14 Questions to Create Your Best Life

Man-Thinking

Are you at a point in your life where something needs to change? Do you feel stuck, maybe even trapped? Are you just drifting through life doing all the things you’re “supposed” to do, but not going after the things you really want to do? Deep down do you feel like you were meant for something more than this? Are you frustrated that you don’t know how to have your breakthrough?

What if I told you the way to start is to turn inward?

I am very big on the idea of asking yourself empowering questions. (It’s a big part of how I coach my clients to create the goals and plans they use to create extraordinary lives.) We ask ourselves questions all the time. For good and bad, our brains come up with answers no matter what we ask.

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

How could I be so stupid?! (You aren’t, but your brain will come up with an answer.)

Why does this always happen to me?! (It doesn’t, but your brain will assume it does and come up with reasons why.)

Why do I constantly fail? (Of course you don’t fail constantly, but your brain will rationalize that for you, too.)

Those types of questions won’t help you get where you want to go. They beat you down and waste your time. They can even become self fulfilling prophecies. Remember what Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Let’s ask questions that encourage you, lift you up, get you excited, and lead to the results you want. But first we have to get clear on a few things.

Why do you want to change your life?

Because I’m not happy, Greg. Jeez!

Hey, 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.

It all starts with your why – your purpose. Then we can get to what you really want and the obstacles holding you back from starting to get it.

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

He said 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. From there I asked him how that would change his life emotionally, relationally, financially and more.

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?

How would that make you feel?

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.

Action steps:

Ask yourself some empowering questions:

  1. What’s your why? (the reason you’re willing to do the work to change your life)
  2. What’s your gift? (talents, skills, abilities to do certain things easier and better than others can)
  3. What’s your purpose? (the reason, or reasons you were put on the planet)
  4. What are you doing when you feel great?
  5. What type of work are you doing when you feel like you’re in the zone or in flow?
  6. What things have you done that you’re passionate about and that bring you joy?
  7. What things have you done that you felt brought meaning to your life?
  8. What are you good, or even great at? (Or what could you become great at?)
  9. What would your dream job entail?
  10. What would a terrific relationship with your spouse look like?
  11. Why do you want to have to change?
  12. What would be bad about staying exactly the way you are?
  13. What would be great if you changed?
  14. What would make the changes worth all the time and effort it’s going to take?

Get your journal out today and answer these questions. Get quiet and still and think deeply. Surface living isn’t getting you what you want. You need to go down deep into yourself to pull out your “why.”

Take at least 30 minutes to answer these questions and write them down.

Magic happens when we write our thoughts down. They become real in a different way than when they are only in our heads.

Make this as real and emotional as you can.

It’s your life and it won’t become what you want by accident.

Let’s GO!

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.

If You’re About to Give Up, Read THIS First!

A young looking pensive while covering his mouth with a clenched hand

You’ve been working really hard and you’re frustrated. All the big ideas, extra hours, sacrifices, and effort you’ve put in have gotten you…what?

Exactly Jack Squat!

Maybe.

But what if you’re this close to a breakthrough? What if that last little bit of work will put you on a path to something that could really change your life?

My first job in talk radio way back in the 90s was not as a talk show host. I was working for minimum wage doing all the grunt work and overnight shifts. I even had to buy time to get a chance to be on the air. Fairly quickly they were “kind” enough to let me provide a show for the station for free, but I still wasn’t getting paid.

YES! I always wanted to work for free! Ok, maybe not. I wasn’t exactly reaching my radio dreams…yet.

Even though my wife’s job and my part time job as a mental health counselor were earning enough to support us, I felt like I was letting her down. I told her I was about to quit the radio dream and get a full time counseling job.

She convinced me to stay at it at least until the end of the year. (She’s awesome.) She said, “Hey, you’re actually pretty good at this.” (Yeah, she’s funny, too.)

About a month later I was offered a full time job as a talk show host on the number one station in town. That was the start of my 21 year career as a radio talk show host including national syndication and stints in Dallas, Kansas City, and Jacksonville. What if I’d given up one month before my big break?

I was reminded of this while I was watching The Voice with my daughter. One of the contestants is married with children. He’s a teacher and sings on the side. He’s been doing it for over a decade without much success. He told his brother he was about to give up on the idea of a singing career – and then he got a spot on The Voice.

What if you’re that close?

Before you give up, do a double check:

1) Remember why you want this. Is that why still strong for you? Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Isn’t is because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do?

2) Review the progress you’ve made so far. You might be surprised at what you’ve already accomplished.

3) Review your plan. What parts are working? What parts aren’t working? What could you change to get better results?

4) Imagine what your life would be like if this started turning around for you? What would change? How would that impact you, and those around you? How would it make you feel?

5) Give yourself some grace. Maybe you just need to slow down and take a bit more time on this. Maybe you’re burning yourself out and expecting too much too soon. Go for smaller successes and then build to bigger things. You’re human, and that’s ok.

6) Email me before you give up and see if I can help you! greg@gregorybknapp.com

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
– T.F. Hodge

Question for comment: How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?

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!

I Tried To Change And It Didn’t Work

failure2

Are you ready for some tough love? If you have tried to change before and it hasn’t worked, there is really only one reason. It’s not because you don’t have talent. Talent is overrated. You see unsuccessful people with talent all the time. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.

The real reason you haven’t followed through on what you say you want is this: You get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.

I know that’s hard to hear. But it’s true, and all of us struggle with it. I have to tell myself this every time I start to back slide.

Tony Robbins puts it this way: You believe you get more pleasure and avoid more pain by staying the way you are than by doing the work necessary to change.

I know this sounds crazy but think about it. Why don’t we all eat healthy and never overeat? Isn’t it because we like the pleasure we get from the taste of the foods we know aren’t good for us? Isn’t it because of the pleasurable feeling we create in ourselves when we eat too much?

Sure it makes us gain weight and maybe even feel sluggish, but doesn’t the short- term pleasure overwhelm the long-term pain? I know it does for me more times than I’d like to admit. Our actions speak louder than all the diets we’ve ever planned to live by.

Why do you think alcoholics and drug addicts continue to use even though it’s destroying their lives? Obviously addiction is a factor, but it’s also because they believe the short-term pleasure they get is greater than the long-term pain. They use substances to temporarily change the way they feel, to avoid pain in their lives, to distract themselves from their problems, and to self-medicate.

Even when they are losing their jobs, their spouses, their children, their friends, their homes, and their health, they keep using for the short-term pleasure and the short-term escape from their pain.

Yet, many do kick their habit. How? They do it when they hit rock bottom. When they convince themselves the pain of their addiction is worse than the short-term pleasure of using and they decide they must change. That’s when they start the difficult recovery process.

How Do Some People Do It?

Let me ask you a question. How do we have people making average salaries starting new businesses every day in this country? How do legal immigrants come here with nothing and open a business the first year they’re here? I’m talking about people who do it without a loan or investors. How do they do it?

They convinced themselves they had to. They decided that to not put out the effort and money necessary to pursue their goal would be more painful than doing it. They stayed focused on the long-term pleasure they would get and how they would avoid the long-term pain of never pursuing their dreams. They found a way.

Some saved money for years that they could have used on other things. Others found a way to start it in their home and slowly build it. Others found a way to do it all online for almost nothing. The bottom line is they found a way. You can, too.

Could You Do It If?

Imagine your child has a fatal illness. The doctors say she only has six months to live. But if you get her the right medicine, she will be completely cured. One problem: The medicine costs $10,000 and you’re broke. No one can loan you the money. Do you think you could earn an extra ten grand in six months to save your child?

Of course you could, and you would, because you would have to. With that kind of effort and commitment nothing could stop you.

That’s the kind of commitment you will need because deciding you must change is just part of it. You also must decide you are willing to do the work required to make the change.

I can give you ideas and techniques to change your life, but I can’t change you. All true change will come from you.

Let’s GO!

How to Actually Use What You’ve Learned

less-is-more

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!

“All Feedback is Welcomed?” I disagree

Feedback is always good and you should always take feedback, right? That’s’ the conventional wisdom. We have to be able to take feedback if we want to be successful. We can learn a ton about what we’re doing right and wrong. We can learn more about our customers, audience, clients, and more. We can use feedback to improve our products, services, presentations, and sales calls. Feedback is awesome.

Hey, conventional wisdom on feedback – YOU’RE WRONG!

Yes, sometimes feedback helps us. Sometimes it’s awesome.

But sometimes it really sucks. Sometimes we should let it roll off our backs, or even totally ignore it.

How do you know when to listen and when not to?

Feedback to listen to and act on:

  • When someone specifically praises something you’ve done, you know you need to keep doing it, and maybe even do more of it.
  • When someone – who wants to help you improve – is telling you what they believe you’re doing wrong with your products or service. Even if the customer is mad at you, this feedback is valuable. You may be able to fix your customer’s problem and turn her into a loyal customer. She may have found a problem you didn’t know existed that now makes what you do better for everyone.

I get some great feedback from you:

Greg, I really liked the section in your book where you say you can overcome your fear by taking action. I finally figured out that fear was holding me back.

Greg, I love your FB posts. They really encourage me. Please keep them up.

Greg, the audio on one of your videos on YouTube isn’t very good. You should re-record it.

Greg, I bought your audiobook and the link didn’t work. (I got that email the day I released the audiobook. I fixed it right away. My customer was happy and he helped me, big time.)

To all of those examples I say, thanks for the feedback.

Feedback to ignore:

When someone just wants to hurt you. These people don’t want to help you. They aren’t looking for a solution to a problem with your product or service. They just want to be mean.

Greg, You’re radio show is the worst I’ve ever heard. You’re a %$&*!

Greg, you’re ideas are stupid. My dog is a better blogger than you.

There’s not much I can do with that, is there? I don’t even respond to that type of feedback. All that does is feed the trolls.

Have you noticed that you can have 99 pieces of great feedback and yet focus on the one jerk who told you how awful you are? I know I do that sometimes. Why? It does nothing to help us.

Remember: You get to decide if the feedback is valuable. You get to decide if you’re going to allow it to impact your day and your life.

  • Focus on the good.
  • Fix what you can.
  • Find ways to improve.
  • Ignore the trolls.

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

joy-movie-poster

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!

You’re So Close – Don’t Stop Now!

You’ve done all the hard work of thinking and planning. You’ve taken action and you’ve made progress. But some obstacles have come up and you’re not sure it’s going to work. You might fail!

Before you quit, please watch this:

Question for comments: What successes have you had that you almost gave up on? What do you do to keep going when you feel like quitting?

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!

Can YOU Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…

unsure

You’re excited about the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose. You’ve visited a few websites about it, watched some videos, and maybe even read a book about how to do it. You’ve been dreaming about what your best life would look like.

But…nothing’s changed. You aren’t taking action. Five years ago you were in the same situation and a year from now?

Why?

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.
–Amelia Earhart

If you read my blog, social media posts and book, you know I’m a super positive, encouraging, optimistic guy. (And humble!)

But, let’s get real here, ya’ll. Tough love time. IF you really want to live an extraordinary life where you pursue your Passionate Purpose, I can’t sugar coat this.

If you have thought about it – or tried to do it – before and failed, you’ve made excuses.

Here are some that I’ve heard (and used myself from time to time).

  • Only the lucky few get to do that
  • I’m not rich enough
  • I’m afraid I’ll fail
  • I don’t have the right connections
  • I’m not a genius
  • I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money
  • You have to be really talented to do that
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I’m afraid I’ll get divorced over it
  • I don’t want to sacrifice my wife/husband/kids/relationships to do that
  • I’m not educated enough
  • Now’s not the right time
  • It’s too hard
  • I won’t make enough money to live on if I do that
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve it
  • People from my family don’t do that
  • It’s selfish and greedy to want to do that
  • I don’t have enough time to do everything I would need to do
  • I’ll do it someday

Those are just some of the excuses I’ve heard to make people feel better about giving up on their dreams. I’m sure you could help me come up with more. Some of these concerns are real. I don’t want to suggest that going after what you really want is easy and requires no sacrifice. That’s just dreaming.

But, if you really want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and go after that extraordinary life, you have got to cowboy up for a serious ride.

Do you really want to look back on your life and list the excuses why you never tried? Do you want to use your children, spouse and friends as human shields to protect you from your fears of going for something great? Do you really believe that ALL successful people are divorced, greedy, horrible human beings who sacrificed all their values to get where they are in life?

Am I going to stop talking in questions? Yes. Right now.

The reason you aren’t taking action and going after this isn’t because you don’t have talent—nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.

Look, all the excuses really boil down to one. Fear.

Change is scary. All those excuses we listed create fear. Your mind is screaming at you to avoid fear and risk. Subconsciously, your brain is telling you that you get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.

IF you really want this, it’s time to convince yourself these aren’t just wants, they are needs.

Time to convince yourself that the fear and pain that always comes with change is worth it for the chance to live the extraordinary life of your dreams.

Time to convince yourself that NOT changing is risky, too. Imagine living your whole life and NEVER going for what you could have had!

If you are tired of just getting by and letting days, months, and years slip past without achieving what you know you were put on this earth by your Creator to do, then now is the time.

Get your mindset right.
Understand fear creeps in but can be handled.
Determine what you want.
Set your course.
Take action.
GO!

How much longer will you wait?

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!