few, remaining reputable organizations that still have their dignity. Podcasts at least give you a fast forward button. Skip the stuff that doesn’t serve you.
  • Aggregate news apps like Flipboard, News 360, also make it easy to quickly skim headlines in your interest areas and move on to other things.
  • Crowdsource the news consumption to your friends. If it’s important, it will persist, and they’ll tell you about it. Most stories barely last a week, and have little effect on your life. The ones that do often repeat.

Hey friends, I want to reach out with some tough love today. I want you to read it, though it will be hard. It will be sarcastic at times, and will pick on several ideas you’ve come to know and believe in success culture, but it will be worth it. You’ll come out ready and willing to do the work to reach your goal with a FREE, lean process or road map to get you there. It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t cost anything, and it’s not complicated. Make your friends read it, you’ll know the ones who should when you’re through. I don’t want to see you get hurt or sucked into a cyclic struggle of motivation, poor attempts, exploitation and failure. I hate seeing my friends get exploited. Bear with me through the sarcasm and tough love. If you hate sarcasm, scroll down to the process I mentioned.

I found a post-it note buried under the desk rubble in my office. It really helped me get focused and get things done. It looks like this:

do the work post it

No this isn’t the free formula I mentioned, we’ll get to that. I must have made this note while reading some success/motivational/blog post that talks about how-to do everything except cultivating discipline to do the necessary work to become successful. These posts often disappoint me – not for myself but for the suffering masses that get stuck on them. Society has built an entire billion dollar industry on selling you ways to trick yourself into pretending to be busy while getting nowhere. And it’s time that the truly successful people reveal the path to true wealth. Are you ready for the secret ingredient? Are you totally psyched? The secret to success, the linchpin to real wealth building is DOING THE WORK. Forgive the sarcasm, but read this and tell me if you identify with it. In return, I will outline a legitimate 6 step practice to ensure progress, growth and real productivity on your path to wealth, success, celebrity and your upcoming reality TV show.

But first…the sarcasm…

1. Are you motivated?

If not there’s a decade of your life and countless books and DVD’s to spend to get you there. Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Crystal Meth…the band… all will get you wired and motivated to get things done. When you’re really amped, proceed to step 2.

2. Sell it back to the masses

If your journey from Step 1, Law of Attraction and power of The Secret, haven’t made you a millionaire yet, try selling all the junk you’ve bought to your friends or becoming a reselling “partner.” And if that doesn’t work, and you ran out of friends and family to alienate, continue to step 3.

#Pro-tip: Multi-task this step with step 1 and save your self 10 years!!!

3. Do you have ideas?

Ideas are like assholes. Everybody has them. They are a commodity. How about ideas related to your success that you yourself can do, right where you are with what you have? Got any of them? If you don’t have any, spend another decade or so exploring the Internet. Just go nuts on Pinterest, Buzz Feed, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, and jump on Netflix and binge watch The Secret, and What the Bleep Do We Know. And practice your Law of Attraction Mantra some more, until an idea comes. Oh and don’t forget to tell yourself, your friends and loved ones that it’s all part of the process, or you need to put more attractive energy out there or something…

If that doesn’t work go back to step 1, or 2, or both… OR, if you’re ready to stop screwing around, end the sarcasm and cultivate the discipline to actually get things done and succeed, proceed to this simple lean 6 step framework. 

The Super Simple 6 Step Process to Ensure You Get Things Done.

do the work

The process outlined below is based on divergent exploration, convergence on a solution, then refining that solution and expanding upon it. This is a common approach to creative problem solving and business challenges as well. I find it fits for personal goals too and wanted to share that.

1. Gather ideas

Read some books. Watch some TED talks. Pinterest around a bit, but create a time-limit for yourself. Many people get stuck generating ideas to improve their lives without ever proceeding to vet, refine, or explore them in depth. You have a finite amount of time on this planet and it is unknown to you. Get yourself out of the idea rut. Spend 1 final day on an idea binge and then make a list of possible next steps.

2. Narrow down your ideas to those YOU can execute

Cross out anything you can’t do right now, where you are, who you are with, and with what you’ve got. You need to be real with yourself. Too often I see people with big dreams that are dependent on them transforming their lives completely before pursuing them. The excuse that change is difficult and major changes are harder, prevent any change from happening. Be honest and vulnerable with yourself. There are many romantic ideas and paths out there, but many of them require more time and effort than we’re able to give. That is, at least without making major compromises or sweeping changes.

Choosing from a world of infinite possibilities can be tricky – but the secret is to find a baby step. Start small and think like a tortoise.

Find that baby step, something in reach that you can do. I see many people setting yearly goals of losing 100 lbs, or making millions, when they really need to be setting smaller weekly goals, of making hundreds, or losing 2lbs.

Hints:

  • If your idea requires more starting capital than you have or are likely to raise, it’s probably something to shelve for later. Think about an idea or project that you can do now, that will help you grow towards that goal. Look for an iterative business model you can grow into your big dream.
  • If your idea requires a lot of change across many aspects of your life, take heed. Focus on one of the changes and focus on that in the near term. Learning to juggle, while learning to sing, playing the piano, and becoming a lawyer, while exercising more to lose 30lbs, may be pushing it. In fact, for most people, a good starting point is simply getting more sleep, or making it to the gym at all.
  • If your idea requires a lot of learning time, you might want to reign in your goals to something smaller with a more immediate payoff. If you’ve suddenly decided to become a doctor, lawyer, or nurse, try and make your way through a book on the subject. Read a book from a day in the life of, or real stories from your chosen category. If you can’t commit to reading one book prior to spending a fortune on school, you might want to gut check your resolve to pursue the goal in the first place.
  • Feel free to defy the odds and prove me wrong. By all means. However, if you fail, if your wings melt, come back to the ground and consider making a year long commitment to smart, small growth. It’s lower reward, lower risk, but higher return. What I mean by that, is you set yourself up for a higher likelihood of meaningful growth and success without taking on a major financial and psychological risk.

DON’T get attached to ideas that exceed the capabilities of your budget, body, and ability. As you struggle, and if you fail, you’ll likely beat yourself up over and over again, and then likely give up. These kinds of mind games can sabotage your growth for years.

DO pair down your list of ideas to those that you can do right now.  Prioritize that list, by eliminating the stinkers that might be too ambitious as a starting point.

3. Converge on your best idea.

Hint: Your best idea is usually the one that you can execute on your own without a billion dollars of investment or crowd funding.  Write down the things you’ll need to do to make it happen. These may be tasks or projects. Early on it’s difficult to know the difference but its important to keep a road map, printed and visible to keep you on the right path.

Convergence is hard stuff. It requires that you leave a lot of other good and valid ideas on the shelf. 

Converging on one idea or goal is a Good News/Great News Scenario. The good news is you’re on your way to doing more than talk about your latest aspiration. The great news is, if you fail, you’ll have a library or list of other good ideas to come back to and try next. So say goodbye, and shelve the others so you can increase your focus and chances of success. It may not be goodbye forever. You’ll always have Paris.

If you don’t converge on that one idea and commit to it, if that plane leaves the ground and you’re not on it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Tips:

  • Find a guide, mentor or trusted adviser and ask for their perspective. Remember that they have only a perspective and may not have perfect insight into the situation, but they can also help guide you to growth.
  • Be cautious of friends and loved ones who struggle with the thought of your progress. There are many people who don’t consciously wish you harm or suffering, but they don’t want to see you move on, or grow, often out of fear that they will feel less than you or distant from you. Sometimes they don’t make the best advisers.
  • Keep it real. Be cautious of allowing your spirit animal, past lives, alien ancestors, or gods, godesses, or God speak for/through you. Odds are, it’s you consciously or unconsciously BS’ing yourself from underlying fears, or unmet needs.

4. Do the Frickin Work

Yes. It’s to the point where some good willed individual, needs to swear and curse and remind the world that to be successful, one must actually do the work.

The work is elusive. The work is harder than it seemed it would be when planning it. The work often takes longer than you thought. That doesn’t make it any less necessary. Don’t jump to second guessing if the work is necessary or not. It is. So lean in, put on your frog-eatin bib, and hop to it.

What is the work exactly? Well, long ago you wrote down what the necessary jobs were that needed to get done, in order to get you from A to B. Conveniently, that list often disappears and gets buried somewhere. Even more conveniently, in its absence we are now armed with a delightful excuse to avoid doing the work. If you can’t find the work, start by taking your hands off your eyes.

The work is the 20% the 80/20 people are talking about.

It’s the MVP (Most Valuable Part), and the VIP (Very Important Process) on your path to success.

There is no work-around for the work.

Ambitious yet weak-willed people avoid the work like politicians avoid commitments. So many people try to work-around the work. It looks something like this:

The Assignment:

A project that involves a report with a visual aide due in two weeks

The Necessary Tasks:

1. Write the report (AKA the meatiest part of the work)

2. Create the visual aide (AKA the fun part)

What Most People Do:

1. Create a shopping list for materials to create the visual aide

2. Start a committee to decide what kind of visual aide to create

3. Research on the web, get lost on Pinterest,  pour some wine and pass out

4. Read books and watch videos related to creativity

5. Argue about which colors and tools to use

6. Read books and watch videos about color theory

7. Get distracted on Facebook and Instagram

8. In an all-nighter attempt, write a half-assed report

9. Celebrate

A few points here:

  • If this sounds like an episode of your childhood, or childish, it is. It’s sad, but amounts for what many consider “hard work,” or a “day’s work.” It’s not that valuable to the purpose or goal, thus, not much of work at all. Furthermore, we live in a global community where others work very hard on the meaningful parts of the work and grow happier, healthier, and wealthier for doing so. Are you putting in a genuine effort with focus on the activities that will determine your success? Or are you getting lost in what most people do? Newsflash: Most people are not successful. Most people do not achieve many of their goals. Most people avoid the work and whine about their circumstances. Don’t sit idlely to count yourself among them
  • Maybe someone tricked you into believing that showing up with a smile and some glitter is enough to create value that the world will crave. The truth is, it may be enough to get you started, or possibly earn you a friend or two who are attracted to sparkly objects. However, it’s not enough to make you a billionaire, and eventually you’ll come face to face with real work
  • People who care about their success know that the most important task is the real work. That is, the activities that are essential to the desired end result. The rest is mostly window dressing and the mental masturbation based on the idea that we can have fun the entire time and “get stuff done.” It’s true, it’s just that much of that “stuff” is not meaningful. In hard economic times, those doing the window dressing activities are the first to get cut from the team. Are you holding yourself accountable to do the real work?

If so, good for you, let’s rock and roll on to step 5.

5.  Review & Refine

The first time you do something all the way to completion, you can probably make a list of 100 things not to do if you had to do it all over again. Make that list. Also, find ways of repeating your efforts. This ensures you can refine them. It’s important to streamline, to make them easier, cheaper, and to make them better. You can come out with a:

  • Better plan or process
  • A list of the right parts/ingredients/elements/people
  • A list of possible, likely better parts/ingredients/elements/people

A smoother ride, a faster finish, a shinier shine, and on and on. There’s always room for improvements and when it comes to you, you’re worth the extra effort.

Success can teach you as much if not more than failure. Even after successful outcomes, I often note things that did not go according to plan, or things that I could do better. I don’t do this to shame or guilt trip myself, but to remember what to do next time. I get a lot of grief from people who mislabel me as cynical in the face of success. Don’t listen to these types. Don’t aim for perfection, but don’t settle for mediocrity either. Aim for precision. Aim small. Miss small.

Life does not hand out trophies for attendance or participation. Those activities simply afford you the opportunity. You must act and perform to truly achieve your goals.

Check Your Expected Time Requirements at the Door

Despite the highlight reel we see in the movies, Tony Stark did not create Iron Man in 4 minutes, not even in his own fictional world. Steve Jobs didn’t light a fart in the garage and suddenly become a billionaire. It took a lot of time, hard work, refinement, a discerning mind, and persistent attitude.

If everything went up in smoke, it’s important to understand what went wrong and pinpoint the failures. Even if you will never do anything like it again, pinpointing the failures will ensure that you hold yourself accountable for the precise things within your control, without taking on the guilt of the factors beyond your control.

6. Repeat

Start again, refine your efforts and repeat them. Maybe they can be applied to the lives of others, maybe to your own, maybe to your job, or adjacent industries. Look for opportunities to leverage your experience and new found success, and keep growing. The commitment to this process will continue to bring you opportunities and increase your momentum.

Why all the Tough Love?

Sometimes, a bucket of cold water is exactly what you need to wake you up. It’s abrupt, rude, angering, but it certainly can do the trick. The ambitious goals most people set for themselves come with heavy price tags of time, effort and attention. They require discipline, discernment, creative grit, tenacity and a love of the game to see you through. Many haven’t cultivated the necessary skills yet. They are exploited for their ambitions by people who pretend they want to help them, but what they really do is sell them anything, promising an easy path, to help them avoid the idea of real work. It’s a coping mechanism for a crappy life. There is an alternative: Do the work, grow, and help others escape the cycle.

Feel free to point out additional areas that I missed, or got wrong, or share your war stories with me. I love to hear them.

Below is a free chapter from our book, The Heroik Power of Headlines. If you like this post, you’ll love our book. If you find this content leaves you with a lot of questions, you’ll also love our book. Read on and enjoy!

You’ve heard it said from every corner of the web and media world, that content is king and that storytelling is essential to drawing the audience and driving engagement. But just how do you go about crafting that content? How do you use storytelling to craft articles and beyond?

There are many formulas to organize and present content, here are 12 of our favorites for persuasive purposes:

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Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.) has lead the emergency response efforts in extreme situations that present unique problems that are well outside the traditional disaster response models. Most recently, he led the response to the BP / Deepwater Horizon oil spill and previously led the emergency efforts after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He is accustomed to working outside the box, going off book, departing from protocol and leading in unfamiliar territory. And, although he’s retired, if called upon, he says he’ll go where he’s needed. He is a bonafide, Heroik Bad-Ass.

His definition of leadership: the ability to reconcile opportunity and competency.

It is a standard tactic to position a product, service, or brand, as a transformative problem solver  in order to attract the attention of the masses. However, if a business knowingly creates products, services, or environments that are designed to address only the symptoms and manage the pain points (suffering), it isn’t just a mere lack of brand alignment. Failing to to supply the advertised lasting relief, resolution, or change is disingenuous behavior of the highest order. And it’s becoming a common practice.

Over promise, under deliver doesn’t begin to cover it.  This is a systemic problem that permeates just about every industry you can think of. It’s unhealthy for you, your staff and your business. These models depend on you buying into several toxic lies in order for them to succeed. In this post we’re going to:

  • Share 6 of those lies
  • Explore the problems created by them
  • Identify 3 business opportunities they create
  • Demonstrate how our company takes advantage of those opportunities, (and how you can too)

It’s important to know how these dark arts work so that you can spot them, take appropriate action and if you’re up for it, know how to disrupt their game plan.

Understand The Power of the Dark Side: Snake Oil as a Service (SOaaS)

bad sale

Whether we’re talking about the pharmaceutical industry, marketing services, (Yelp or SEO, anyone?), cosmetics, digital music, coaching, consulting practices, mental health, you name it, there are plenty of businesses using the dark, codependent models that are producing some really crappy results. They are fundamentally out of alignment with their claims and brand promises and seem pleased as punch to operate in duplicity.

It’s a poisonous, codependent model. And in order for it to succeed and persist, they would have you  believe variations of these 6 common lies :

  • We’ve got the treatment. The treatment is all there is. We can keep the dragon at bay. Without us, you will perish
  • The dragon is real. It’s too big for any mortal to face alone. It requires a legendary hero
  • You’re not legendary. Are you? You’re not Heroik. You’re not good enough to solve this problem. You couldn’t possibly solve this problem, on your own or even with anyone else
  • Remember, you’re human, you’re small, and barely know anything. We’re big and have been at this for a long time
  • You need us to hide your shame, and to keep up with the Jones’
  • There is no other way

If you’re like me, these ideas will really piss you off and fire you up. These are the false beliefs proliferated and reinforced by the messaging and underlying support systems around these models. Not only do these models require you to continue to suffer with the problem (hindering your performance as you pay to improve it), they also require that the problem is perceived as too big for you to solve yourself. They must feed the perception of the dragon. In Heroik Culture, we refer to this as painting your dragon (creating a legendary monster from an encounter with a small lizard).

These 6 common lies, keep you in their pipeline, engaged on their terms and under their gun. Are you working with a company like this?

Now, before we get started, let’s establish some ground rules. Here are a few facts:

  • This is the information age where you get a “fire hose” of data pointed at you each and every day
  • Businesses, media, marketers, individuals, family, friends and pets are endlessly fighting for your attention
  • The human brain is much like a computer, but you’re human first, not vulcan, and tend to behave irrationally or “illogically” as Spock would say
  • The toxic lies can be hard to spot and filter out
  • Your ability to see these lies for what they are must be developed

Why These Lies Are So Toxic

free and sell it back feature

Prolonging Pain and Poor Performance as You Pay

The financial success of these models is tied to keeping the pain points or larger problem alive, so they can continue to manage or service it over the longest possible amount of time. Put another way, for them to succeed (even though you or your company pays based on the promise of a solution result) you must not only continue to suffer, but pay throughout the experience to suffer slightly less.

Promoting a Culture of Emasculation



under the boot
These lies are so toxic because they promote a culture of emasculation that is already thriving today. These lies leverage your doubts and insecurities, so that you’ll roll over, play victim and pay a hero to save you. Only the white knight can slay the dragon. Only a “true” hero can save the day. Right? In effect, they need to emasculate you, devaluing you, praying upon your insecurities in an effort to make you feel powerless to solve the problem.

Using the Market to Further Devalue You

biz in bottle

They’ll also leverage the natural psychological behaviors of a market system. Value is subjective. So the lower the perceived value of an individual, product, service or company, the lower the cost. It’s in the competitive market’s interest to suppress costs and thus devalue people or whatever is adding to costs. The corollary to this is also true, the lower you feel your worth, the higher you’ll perceive the worth of others. So you’ll pay more for solutions that are perceived as more valuable than you or your current position in the market.

Crowdsourcing Collusion

get chased

It is a social norm and extension of our market mentality to shame people who see more than “fair” market value in themselves, their brands and products. We devalue and commodotize wherever it serves us to lower costs and elevate our own perceived value. The lesson here is don’t cave in to social pressure simply because others do.

Step By Step Here’s how it works:

  1. Society’s perception believes that heroes are mythological (special) people, akin to the gods.
  2. The company positions itself as the hero, the special, experienced, the chosen one, the solution provider and only one who can help.
  3. That position is reinforced by painting the big audacious challenge (or problem they claim to solve) often overhyping the problem and the impact of their solution.
  4. The moment you begin to think you can improve your circumstances without them, the company simply poses or implies these questions to you first; Do you believe you’re a “real” hero? What makes you special? What makes you believe you’re capable of solving this problem on your own?
  5. If that doesn’t trigger your insecurities individually or collectively as an organization, then they extend the question to the larger community to get collusion.

“They think they’re special. They think they are different. They think they can do it themselves. Are they different? Are they better than you?”

The masses in turn (triggered by their own insecurities) try to pull you back down to the ground, put some sense into you, and get you to accept the vendor/outsider as the hero and pony up.

They try to trick you and reinforce the false belief that you are not Heroik, and not capable of great things. They would have you believe that great endeavors, transformation, relief, grace and compassion belong to them; not to yourself and others. They want you to use an app (read, their app) for that. They want you to buy stuff to hide your shame and fears that you’re not good enough.

Locking The Relationship From Fear of Loss

held hostage

These dark models go further to introduce more problems. When companies knowingly operate with little to no integrity, it instills fear, scarcity and paranoia. So whatever customers they get, they work to lock in that relationship. They use all kinds of tools at their disposal: technology, contractual obligations, etc. Disingenuous businesses breed cultures of insecurity and fear (which in turn, kills trust) forcing them to seek out ways to muzzle employees and shackle disgruntled customers. Again, all of this has unfortunately bcome a more common practice. When your offering is sincere and in alignment with the needs of your market, people don’t need a cage to keep customers around. It’s no easy task to scale and preserve integrity in a large business, let alone extend it to customer experience as well. However, it’s not impossible either.

The arguments we’ve heard defending these practices:

  • This is how business works
  • This structure is required to develop real solutions, legitimate fixes, cures, and better stuff
  • Only a few bad eggs are operating this way

The dark arts and codependent business dynamics lead to business tactics that restrict or hinder freedom and prolong the pain points and suffering (hindering performance and growth). Don’t buy in. This isn’t a few bad eggs. This is a systemic societal problem. The exploitation of businesses is akin to human trafficking (more so if you consider corporations as people).

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4 Disruptive Business Opportunities

We see these clunky, underperforming business models, lumbering along with their toxic culture, waiting to be disrupted by better solutions. There are plenty of opportunities for disruptive transformative service providers and problem solving organizations.

  1. Escaping from these lies and bad business practices – This alone will stop waste, abuse, and increase your opportunities.
  2. Detoxing toxic cultures – show them better practices and help them transition and gain a competitive edge.
  3. Fill the need by actually providing working solutions and transformative services. If there’s a systemic problem of the rubber failing to meet the road, there’s a huge opportunity in making that happen across any number of industries. Help businesses grow, versus renting the perception of business growth.
  4. Disrupt and Liberate – There’s opportunity in liberating people and businesses from dependencies, addictions, and codependent relationships to vendors.

Here’s how Heroik is Taking Advantage of Those Opportunities

cutting chains

It comes down to a more mindful approach – If you’re providing freedom, you’re providing relief. This creates a path to transformation and increased performance and real growth.

  • Offer liberation and identify the common codependent players that merely treat symptoms and service problems. Then, reverse engineer their efforts, roundup available alternatives (provide innovative solutions) and disruptive technical solutions that work
  • Lead by example and encourage organizations to SWIPE from our culture.  S.W.I.P.E. (Steal With Integrity and Pride Everyday). We’re that confident in our practices and integrity
  • Instill confidence by refining brands, leaders, teams, cultures and organizations across disciplines
  • Provide Freedom as a product – Removing codependence and swapping it out for interdependence and collaboration. We position on preserving independence and ensure our clients can grow forth with or without us. What happens? We have stronger relationships with clients based on deep trust, and equal commitment to practicing with integrity
  • Rely on operational integrity, provide flexibility and open space to explore and to build trust
  • Focus R&D on disrupting codependent models for 3 reasons:
    • Alignment with Heroik culture
    • Competitors are addicted to these bad business practices
    • There are very few, true competitors solving problems or providing growth engines. How many Heroik firms do you know?

This is what Heroik is all about. We’re building a movement; an inspirational brand and a socially conscious business based on reminding individuals, leaders, teams, organizations, brands and the world, that they can be Heroik if they choose. Many of the cost centers, problems, and pain points can be resolved, solved and/or transformed into larger opportunities, revenue streams, insights and growth engines. We encourage you to pull from our playbook and leverage these opportunities in your organization as well.

Meeting someone once or twice is pretty easy. Creating a robust professional relationship requires work and TLC. You can run into the same person at a mixer or 3. Connecting in meaningful ways, or even reconnecting, proves to be an elusive skill for most. If you’re looking to reconnect with contacts you’ve met once or twice, or colleagues you know but don’t see often due to your schedule or theirs – look no further. Here’s a sure fire, 8 step, simple formula to get back on their radar. The trick involves sending an email  from your account, adding personal context, an invitation for them to share with you, and give visual bullets of what you’re interested in sharing with them. This doesn’t work if you are trying to spam all of your contacts. However, this  can be very effective if you’re sincerely trying to reconnect and maintain or grow a healthy, professional relationship. Read on!

Everyone has something important they need to remember but, often our memories fade and decay over time. The likelihood of remembering a single piece of information decreases after each minute that passes. This is exacerbated by the fact that in the digital age, we’re constantly bombarded with “important” content. Information is presented to us like a gushing hose from all angles. This flood of data makes what we really want to remember difficult. A new app and web service, Studyhive promises to help make remembering easy.

On a quest to cut down on the noise in our lives, and focus on the things that really serve us, let’s start with the 800 inch Gorilla in the room. Don’t worry. We’re not purists either. We’re not going to recommend that you give up TV altogether. We are going to talk about the nitty gritty of becoming more aware of the cost to benefit ratio and return on investment of that TV time.

The average person watches 5.5 hours a day. A day. Most people don’t even pay that amount of attention time to their work day.

First of all, is this really something you want written on your tombstone? Competitive Couch Surfer, Absentee Parent, Friend and Spouse? Or are there other things you want to be known for? How about your kids?

tv habit

Don’t be a statistic. Sitting on your rump for so long puts you at greater risk for all sorts of disease, and the result is an appearance that no-one is proud of. So consider cutting back on your screen time.

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6 Quick Fixes

1) Unsubscribe & Switch: Consider pulling the plug on cable and trading it for a platform that offers more control and independence like Netflix and Hulu plus. This will take your TV bill down to around $20 a month. You’ll find yourself watching more documentaries and Discovery Channel shows (after binge watching some of your favorites of course) and thus begin a healthier path. This habit shift can help you be more interesting too.

What’s on TV is a major source of casual conversation and ice breakers.

Here’s how to leverage your new Netflix habit in your social and work life:

  • At networking events, parties and mixers, having interesting stories and facts from the Honey Badger documentary will be more memorable than sports statistics.
  • Relive the glory days of TV’s favorite and classic series. This can help your intergenerational skills, and make it easily relate to older or younger generations. Some people watched shows when they were new, some when they were daytime re-runs, but chances are, you can watch Friends, Cosby, Cheers, Wings, and connect with someone on a happy memory.

#MindHack: This is a mind hack too because we experience the shows as if we were in them. We remember and emotionally attach to the shows, ups, downs, and simple times. This alone should inspire you to be more mindful of what you watch, but it can also be used to win friends and influence people.

Hulu plus offers you the latest episodes of your current favorites with less and/or limited commercials. Also, these put you in the driver’s seat with the ability to pause, mute, fast-forward, switch to other programs around your schedule not theirs. You also create your own playlist of sorts which gives you the opportunity to check-in with how you feel after consuming a show and killing time. This tiny bit of gained awareness is a great step to a path of further filtering out noise and things that don’t serve you.

Also you can watch a horrible but popular show fast-forwarding through the worst, and getting the conversational gist, in no-time. Bascially, fast-forward your way through your own highlight reel.  This lowers the cost of your time, energy and emotional investment (TEE) in garbage TV, giving you a competitive edge.

That might sound crazy but consider this: the fast forward habit is on the rise. As our experience with common plot lines and fillers (time spam) increases, so does our connection to that FF button on the remote. In fact there are now several apps that help people share life’s moments in Fast Forward including Instagram’s Hyperlapse and Microsoft’s much smoother, 3d composing software. (See the difference between the two here)

2) Mute – Enjoy Mute Mania – Maybe you’re struggling to turn the TV off altogether. A good transitional step is to get trigger happy with the mute button. Without the sounds, you can allow the TV to become an animated background and begin doing other things while it’s still on. Just like your dogs responding to a doorbell on the TV, your ears and eyes perk up based on all sorts of sounds. That’s why the voice over narrators, and stars on commercials sound so excited. It gets you to pay attention. A muted TV, has less of a pull on your attention and you’re not as much of a moth to the flame. If you glance at the screen and occasionally see a headline catching your attention, you can unmute it and listen in. This can get you started on a mindful, noise filtering practice.

#RelationshipSaver – Spend the extra money on date night and go to a restaurant without TV’s. This will make it much easier to be attentive to the conversation with your loved one.

3) Create a Playlist – We all have our guilty pleasure shows. Try sprinkling a different show in between favorites in that may stir you into activity. For example, perhaps for every 2 episodes of your favorite show, you’ll watch a documentary, nature program, 20 minute exercise tape. It doesn’t mean you have to move to it but the boredom, discomfort, or lack of interest may stir you to disengage from the TV and do something more productive, or it may stir you to play along, learn something new or participate and exercise. Take advantage of any of those feelings and move to do something better.

4) Make half your TV time, multitasking time – Catch up on your honey-do’s. Do laundry. Do dishes. Do push-ups. Do something that involves more physical activity than a typing a keyboard, thumbing at your phone or touching a tablet. Grab a cheap case for your iPad and some velcro adhesive strips, and a attach them to that treadmill you may currently be using to hang your clothes. Walk or jog while you watch – and you’ll be on your way to a healthy return on time invested in TV.

tv get up

5) Block out your TV Time on your calendar – This will help you visualize how much time you’re spending drooling on your couch as you catch up on your favorites, fume at the newsman, or channel surf. This will also allow you to enjoy the time you do set aside to enjoy some television since you are doing so mindfully with awareness of time.

6) Set Reminders – Old habits die hard. One hour or episode leads to another, and before you know it you’re binging on TV. Set a timer to remind yourself to break away and do something else. Use your calendar reminders on your phone. Schedule a next activity after your TV time. Make sure that it’s important. Consider something that will take you outside, like a simple 10 minute walk with your dog, your thoughts or a friend. This will also help increase your awareness of your TV time, and make it easy to appreciate and build healthier habits.

My consumptive TV credentials for those interested – Next to video games, Mountain Dew and Milky Ways, when I was a teenager, I was addicted to TV. I was also 260lbs! I ditched the Mountain Dew and Milky Way’s lost 100lbs, and was still addicted to TV. That’s how addicting it is. I loved it. I still love it but I am much more discerning and critical of what I watch and discerning to identify what content serves me, my goals, priorities, family and environment I want to cultivate. So take it from a former TV zombie, cutting back, switching services and getting picky has really changed my life for the better. I read more. I listen more. I participate more. And when I watch, I watch way more interesting stuff.

When you’re fishing for a vendor or a good addition to your team, you’re on the lookout for leadership skills. Some Heroik Leadership attributes we believe are worth sharing and looking for include:

  • A dedication to growth and cultivating an adaptable skillset
  • Humility that conveys sensibility and builds trust
  • Leaning into the discomfort of the unknown
  • Embracing allies and advisors who can help on the journey
  • A level of confidence and bravery to face the unknown while being held accountable for results

All that said, there are many false gurus out there in the market place. I once ran into a brand guru who was working with a major enterprise client of ours who said he could look into my soul and pull out things I never knew were there. He was very serious. I don’t mind a little qualitative hocus pocus but he didn’t have an approach reconciled with anything resembling business strategy. The rubber never meets the road. And people hire false gurus everyday – B.S. is a billion dollar industry. Below are some examples of faux leader types.

HP’s Sprout PC brings together multiple technologies to bring computer interaction to into the real world. It’s an innovative step that demonstrates a convergence of technologies from 3D scanning, augmented reality, and user interface design. All of which make it easier than ever to express a creative voice on the web. Check out the video to see some use cases in action.

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Stop Using Bit.ly Now: Google and Firefox marking Bit.ly links as Malware

It has come to our attention that Google went ahead and marked one of the world’s most popular link shortening services Bit.ly as malicious. Thus making every shortened link malicious, including every link we’ve been sharing through buffer. We’ve switched services and recommend you do the same and take steps to repair your reputation in the interim.

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