What Are You Taking For Granted?

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My oldest is a senior in high school and will leave for college in a few short months. She has been on a trip with my wife over the past several days auditioning for theatre departments at different universities. I’ve missed them both and it has made me face the reality that very soon I will lose the daily contact I have with my daughter.

I will no longer get to talk to her in person about the good and bad parts of her day.
I will no longer get to hear her singing and watch her dancing each day.
I will no longer get to eat dinner with her each night.
I will no longer get to hug her and tell her how much I love her before bed each night, and so much more.

Just writing that hurts my heart…

It’s not a surprise that my daughter is going to leave soon. We’ve been planning for it since she was born. We’ve spent a lot of time together and have a great relationship. But, now that the time has almost arrived, I have this horrible feeling that I took most of our time together for granted.

How often do we do that with the important things in our lives?

What are you taking for granted right now? I have an idea to help you find out.

Action Steps:

1) List the most important things in your life.

2) One at a time, imagine how you would feel if each one was taken away.

3) The ones that would really hurt to lose, start spending more time on.

Hey, it’s not a surprise that all you have is going to be taken away one day. All of us will die. What important relationships and goals are you going to spend your time on before that happens?

Let’s GO!

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Do You Have the Success Mindset?

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“My will shall shape the future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own.  I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility.  Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” – Elaine Maxwell

In almost every presentation I give, I tell people that everyone can pursue their Passionate Purpose and live the extraordinary life of their dreams.

But last week I had someone come up to me and say, Greg, you don’t really believe that everyone can be super successful do you? (He obviously didn’t know me well, yet.)

I told him, “Yes, I am positive this can happen for everyone. I’ve seen so many people do it I know it’s true. It’s also very exciting for me to think of so many people tapping into and using their gifts to live a life that matters and makes a difference. What saddens me is I know how few ever will.”

The problem isn’t that everyone can’t, it’s that everyone won’t. And the biggest thing that holds people back is their mindset. Do you have the success mindset?

Successful people believe:

  • I am where I am in life because of my decisions, thoughts, and actions
  • My future is determined by the decisions, thoughts, and actions I begin to take right now, it’s not based on my past
  • Blaming circumstances or people does not help me become successful
  • What I focus on I get more of, so I will focus on what I want – not what I’m afraid of
  • My knowledge and abilities are not set in stone
  • I can learn anything I need to become more successful
  • The more I learn and grow, the more successful I become
  • If I serve enough people, I’ll be rewarded with everything I want
  • If I super-serve people, money comes easily, is good, and I will use it to do great things
  • Money isn’t the goal; it’s one of the outcomes of a great goal

For many people, those ideas don’t make sense. Society has beaten into their conscious and subconscious minds a negative, depressing philosophy about life. They don’t believe they can ever live the life of their dreams. They spend more time being worried and fearful than working on what they want and whom they can serve.

What are you focusing on? Whatever it is, you’ll get more of it. What you feed your conscious mind is what your subconscious mind continually focuses on. It doesn’t care if your focus is negative or positive. It will focus on either one. We can program our subconscious to focus on what we want by filling it with positive thoughts.

So why don’t we?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
–Phil 4:8 NIV

I’m sure you’ve heard you reap what you sow. That’s true in more ways than just in actions like planting and harvesting, or hard work and rewards. It’s also in what you sow in your mind and what you sow in your heart.

If you never sow big dreams in your mind, how will you reap them? If you never sow wealth and success in your mind how will you reap it? If you never sow deep love in your mind how will you reap a great marriage and family?

There’s an old saying that seeing is believing. I agree with that, but there is more than one way to see. If you can see it in your mind so clearly that you believe it, then it’s just as real as seeing it in the physical world.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill

That’s an imperative for the success mindset. You need to train your brain to make what you want so real in your imagination that you believe it as much as if you saw it with your eyes. When you do that, you’re on your way.

Remember, it is impossible for something to come from nothing. Everything that has ever been created was first a thought.

Spend some time thinking about the success mindset and work on challenging some of your core beliefs that are holding you back.

My next post will include the action steps to creating your success mindset.

Let’s GO!

Would you like a life coach, but you’re just not ready to commit the money it costs to get one to one coaching? Check out my 40-day Ecoaching course

Once I Become Successful, Then I’ll Worry About Fulfilling My Purpose

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Greg, that idea about finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose sounds great, but haven’t you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? You have to take care of the basics befor you go after self actualization. Once I’m a success, then I’ll worry about my purpose.

I’m a big believer in Maslow’s theory. If you don’t have anything to eat or a place to live, you’re probably not as concerned about going to a museum to look at a piece of art. I get it.

But, I think finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose helps you get everything else you need to live – not just to live better.

Most people have heard of Viktor Frankl’s classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. (If you’ve never read it, start reading it today.) He gives his account of what it was like to be in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, and then he turns to the importance of purpose.

Frankl found that if a prisoner had no purpose left in life – if he saw no hope – he was doomed. If, however, a prisoner saw a purpose in life he could cling to, his chances of survival dramatically improved.

Research in some of the poorest places in the world has supported the idea that a strong sense of purpose keeps people going in the direst of conditions. In many cases, it helps people live happy, healthy lives where we would think there would be no hope.

People living in third world countries have said their Passionate Purpose is to:

  • Help my family survive.
  • Educate the children in my village so they will have more opportunities.
  • Spread happiness to everyone I meet.
  • Get my village clean drinking water.
  • Be able to move my family to a better place where we will all be safe.

These purposes keep them motivated and inspired to live a life with meaning -to live a life that makes a difference.

In fact, finding and pursuing a Passionate Purpose may be more important before you become successful. It’s what gets you up when you really want to stay in bed. It’s what gives you optimism when your circumstances can’t justify it. It’s what gives you courage to face the tough situations. And, it’s what let’s you enjoy this life, when others would wallow in depression.

My belief is that finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose is at every level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs scale. Regardless of where we live, or how much money we make, to live our best lives we need it in everything we do.

Let’s GO!

I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets.Click here for more details.

Can Following Your Passion Backfire and Make Your Life Worse?

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Greg, this “Passionate Purpose” stuff sounds a little new-agey, touchy-feely to me. I’ve read some articles and books that are saying the idea of following your passion doesn’t work. I’ve even read stuff that says setting goals means you just end up failing and feeling bad about yourself. Is that true?

No, and yes, or yes and no. I’m not trying to avoid answering the question, but that’s really the answer. (Those are the answers?) Another great quote from Henry Ford explains it: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Yes, figuring out why you’re here, discovering your Passionate Purpose, setting goals and not reaching them can be frustrating, and sometimes depressing. But, you know what can be even more depressing? Never figuring out your purpose, never setting any goals, and never achieving any goals.

You know what’s a lot better than not setting goals so you won’t feel bad if you don’t succeed? Setting goals and actually achieving them. You are not going for a passionless existence. You are living an impassioned life!

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.
–Seneca, Roman philosopher

It’s all about your mindset, how you set your goals, the plan you create to achieve them, and the execution of your plan.

But ask yourself this: What gives you a better chance of living out your dreams, figuring out what they are and pursuing them or just floating through life whichever way the wind blows?

But, Greg, doesn’t success at your job create passion? That works for some people, for a while. But how many people earning a good income do you know who hate their jobs?

Doctors, dentists, and lawyers all make it into the top 20 of highest suicide rates by profession and those are some of our higher-paying jobs. It’s not all about the cheddar, is it? Golden handcuffs still chafe and hurt just as much as the cheap ones do.

You have to decide these answers for yourself. For me, I want to live out the “why” of my existence. I want to pursue what I’m passionate about and use that to make me rich in every sense of the word.

You might be surprised to find that you will eventually make more money following your passion than you do right now trying to slog through the day. Then again, you might not. But at a certain point, money isn’t the number one priority, is it?

My goals definitely include creating a good income for my family and me, but a goal like earning $1 million per year is not my primary motivator. It’s not my top “why” for my Passionate Purpose.

My “whys” include inspiring people, creating more freedom for myself, helping people live their dreams, a flexible schedule, doing what I love, and taking more vacations with my family. If you took all those away and simply paid me more for doing a soul-sucking job 50 hours a week, I’d say no thanks.
What about you?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Actually Use What You’ve Learned

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I gave a presentation today and at the end of it I got a great question from a new friend in the audience: How do you maintain your motivation and actually use the new information you learned to create your best life?

We had a good conversation about that, and as I drove home I started listening to an audiobook that addressed the exact same question. I don’t believe in coincidences, so my ears really perked up.

Here’s what I got out of my drive home:

Have you ever read a great personal development book, or listened to an audiobook, or attended a seminar, gotten fired up about changing your life and reaching new goals, only to have the feeling fizzle?

Then, you’re off to read the next book and the cycle repeats itself? This happens to me sometimes, how about you?

When we get great information, why don’t we use it to change our behavior and our lives?

I think it’s because that can be a hard thing to do. It’s easier for us to read a book, or listen to a podcast, or attend some training, than it is to implement what we’ve learned.

I love what Ken Blanchard and Paul Meyer say in their book, Know Can Do! Put Your Know-How Into Action. Once you’ve got some good knowledge, you need to integrate it into your behavior and life before you move on to the next thing. Otherwise, you end up in information overload territory.

Imagine getting a golf lesson and the pro explains how to fix ten problems with your swing. How do you think your next round of golf is going to go? There is no way you are going to be able to remember and implement all the suggestions. You are probably going to end up getting frustrated, playing worse, and then giving up changing your swing at all.

Instead, how about learning less, but really learning it. The idea is to take a couple pieces of great information, or ONE book, learn it through spaced repetition and use it in your life. Once you’ve integrated it into your daily routine, then you’re ready to learn something new.

Learn less, more.

To continue with the golf analogy: Work on one or two fixes to your swing. Get those down really well, and then move on to the next fix.

Or, say you just picked up a new book and the information in it resonated with you. Here’s how you really learn it over spaced repetition: Read the book through once. Read it through a second time, underlining the compelling points. Read it a third time and take notes on the “aha moments” that leap out at you. Read it a fourth time with an accountability partner who keeps you on track to actually implement the ideas from the book into your life. Finally, teach the ideas to someone else.

If you do all that, you really know the material, in theory and in practice. That makes a lot more sense to me than getting a superficial knowledge and then moving on to the next shiny thing.

What do you think?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How to Help Each Other Succeed

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Motivation is a tricky thing. It waxes and wanes like the moon. Some people claim motivation doesn’t work because it wears off.

Hold on, I eat three (or five) times a day. I guess I should just stop eating. It wears off.
I work out three times a week. I guess I should just stop exercising. It wears off.
I shower every day. I guess I should just stop showering. It wears off.

Sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it? EVERYTHING wears off.

The question is, how do you stay motivated to pursue your Passionate Purpose? A big helper in that is finding an accountability partner. The word “partner,” is important here. This is going to be a mutually beneficial relationship. You are going to motivate each other.

So, find someone you like and trust who is also looking for an accountability partner. It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.

I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other AND hold each other accountable, great things happen. Once you find one:

  • Tell each other exactly what you want and why you want it
  • Set a date for when will complete “x”
  • Determine how will you know you’ve done it
  • Schedule a weekly phone call to review the past week’s activities towards your goals
  • If necessary, exchange an accountability email half way through the week
  • Encourage and challenge each other to keep going

To be clear, the content of the call and the email is simple:

1) What did you say you would do this week?

2) What work have you done on that?

3) What went right?

4) What didn’t go so well?

5) What’s holding you back?

6) What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?

7) What can you do to help your partner?

Warning:

As you work on your Passionate Purpose, you will hit plateaus. Expect it and be ready to do the work necessary to break through them.

Fear and doubt will creep in from time to time.

Some of your friends and family may feed your fear and doubt by telling you your wasting your time, or that living an extraordinary life is for the lucky few, not you.

Some will do this because they think they’re protecting you from disappointment. Sadly, some will do this because they’re jealous of your aspirations and achievements.

You will overcome that by leaning on why you want this new life, on your passionate purpose, on your skills, abilities and experience.

You can do it. And there are plenty of people who WANT you to succeed. Lean on them, too.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

The Danger of Overreacting

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Those who fail to respond to a changing marketplace – fail. In fact, things happen so fast now, that you need to predict the changes in the market place and act before the changes actually occur or it might be too late.

I think that’s true, to a point. We can also overreact with unintended consequences. We can change so quickly and so often that we lose our core audience, customers, clients, or purpose.

You’ve heard of the Titanic, but have you heard of the Eastland? Their connection is a tragic story of overreaction and unintended consequences.

After the Titanic sank, taking 829 passengers and 694 crew members with her, our government sprang into action. Congress passed new laws to make sure the Titanic disaster would never happen again.

The Eastland was mandated to add more lifeboats, rafts (and cranes to lower them into the water) then the boatmakers had planned.

The additional weight made the boat top heavy. As the passengers began embarking for the journey across Lake Michigan, the boat began listing to one side. The sailors compensated by adding water to the ballast tanks on the other side. Once the boat was packed with passengers it began to list to the other side. The sailors couldn’t fix the problem fast enough. The Eastland capsized while still tied up to the dock in the Chicago river.

Overreaction helped cause the death of 841 passengers and 3 crew members. Wow. More passengers died from the overreaction to the Titanic than actually died on the Titanic.

Yes, it was a good reaction to make sure every ship had enough lifeboats for everyone. But, it was an overreaction to force lifeboats that were too heavy on to the Eastland.

Keeping your eyes on trends and changes in your field is very important. But, be careful of the danger of overreaction as well. That can be just as, or more, dangerous than not changing at all.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Three Answers You Should Never Give Yourself

We ask ourselves questions every day and our brain always answers. Sometimes it’s consciously and sometimes it’s unconsciously, but it always answers. Are you asking the right questions and getting the right answers?

“Why does this always happen to me?” “Why am I so stupid?”

Your brain will make up an answer. Do you really want to hear it?

So, start with better questions: “What is my purpose?” “What are my passions?” “How can I start my own business?” “What can I do to serve people that will cause them to line up to give me their money?” “What can I do to make a difference?” “How can I have more freedom in my life?”

What are your questions?

When you ask yourself a question that really matters to you, here are three answers you should never give yourself:

1) “I don’t know.” The correct answer is, “I don’t know…yet, but I know how to find out.” Think about all the things in your business and life you didn’t used to know how to do. Not too long ago I had no idea how to write and publish a book, or how to create a blog, or how to simultaneously post on 3 social media sites, or create an automated email campaign. But, I learned how and you can learn anything you need to know.

It’s never been easier to find out how to do something. Type in “how to _____” into Google or YouTube and we have incredible information at our fingertips. From blogs, books, online courses, videos, podcasts, ebooks, and more, there is a way to find your answers.

2) “I can’t.” The correct answer is “I can figure out how to do it,” or “I can get someone else to do that for me,” or “I can do something similar instead.”

What good has it ever brought you?

3) “I don’t care.” You do care, or you wouldn’t consistently be asking yourself the same question. So why are you using that as your answer when you don’t mean it? Is it fear? Is it a belief that you can’t do it, so acting like you don’t care makes that easier to swallow? You need to figure that out so you can get to the answer you want.

Action Steps:

Start asking yourself questions that will get you what you want. Write them down. Ask yourself these questions every day.

When you get an answer that resonates with you, take action immediately.

Don’t accept the answers: I don’t know. I can’t. I don’t care.

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

 

Day 1 of Your New Life

If you are at the point where you want to change your life, I’m excited for you. This is Day 1 of Your New Life.

To get started, I’ve got some questions: Why do you want to change your life?

Because I’m not happy, Greg. Jeez!

I get that things aren’t where you want them to be. I’m not trying to get down on you, I’m just trying to help you get clear on why you must change. That will keep you going when the journey gets tough.

During my coaching session this morning I asked my client, “Why do you want to change your life?”

He said that was a good question and he’d have to think about it for a minute. He already knew down deep, but I don’t think he’d ever taken the time to articulate it and bring it to his conscious mind.

After a few moments he said, “Greg, I’m tired of just going through the motions. I’m not sure if I know my purpose. I think if I can figure that out, it will help me make the changes to make my life better.”

That was a start. I then followed up with, “What do you mean by ‘better’?”

He replied that he wanted to earn an income to provide for his family so they could live in a better neighborhood with better schools and they would have everything they need.

“Beyond that, Greg, I feel stuck. I don’t know where I’m going next. I don’t feel needed where I work, and my self-confidence is low. I want to find purpose in my life and work so I can love what I do and take care of my family.”

Now, we were getting somewhere.

Why must you change?

Take some time to figure it out and write it down. Make it as real and emotional as you can.

Do you want to be more excited about your career, your spouse, your relationships, your family, and your spiritual development?

Do you want freedom to control your own time, career, vacation, and life? Freedom to travel the world with the people you love?

Do you want to generate abundant amounts of income so you can do everything you’ve ever dreamed of, take care of your family, and give to help others?

Why must you change your life?

Once you’ve figured that out, you can move on to what you want and how to start doing it. We’ll do that next.

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

Is THIS Your Opportunity to Succeed or Give Up? — Yes

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My daughter has a stomach bug and she asked me to watch a movie with her. She decided on, Joy, with Jennifer Lawrence. It’s the story of how a divorced mother of two, living with a very dysfunctional family, went from nothing to creating a multimillion dollar business empire.

The film is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. I thought the movie was just ok, but even Hollywood messing with the truth, the messages I took from Joy are great.

Joy had family troubles, house troubles, ex-husband troubles, work troubles, financial troubles and legal troubles. Most people would have given up. Her mom did give up – she just laid in bed watching soap operas all day. Joy could have followed that example, but instead she kept making the choice to take action and succeed. (Yes, that is a choice.)

I keep noticing that the biggest difference between success and failure is not giving up. I’m not saying that’s easy. I know I’ve had times when I wanted to give up. In fact, I have given up before, and then gotten back in the game. What’s stopping you from getting back in the game? You haven’t failed until you’ve given up permanently.

What will you choose to do with your next opportunity? Keep going and tweaking it until you succeed, or get discouraged and give up?

Unfortunately, just about everyone in Joy’s family discouraged her. They told her that her business ideas wouldn’t work, that she wasn’t smart enough, and she was “just an unemployed housewife.” She almost allowed them to be right.

How many people – some of them meaning well – are pulling you down and preventing you from pursuing your Passionate Purpose? How long will you let them? What can you do today to change that dynamic in your life?

Joy’s Grandma, daughter, ex-husband, and best friend believed in her. She leaned on them for support. We all need that. Who does that for you?

Action steps:

  1. Actively seek out and spend more time with your supporters. Bounce your ideas off them. Thank them.
  2. Avoid the energy vampires. Remember, they can only hurt you if you let them.
  3. Figure it out: Is THIS your opportunity to succeed or give up? The answer is, yes. Which one will you choose? What can you do right now to pursue your current, best opportunity?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!