How to NOT be a Victim

victim

Everything that goes along with being a victim is in direct conflict with what you need to succeed. When you see yourself as a victim you are helpless, hopeless, depressed, self-pitying, blaming, negative, and unlovable.

Other than that, it’s a gay old time.

Definition of a victim: a person to whom life happens.
–Peter McWilliams

We’ve all been through times when we felt like the victim. I still have times where I throw myself a pity party. Because even though victimhood holds us back from moving forward to the success we want, it also holds rewards for us.

It’s a lot easier playing the victim than taking responsibility for our own life and working hard to achieve something. It can also be a great excuse.

  • You are not expected to do much of anything, certainly not work hard and succeed.
  • You have no responsibility for what happened to you.
  • You have a right to be depressed and angry.
  • You are entitled to a bottomless pit of sympathy.
  • You have a right to be rescued.
  • You may win millions of dollars in a lawsuit.
  • No one can question you or they are “blaming the victim.”

But that small pleasure and avoidance of working on fixing our problems comes with a huge cost.

Once you believe you’re a victim at the mercy of circumstances, what’s the point in trying? You are not in control of your own destiny, so why put in the hard work it takes to change, grow, and achieve what you want?

If you have no power to change your life you’re doomed to whatever life, other people, chance, or fate does to you.

Gee, sign me up for that life. That sounds super.

Victimhood is Self-Sabotage

When things aren’t going well for us it’s easy to play the victim:

Divorced three times? Your parents were bad role models.

Didn’t get the job? The boss must be racist.

Lost your job because you keep showing up drunk? It’s not your fault. You’re an addict.

Didn’t make the sale? The customer hates fat people.

You might be thinking to yourself right now, Greg is a moron. Some people really are victims. Sometimes it’s really not their fault.

And you know what? You’re right (except for that Greg’s a moron part). Sometimes you are a real victim of racism, or fatism, or sexism, or whatever other -ism you can come up with.

But even if you are a true victim, how is being a victim going to help you make your life better? It won’t. It can’t. So it’s up to you to say, No matter what has happened to me in my past I am not going to let that become my future. I am not going to let anyone or anything have the power to ruin my life.

That doesn’t mean all the pain and depression will go away overnight. But realizing that maintaining your victim status will do nothing to help you overcome your current situation is absolutely necessary to getting you back on the path to success.

Circumstances, event, tragedies, and what people have done to you do not have the power to make you a victim unless you give them that power. You get to decide. Your responses, your attitude, and the way you frame things in your mind can help or hurt you. What will you choose?

Action Steps:

1) Realize that believing you are a victim, regardless of your situation, will not help you reach your goals.

2) Change your mindset to an internal locus of control – where you believe you are in charge of what happens in your life. Your past and current circumstances don’t control your future, you do.

3) Reframe everything in your past in the most positive way you can.

4) Choose to make everything in your past part of what is making you stronger and better. Believe it’s helping make you who you need to become to create the life you want.

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.)

Do You Believe in Luck?

Greg, all your talk about finding your Passionate Purpose, finding a strong why that supports it, creating goals that go with it, then creating action plans to support those goals, and then taking consistent daily action sounds like a lot of hard work. Besides, we all know it really comes down to how lucky you are.

Well, it is a lot of hard work. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But the hard work is worth it. And, when you’re pursuing your Passionate Purpose, even hard work can be enjoyable.

As to the second point that it’s really just luck, for just a second forget about whether that’s true or not. Let me ask you a question. If you really believe that your success is out of your control and is determined by luck, will that belief help you achieve your goals?

If you believe you’re not lucky enough you will be right.

How would you ever expect to succeed with those beliefs holding you back?

Unfortunately, we are bombarded daily by so-called leaders, experts, and friends telling us how we will never be able to fulfill our dreams and accomplish our goals. Some of them are trying to help. Some of them are jealous (consciously or unconsciously). Some of them are trying to excuse themselves for not reaching the level of success they’d once hoped for.

Regardless of their reasons for feeding us that defeatist philosophy, if we believe them, they will be right. But if we reject those negative beliefs and stay focused on our Passionate Purpose we will achieve more than we ever thought we could.

If you believe you can find the husband or wife of your dreams, you’re right.

If you believe you can run a marathon, you’re right.

If you believe you can become a financial success, you’re right.

If the American dream really is dead, then how are people still going from rags to riches every day in this country? How are some people able to go from nothing to super successful in one generation?

Luck?

I believe in preparing yourself to take advantage of opportunities that will appear as you stay focused on your goals.

If you are constantly thinking about where you want to go and improving yourself in every way to be the person you need to be to achieve the success you are working towards, you will see opportunities appear with increasing frequency. Is that luck? No. It’s the result of hard work and taking consistent action.

Some people would rather believe that it all comes down to luck. For them, believing in luck is a way to feel better about themselves when they don’t reach their goals or someone else is achieving the success they want.

Before and after I had my own syndicated radio talk show, I guest hosted for other national programs. I can’t tell you how many people would comment on how lucky I was to fill in for so many big-name radio stars.

The truth is luck had nothing to do with it. I worked hard at becoming a good host. I asked for, and acted on, the constructive criticism that I received and kept getting better. I kept making demos and sending them to program directors all across the country.

Then I started asking the producers and hosts of the national shows if I could fill in for them when they were on vacation or whenever they needed someone on short notice.

Now, when one of these hosts got sick and they needed someone to fill in at the last second, was it luck that I often got the call? Once I filled in and they liked what they heard, was it luck that I was asked to guest host again?

When a smaller syndication company was looking for a new national host, was it luck that I was one of the ones they interviewed for the position?

I like what Don Sutton says: Luck is the by-product of busting your fanny.

Let’s GO!

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

Your New Mindset

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Extensive research shows that most successful people have a mindset that is positive and optimistic. They believe they have control over their lives, not that events control them. They believe that being successful helps everyone and exploits no one.

Most successful people have a mindset focused on growth and learning what they need to achieve all their goals. They have a mindset that asks, “Why not?” “What can I learn from this?” “What if?” They have confidence in their abilities to do what is necessary to win.

Most successful people don’t believe they are in competition with everyone they meet. They understand they are creating the extraordinary life they want. They don’t have to take from someone else to do that. They don’t believe everyone is out to get them.

I have declared myself a Dionarap.

dionarap
noun [dye-oh-nuh-rap]
* One who believes that everyone is out to help him.
(OK, it’s just paranoid spelled backwards. You got me.)

 

Did you hear about the optimist and the pessimist living next door to each other? They both had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to get to work on time at similar jobs. The optimist jumped up when he heard the opportunity clock go off. He pulled the blinds open and yelled, “Good morning, God!” The pessimist hit the snooze on his alarm clock five times before he finally dragged himself out of bed. He peeked through his blinds and growled, “Good god, it’s morning.”

Who do you think is going to have a better day?

Get ready for an amazing insight coming at you. People with a good, positive, optimistic attitude tend to enjoy their day more and accomplish more than people with a negative, depressing, pessimistic attitude. See, I told you—deep insight. You’re welcome.

Growth and Fixed Mindsets

Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, suggests there are two types of mindsets. A fixed mindset believes that your intelligence, talents, skills, and personality are largely set and there is little you can do to change them. A growth mindset believes that you can learn, grow, and improve anything through effort, experience, and practice. There may be upper limits we can reach based on what we were born with, but nothing is set in stone.

Guess which mindset Professor Dweck’s research showed was seen more in successful people?

Mindset explains that people with a fixed mindset play it safe to protect their positive beliefs about themselves. If you’re smart, things come easy to you. So if something is hard, it’s better not to do it. Otherwise, you will have to conclude you’re not smart.

Dweck found that when these people didn’t do well at something, it threatened their belief in their fixed intelligence so much that some of them would even lie about their performance to protect themselves.

Have you ever had a boss who took all the credit but none of the blame? If he received constructive criticism, he would blame the messenger? When you brought a new idea, he would reject it immediately and even become angry with you for trying to move the company to keep up with the times? Those are some of the traits of a fixed mindset manager.

People with the growth mindset are more willing to try new things and struggle with hard tasks. They get excited about learning and getting better. They’re willing to take more risks because every little failure they might endure isn’t proof that they’re not smart. It’s just a bump in the road as they learn, grow, and become smarter. Growth mindset people actually enjoy that process.

This type of manager welcomes new ideas and sees them as opportunities for everyone on the team, including him, to stretch, learn, and grow. He can take criticism in stride knowing that we all have weak spots and with hard work we can develop new skills and get better where we need to. He can share credit with his employees because he doesn’t have to prove he’s the smartest person in the room.

Which type of manager do you want to be, or work for?

The growth mindset leads you to try new things, take on new challenges, learn from criticism, share credit with your team, and keep pace with changes in your field.

The fixed mindset leads you to play it safe, react angrily to criticism, blame others and circumstances for your failures, and avoid new challenges and new ideas for fear of having your intelligence and abilities questioned or threatened.

Well, that’s just great, Greg. Reading this, I have figured out that I’m a fixed mindset person. So I guess I’m not going to succeed.

Whoa, tap the brakes, Speed Racer. That type of thinking is the fixed mindset thinking. You’re born one way and that’s it. Well, I have good news for you. Almost no one has a totally fixed mindset; we are all somewhere on the continuum between fixed and growth. Here’s some more good news: You can choose your mindset. It’s not set in stone.

When you are about to try something new, get yourself into the growth mindset before you begin. Tell yourself you are about to learn and grow. You might not get it right immediately, but if you put in the effort you will succeed. When you make a mistake, tell yourself you just learned something and you’re now one step closer to reaching your goal.

Then pay attention to your self-talk; you can catch yourself making limiting, fixed mindset statements and stop them in their tracks. Imagine you have an opportunity to lead a new project at work. There are some new concepts involved in it and you’re not sure about it. Your fixed mindset thoughts might say, This is risky. What if I fail? I’ll be a failure. Maybe I’m just not smart enough or talented enough to do this.

When you notice these thoughts yell, Stop! Replace those thoughts with growth mindset thoughts. Say to yourself, This is a great opportunity for me. I may not know everything about this right now, but with hard work I can learn what I need. This will be a great chance to grow and expand my skills.

Let’s GO!

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

Life is a Near Death Experience – So, Let’s GO!

Happy-Full-Of-Life1

Imagine you’re 24 years old. You’re young, healthy and full of life. The world is out there waiting for you and you can’t wait to create your future.

Then, things start to go sideways. You go in for your annual physical and you get a call from the doctor’s office. They want to know if you can come in for a couple of tests – not in the next couple of weeks – tomorrow.

Uh, oh, this can’t be good.

You get the tests done and the doctor, who usually jokes around with you, comes in with a very somber look on his face. He tells you the tests show that you have Stage IV cancer.

Whoa, what? I’m 24. I’m in great health. Can you fix this?

The doctor says they have a range of treatments, but you need to get your affairs in order just in case.

That’s what happened to a friend of mine. He said the first thing he thought was, what have I done with my life? He didn’t like the answer. He realized he had been selfish, focused on himself his whole life, and really hadn’t made much of a difference.

He’s a Christian, so he started thinking, when I stand before God what will I tell him I did with the gift of my life? It totally changed his direction and intention.

Thankfully, aggressive treatment saved his life. And he’s making every bonus day count.

How many times have you heard stories like that? Near death experiences that change people forever. But, have those stories changed how you live your life?

For most of us, the honest answer is no.

Why does it take a near death experience for us to truly live?
Why can’t we pretend we’ve had one and start living now?
Why not live like everyday is a near death experience? When you think about it, it kind of is.

Here are some questions to think about tonight:

Are you using the limited time you have left to live the life you dreamed of?
Are you making the difference you want to make?
Are you doing the work you want to do, work that moves you and stirs your soul? Are you loving whom you want to love – and letting them know how much you love them?
Are you volunteering where you want?
Spending time with the people you want?
Living where you want?

If not, this is your near death experience calling. You have Stage IV cancer. If you treat it aggressively, by finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose, you can be cured and live an extraordinary life.

It’s time to make the most of this gift you’ve been given.

You can do it.

Let’s GO!

(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)

The Successful Man is the Average Man – Focused

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Ever feel like you’re working really hard and still not getting everything done? Uh, yeah, Greg, like everyday. Was that a trick question?

A friend has been trying a new focus technique that has helped some, but I think we can do better:

Greg,

I have been using the Pomodoro Technique. Focusing on one thing for 22 minutes, then walking around or resting for 8 minutes, and then repeating…

I try to do that to get 22 min of uninterrupted time. If I try longer than that, something breaks it up.

Also, I can usually get 4 of those reps in a day.

What do you think?

Personally, I need more than 22 minutes to really focus and get into my flow. I’ve seen research that says it takes most people 5-10 minutes to get back in a deep thinking frame of mind each time they are interrupted.

The average American worker is interrupted 50 times a day! No wonder we feel like we never get anything done.

Other research says most of us can focus for 40-50 minutes at a time.

I turn all notifications for phone, email, text, twitter, etc. off and do 45 minutes or so with zero interruptions. Then I’ll take a break for a few minutes, do another hour and then work out. Then I’ll check all messages, turn everything off and get another hour in.

I don’t do that every day, but when I do I get a ton done and feel awesome. If you are worried you will miss something really important you can leave your phone ringer on, but nothing else.

It helps to tell others what you’re doing. I have it in my email signature “In order to be as efficient as possible, I only check my email at 9:30am and 6pm. If there is an emergency, you may call me.” (People who would need my number in an emergency already have it.)

I got the time block out technique from Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book, The ONE Thing. Their idea is to block out four hours each day to concentrate on your ONE Thing. Let everyone know what you’re doing and why. (Start with one hour and build from there.)

Be protective of that time.

In an interview with Forbes, Keller put it this way:

“Think of it like going to the movies. You’re there for ONE Thing—to see the film. Because you’re really clear about that, you turn off your cell phone, you grab snacks in case you get hungry, and you probably even make a pit stop before you go in. All this so you can have an uninterrupted experience.

“When you time block your most important work and treat it like going to the movies—you make a stand around avoiding distractions—amazing things happen. When you start thinking of your days this way, the burden of always having to be ‘on’ goes away and you end up accomplishing more.”

You will have to get creative on how you block out that time. Make sure everyone who needs to know understands why you are doing this. Your boss and your colleagues will be very happy when they start to see the increased creativity and productivity in your work.

If you are the boss, or you’re self-employed, you are going to be shocked at how much more of the important stuff you get done when you start focusing four hours a day on the ONE Thing.

Action Steps:
1) Explain to others how and when you are focusing without distractions.
2) Get a timer.
3) Set it for 50 minutes.
4) Focus and Go!
5) Take a break, talk with friends, check messages.
6) Repeat.

Questions for comments: Have you tried this? Does it work for you? What do you do to stay focused?

(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)

What Barriers Are Holding You Back?

no barriers

When you get quiet, reflect, and dream, what is it you truly want from your life? What barriers are holding you back from going after it? Are they physical, material, or mental barriers? Are they placed in your way by others or by you? What could happen if you pushed through them?

It can be scary to even think about your barriers. So, we avoid them by pushing them to the back of our minds and focus on just getting through our day. The problem with that is our dreams get pushed back too. Before we know it years, or even decades, go by and we’re no closer to living that extraordinary life.

I was able to have Erik Weihenmayer on my radio show. He has climbed Mt. Everest, kayaked the Grand Canyon, adopted a son from Nepal, and works with wounded veterans. Oh, yeah, and he’s blind.

This dude breaks through barriers like crazy. You can hear my interview with him by clicking here.

You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest, kayak the Grand Canyon, or be blind to do something significant with your life. Erik says it’s about doing the difficult, unexpected thing. That’s where life begins.

What difficult thing have you been putting off that could change your life, and the lives of all the people you touch? What could you do to start working on that today?

You weren’t made just to exist. You were made to live and make a difference.

Let’s GO!

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

How to be Your Own Boss

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If you’ve ever wanted to be your own boss, I have great news for you – you are!

Um, Greg, you don’t know me, or my job. I am not even close to being my own boss. I don’t run my own company. I’m stuck at a job where I have to do exactly what my boss tells me. I have no control over anything at work. I feel like a cog in a machine. I have to do what I’m told or I won’t be able to pay my bills.

I’m feeling you. That can be truly depressing and soul sucking. I get that you can feel like you have to go to work and you have to do what you’re told, But, when you really think about it, it’s always a choice.

I’m sticking with my great news.

You are your own boss, because you get to:

  • Decide the purpose of your work
  • Decide if you’re going to go to work
  • Decide if you’re going to do the work
  • Decide what quality of work you will do
  • Decide if your work will become art
  • Decide how invested in the work you will become
  • Decide what your standards for you work are
  • Decide how to increase your value
  • Decide to grow
  • Decide to be happy
  • Decide where you go next

The person the company organizational chart says is your boss can make suggestions to you, but no one can make you do anything if you don’t let them.

You get to decide your life. If it feels like someone else is deciding it, you are the one who gave him that power.

Reclaim it.

Set your standards so that all your work is art, regardless of where you work or what type of work you do right now.

Decide what you want and who you want to become.

Keep choosing to work with purpose and you might find a way to a new job – with a lot more income – faster than you ever thought possible.

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

What Have You Done That You Believe In?

believe

Life keeps coming at you and time keeps moving on. Sometimes we get so busy, we get caught up in routines. We feel like we’re on a treadmill and we’re just doing everything we need to do to keep all the plates in the air.

Ever feel like that?

I do.

When that happens I have to center myself and refocus on what’s vital. I do that by asking myself some questions. That’s the easy part. The hard part is really thinking about and writing down the answers. Scratch that. The real hard part is changing the way I’m living because of the answers.

Action Step: Take a few minutes tonight and answer the questions below that resonate with you.

What have you done that you believe in? That you’re proud of?

When’s the last time you did something like that?

What could you do today that you would be proud of / believe in?

What are you going to do tomorrow that’s in line with your Passionate Purpose?

What do you think the meaning of life is? Are you living your life with that belief in mind? What would you have to change to say yes to that?

Do you feel like your life matters? If not, what do you need to do to change that?

How much time do you have left to make a difference before you die? (For some people, that question is very depressing. For me, it’s inspiring. It reminds me how finite this part of my life is and that I need to get busy on what’s vital, and stop just being “busy.”)

I would love to read some of your answers to those questions. Comment below and let’s start a conversation.

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

Are You Willing to Trade a Day of Your Life For This?

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Hey, give me a day of your life! If someone demanded that from you, you’d want something good in return, right? Your life, even one day of it, is a precious thing. We don’t get to make more days – they’re limited.

Then why do we treat some of our hours, days, and even years on what we know is not our Passionate Purpose? Why do we spend so much time just going through the motions? Why do we sometimes come to the end of the day and think, what did I do today that mattered?

Sometimes life beats us down.
Sometimes we’re just trying to get by.
Sometimes we get in a rut.
Sometimes it’s too scary to even think about how stuck we are.
Sometimes it’s too scary to figure out what we really want and then to go for it.

So…we drift…we go through the motions…

And time keeps slipping away.

If you wouldn’t let someone have a day of your life without getting something great in return, isn’t it time to demand something great from yourself?

What will you choose to do.

Let’s GO!

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

How to Keep Going to Create Your Extraordinary Life

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Finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose seems like a lot of work, right? If you’ve been working on it a while, you might be getting tired. Maybe you’re even letting some of the stuff you’ve been working on slide. (And you still haven’t watched all of Shark Week that you DVRd. Ok, maybe that’s just me.)

Guess what, it is a lot of work. It’s a lot easier to coast through days, weeks, months, and years, never putting out the effort to live that extraordinary life.

But that’s not what you want. You want something different. You are all in on pursuing your Passionate Purpose. You are going to capitalize on that by increasing your income to the point you can change your family tree, give to others, live where you want, travel where and when you want, do what you want, and be financially free.

So when you get tired, or down, or you question yourself, just remember; yes, all the hard work is worth it. If you do it right, you will also enjoy the entire journey.

I know it can be overwhelming to imagine that you are going to become the person who can do everything you must do to achieve all your dreams.

It will take time.

It will take effort.

It won’t go in a straight line.

You will hit walls.

But if you continually think about what you want and who you want to be, make a commitment to it, and take consistent, daily action, you will succeed…

…and it will be worth it.

Get moving on something that will start you on the path to finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose. After all, the years will go by either way. Do you want to look back twenty years from now and say I just kept making a living, or do you want to look back and say that was when I decided to start earning an extraordinary life?

My hope for you is that you get started right now on your Passionate Purpose.

Action Steps: Take stock of what you’ve done in the last two weeks.

1) Spend a little time thinking about your Passionate Purpose. What gets you excited about it? Why do you want it so badly? Why do you want to make the changes necessary to reach your goals?

2) Be brutally honest with yourself: Are you reading your goals every morning, noon and night? Are you taking actions outlined in your action plans every day? Are you holding yourself accountable for what you said you would do with your accountability partner every week? Are you putting the time and effort in to really change your life?

3) If the answer to any of those questions is no, give yourself some grace. This isn’t easy. There is no shortcut. But, you can do it.

4) Get back on the horse. If you need to, restructure your goals and action plans. But, get a system in place where you can take action every day. That’s how you’re going to win. It’s not going to be some huge leap, it’s going to be consistent action over time.

Remember the old adage: Yard by yard, it’s hard. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

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!)