You Can Supercharge Your Life – Without the Energy Drinks

energy-drinks

We all want to be energized and fired up to take on the day. So much so, that we may turn to coffee for a pick me up. For some, that’s not enough. Bring on the energy drinks!

But haven’t you had days when you felt invigorated without having to slam an espresso? What’s happening on those days?

I bet you’re doing something you’re passionate about and that you love.

When I was a kid it was really hard to get out of bed to go to school every day. I hit the snooze bar several times, fell back asleep, moaned and groaned, and finally, begrudgingly got up.

But at the age of ten I joined a bowling league. (Yes, I was one of those kids.) The league was every Saturday at 9am. I had to get up at the same time I got up for school in order to be at the bowling alley on time. And here’s the strange thing. Even though I stayed up later on Friday nights than I did on school nights, I never hit the snooze bar on Saturday mornings. Most of the time I didn’t even need my alarm. I would happily pop out of bed and get ready to go bowling.

I didn’t wake up tired, I woke up inspired.

What made the difference in my wake up attitude? I loved bowling. I looked forward to it. (Maybe my mom should have taken me to a counselor. Hey, what’s wrong with bowling?) My best friend was on my team and I didn’t want to let him down. I was excited to get up early and go bowling.

I didn’t hate school. I liked some of my classes and I enjoyed seeing my friends. But the school structure did not excite me and most of my classes bored the mess out of me. It was tough to get excited about.

As an adult, I’ve noticed the same phenomenon.

While I’m giving a presentation to a few hundred people or hosting a radio show, or playing a gig with my guitar I don’t feel tired. I feel supercharged. I’m hyped. (Even when my radio show was four hours long every week day, it didn’t wear me out. It actually took me a while to calm down once I was off the air.)

I’m passionate about those things and I love doing them.

When’s the last time this has happened to you? Isn’t it amazing that you can work harder and longer doing what you love – and still feel more energized and satisfied – than working shorter hours doing something you hate?

Yes, we all have to do things we don’t want to do. But, how often?

Is there a way you could do more of what you’re passionate about and less of what drains your energy? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t that help you and everyone who comes in contact with you?

Sure, Greg, and then I’ll ride a unicorn over a rainbow into a pot of gold.

happy-unicorn-rainbow

I know it sounds impossible, but what if? How about this for a start?

1) Figure out what you love and what you don’t. Make a list of everything you do each day, for a week. Highlight all the activities you enjoy in green. Highlight all the activities you don’t enjoy in red.

Which type of activities are you spending most of your time on? If they aren’t the green ones, look out.

2) Now start looking for ways to minimize the red and maximize the green. Are there people who like what you dislike? Could you delegate to them? Could you group the things you dislike and do most of them once a week? Could you talk to your boss about where you do your best and see if that could be where you focus your time? Remember, it will help the company bottom line, too.

3) If none of that works, do you need to change jobs or careers to do more of what you’re passionate about?

4) Is there a way you can reframe the work you have to do that doesn’t energize you? Can you see the purpose of your work and how it helps others? For example, if you’re an insurance salesman instead of seeing your job as “selling insurance,” could you see it as helping people find the best way to keep themselves and their families healthy and financially protected?

5) Do this exercise with your personal life as well.

Life is too short to spend most of your week doing things that suck the life force out of you.

The world needs your best work and that work is driven by your passions. Find them…and you can throw out the energy drinks.

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Let’s GO!

How My Trumpet Can Keep You On Top

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In 5th grade I decided to join the elementary school band and play the trumpet. (Why the trumpet? They let us try all the instruments, but I couldn’t keep my cheeks from puffing out when I tried the trombone. Yup, that’s the kind of thought I put into my instrument of choice.)

In the first week of practice we had auditions. Out of 36 trumpets, I was 33rd chair. (Take that chair 34, 35, and 36!) Let’s just say I was not awesome at this.

All of that changed when our band director handed out the music. We were going to play the theme from Rocky! (Gonna Fly Now) This was in 1978. The movie had only come out two years earlier and I loved that song. And, the trumpets had an amazing part.

I took the sheet music home and started playing it. But I didn’t have the melody. I was playing boring low notes the whole time. I didn’t understand why. (I’ll explain in a minute.) I really didn’t sound very good. It was painful to listen to me.

My mom saw me struggling and got me private lessons. I had a really cool teacher who said my embouchure – the way my mouth was on the trumpet – was all wrong. He showed me what to do and sent me home.

I worked my butt off and the next week my teacher was stunned. He said my embouchure was now “super good” and we could start really learning how to play.

I practiced hard.

Three months later my band had auditions again. This time I jumped from 33rd chair to 3rd chair. I even beat out all but two of the 6th graders who had been playing a year longer than I had. Wow! All the hard practicing was really paying off.

Then, my director asked me to hand in all my music. I didn’t know what was happening. Had I done something wrong? Was I in trouble? Nope, she just wanted to give me the 1st part for every song. I didn’t understand. What did 1st part mean?

I was so new to music that I didn’t realize there were different parts depending on how good you were. The best players played 1st part melody. I had been playing 3rd part harmony. Now I was getting the 1st part for all our songs – and that included the first part to ROCKY!

I rode my bike home as fast as I could and started playing that song, imagining I was running up the steps in Philly. I was playing the melody. I sounded like the theme song! (Well, kinda. I sounded like the simplified 5th grade version of the song, but I was playing the MELODY!)

From there I fell in love with the trumpet and ramped up my practicing. In junior high I was in two bands, practiced in the marching band after school and spent at least another hour practicing at home each day.

In 8th grade I auditioned for the all county band and made 1st chair. That meant I was the best junior high trumpet player in all of Orange County, Florida (Orlando). I thought that was pretty cool.

In fact, I got a little cocky. I let my practice schedule slip. I didn’t work as hard on new songs. I didn’t ask my private teacher to push me as hard.

The next year, as a 9th grader I auditioned for the all county band again – and only made third chair. An 8th grader was second chair! How did I let this happen?

I realized that I had become complacent with my trumpet. I wasn’t looking for new songs and new challenges. I was resting on my accomplishments. While I was doing that, other people were working hard to get better. And they passed me by.

How many of us have done that in some part of our life or work?

Sometimes it’s because we get bored or tired. Other times it’s because we aren’t paying attention to the changes in our business or life. Still other times we aren’t looking for the ways to innovate and change to reach a new level of success.

If we want to fix that, we have to keep looking for the next Rocky Theme Song that gets us excited. That’s what helps drive us to put in the hard work it takes to become the best version of ourselves we can.

Question for comment:

What’s your next Rocky? What’s gonna make you fly now?

(If this post resonated with you, please share it, and my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding and Pursuing Your Purpose, with a friend.)

Three Questions For Your Weekend

Determine your Passionate Purpose, become world class at it, use it to serve others, and enjoy the entire ride.
–Greg Knapp

If you’re struggling to find your Passionate Purpose, or you just want more out of life, I have three questions to ask yourself this weekend.

1) What things have you done that you’re passionate about and bring you joy?

2) What things have you done that you feel have created meaning in your life?

3) What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)

To have this work, you need to spend some real time doing deep thinking. Start with your childhood and slowly work your way to today.

Look at every type of thing you’ve done in every category you can think of. Go DEEP.

Don’t censor yourself, or let other people’s expectations color this exercise. This is all about you.

Action steps:

  • Schedule some time by yourself. Ideally, find a quiet spot that you enjoy.
  • Turn off all electronic devices – yes that means your phone!
  • Pray or meditate on the questions
  • Keep writing answers until you have at least 10 answers to each question.
  • Then come up with 10 more
  • Look for overlapping answers
  • Narrow the answers down to your top 3

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

If You’re Stuck, It’s Time to GROW

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If you just feel stuck, how do you get unstuck? What I do with my coaching clients, and what I do to coach myself, is GROW.

GROW stands for:

Goals
Reality
Options
Way Forward (or Will)

When I coach, I see my clients as having the best answers to their questions. My job is to help them become more self-aware, fully develop their goals and options, and help them choose the best ones.

When you take responsibility for creating your life, you become much more invested in the work and the outcomes. You also become more successful.

Begin with the end in mind. What do you want? If you aren’t clear on that, it’s going to be much more difficult to get there.

Goals: Which part of your life do you need to change? Your career, relationships, physical fitness, spiritual development, what?

Some of the great questions I use to figure out my goals come from the book, Coaching For Performance, by John Whitmore. If you’re looking to improve your career you might ask yourself questions like:

  • Imagine 1 year in the future – what would your ideal work situation be?
  • What would a typical day be like? Describe it in detail.
  • What part or parts of that ideal work situation do you desire most?
  • How important, on a scale of 1 to 10, is each one to you?
  • Now, what is your work goal?
  • If that seems to big a goal, what are some smaller, more attainable goals that will get you on your way to your ultimate goal?
  • When would you want this goal achieved?
  • How would you know you achieved it?

There are times that just getting clear on your goal will get you unstuck. Most of the time, however, you’re going to want to go further to ensure success.

The next step is being brutally honest about your reality.

Reality: Objectively look at your current situation. A key here is owning the responsibility for where you are and what it will take to get where you want to be. Self-awareness is crucial to getting unstuck.

Staying with a change in career as the example, start with some questions like these: 

  • What is your current reality at work?
  • What is your reality on what it would take to change that?
  • What and who don’t you like in your current work situation?
  • What and who do you like in your current work situation?
  • How much of this do you see as under your control?
  • How could you make it something you could control?
  • What makes your work meaningful?
  • What do you see as your purpose in your work?

Now that your clear on what you want and where you are, you need to come up with options.

Options – What options do you have for changing things? (Let’s use the example of having a goal for a new job.)

  • What might you gain by changing jobs or starting your own business?
  • What might you lose?
  • How do you make sure the same things you don’t like about your current job don’t crop up again in your new job?
  • How would you find it the new job?
  • How else?
  • Where would you find it?
  • Where else?
  • What would you have to change to get that job?
  • What could you do to change that?
  • What’s been holding you back from these options?
  • What else could you do?
  • If you knew the answer, what would it be?
  • What advice would you give a friend in this situation?
  • Of all the options you’ve come up with, which 3 do you like the most?
  • Which would make the biggest difference in your life?

You’ve come a long way, but if you stop here you really haven’t done anything meaningful. You must take action. It’s time to plan the Way Forward.

Way Forward (or Will): What specific actions will you take to achieve your goal?

  • Which options are you going to take action on?
  • What actions have you taken on this so far?
  • How did those actions work out?
  • When will you start?
  • How will you know when you achieve your goal?
  • What’s your deadline for achieving your goal?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how strongly do you feel you can achieve your goal on time?
  • If it’s not at least an 8, what can you do to make it an 8?
  • Do you need to take smaller actions you believe you can achieve in order to ramp up to bigger ones?
  • What can you do to stay motivated when you hit obstacles?
  • Why do you want this goal? How can that keep you motivated?
  • How often should we review your progress to keep you on track?

This is just a small look at how the GROW process can help you get unstuck.

You may need to improve your education, skills, and talents to get where you need to go. But, your goals, options, and solutions for what you want – and why you want it- are inside you. It’s time to start pulling them out.

Let’s GO!

I have personal coaching available now. Click here to learn more.

Why Do You Go To Work?

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Is this a trick question, Greg? I go to work because I need money. I have a family, a mortgage, bills to pay, mouths to feed and send to college…

Yes, I get that. But there are infinite ways to make money. Why do you go to work doing what you do? Why not work somewhere else? Why not work doing something else? What else, besides money motivates you?

Gallup did a survey in 2013 and found that 63% of employees said they were disengaged at work. Only 13% said they were engaged, and 24% said they actively hate their jobs. So, 87% of workers around the world are disengaged or actively hated their jobs. Wow.

I guess the 87% really do just work for the money. Does that lead to happiness and our best work? I’m guessing not.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
— Steve Jobs

If you want to love (or at least enjoy) what you do, you have two options:

1) Find a new career that is your calling – whether it’s by starting your own business or working for someone else.

2) Find ways to enjoy your current position, and make that a calling – at least while you’re working on your dream job.

Ok, Greg, how do I do that?!

The first choice is what my speaking, coaching, book, audiobook, free eBook, and blog are all about. I’d love to help you on that journey in any way I can. That’s my calling and I love seeing people find and pursue their Passionate Purpose and live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

That might take a while. But you don’t have to wait to enjoy your work right now. You still have option #2.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
— Jim Rohn

You start by figuring out what really motivates you to work.

Since the industrial revolution, companies have been using the carrot and stick approach. Do what they tell you to and get paid, maybe even promoted. Don’t do what they tell you to and get fired.

Shockingly, that doesn’t always lead to a fulfilled work life. (I know, knock me over with a feather!) That approach is why we have a disengaged work force and lots of miserable employees.

Common sense and research has proven that beyond money, there are things that we want/need to truly enjoy our work.

The biggest driver in fulfillment in our work is the need for a purpose in what we do. We need to believe in the purpose of our job and of the company we work for. We need to see the good it does, the difference it makes. Without this, we feel like what we do doesn’t matter, and who wants to feel like that?

Once you have a clear purpose that you believe in, these are the other things that motivate us to do our best and love what we do:

  • To have our opinions and work valued by our colleagues and bosses
  • To have some autonomy and responsibility in what we do
  • To do our best and see it make a difference
  • To be allowed and encouraged to grow, create, and innovate
  • To feel appreciated by our clients and those we work with
  • To get lost in our work
  • To have real friends in the workplace

You can work right now on finding a purpose in your company, and in your role in the company, that you can get behind.

Are you just working a job and completing a task – or are you following a calling to be part of an important purpose bigger than yourself? What is the higher purpose or calling in your current job?

Every business that is making a profit is serving a customer in some way. What is the best thing your company does for its customers? What does your product or service do for your clients at the physical and emotional level to make their lives better?

That’s where you begin. Then start working on the rest of the list of intrinsic rewards we all crave.

How can you work with your team to shift the dynamic of the carrot and the stick? If you are a business owner or a manager, what can you do to allow your team to do work the way we all would love to do it?

Let’s GO!

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