Can this Work for me?

You hear or read something that would be empowering if only you didn’t try to find a scenario where it didn’t work. Or, someone tells you exactly how you can change something you’ve been struggling with by sharing their stories, but noooo! It wouldn’t work for you, your situation is way too different.

You do this because your focus is not at the right place. You focus on the problem. You know the problem with rich and vivid details. You can explain it with precision. This habit keeps you from focusing your time and energy on what’s important: the lesson and the solution.

When you’re in the known, even if it’s painful, you feel secure. A solution would make you go into the unknown, so you fight it. You find the one reason why it wouldn’t work, you explain it in details, instead of just trying the solution. What’s the worst that could happen if you tried it? And an even better question would be, can this work for me?

I’ve done this too often. Sometimes, because my focus was on the problem, but other times because Mrs Ego was in the way. I thought that I could solve my problem by myself without anybody’s help. Instead of trying the other person’s solution, I would shake it off using all kinds of excuses.

Have you done this, and how do you fight the urge to discard a good solution or something empowering?

 

 

Excuses

Excuses are stories you tell yourself when you’ve failed at something and you want to feel better in the moment instead of feeling the pain from the failure. When you tell yourself excuses, you aren’t learning anything.

Yes, it’s hard to admit you made a mistake, but it’s making you grow so much more if you do. The realization and self-reflection that results from staying in the moment without making any excuses is the best way to make yourself grow into a better person.

When someone uses an excuse to explain why he/she failed, you might encourage them in their story. That’s probably because you don’t want them to feel ashamed for their mistake, and instead of exposing them out, you pretend to believe their lame story.

Helping someone to realize and learn from their mistake is a hard task. But if you are true to ourself, and you practice being in the moment when you screw up, you can guide that person in doing the same thing. You have empathy, and you know it hurts, so you’re more able to help that someone through realization and growth from their own mistakes.

Excuses exempt you from your responsibilities. They give you permission to behave badly, to make more mistakes, or to repeat the same mistake over and over.

When you make up excuses, you live in a parallel universe where reality is distorted to prevent you from feeling discomfort.

Assuming your mistakes will free you from guilt, make you stronger, and will always make you a respectable person. You’ll become more humble and real.

Everyone makes up stories about why they took this decision, or made that mistake. What’s yours? How can you turn it around to tell yourself the truth?

You Give me so Much

Every day, I write in my gratitude journal. If you’d flip through the pages, you’d see that there’s a pattern, there are things that always come back. For example, the love I share with my friends and family, the opportunities to be and do so much this amazing era gives us, my fans, peace, and nature.

I limit myself to write only 5 things each day. If I didn’t, I’d probably spend the whole day writing things which I’m grateful for… I’d feel good, but not very productive because there’s so much to be grateful for!

Every day, even if I don’t write it down, I feel so lucky to have you in my life. You write me emails, send tweets and facebook messages, you comment the crazy thoughts on my blog posts, and through all of that, I can feel your love and appreciation.

So I want to take this opportunity to remind you that I’m immensely thankful for your love, words of wisdom, and for being your beautiful self. You’ve helped me grow throughout the 13 years I’ve done this wonderful job, supported me even when I didn’t believe in myself, and we’ve shared ourself in more ways than I could ever imagine.

I’m humbled and grateful to you for having showed me that most people, even strangers, can care.

Thank you so much <3

 

Reality and Truth

Reality and truth can hurt. That’s why we try to avoid them most of the time. But the more we’re able to see the world and ourselves through a reality lens, the better we’re equipped to grow, to face the challenges the world throws at us, and to live a healthy life. If we choose to let our minds be clouded by lies, false perceptions, and illusions, we’ll be less likely to take the right decisions and actions.

Reality and truth are hard to grasp. Something we thought was the truth a year ago, isn’t real anymore. We need to consistently make quick adjustments to our vision of the world, and of ourselves. Everyday, we’re bombarded with information about the nature of reality. We’re constantly sorting this information, trying to discern what is real and what is not. It takes a lot of auto-discipline to keep up to date with reality!

What happens when we haven’t done any major adjustment in our vision of ourselves and of the world, but there is new information that invalidates our reality and we need to make changes? We get scared. Fear creeps in and we close our eyes, passively rejecting the new information. Or worse, we can start a crusade against the new information, trying to destroy them, manipulating them to make them concord with our false reality.

Constant and rigorous questioning can help us live a life that is real and be who we really are. It will create discomfort, but discomfort makes us grow, and growth is life. Challenging our own beliefs even when every fibres of our body goes against is the way to be unconditionally free.

What are old believes that keeps you from being free?

Discomfort is What’s Making You Grow

A low performing, low growth environment where you have to follow too many steps, always ask permission, and everything is scrutinized, or where chaos predominates, you’ll see your creativity hinder, it’ll stifle your independent thoughts and actions. You don’t want to be or stay there, where nothing grows.

A predictable environment is where you want to be some or most of the time. You know what’s going to happen when you perform certain actions, but know that whatever makes you comfortable will ruin your life. Indeed, when you always do or think the same way, you eventually stop growing. You’re like a goldfish in a small fish bowl.

In a state of discomfort, that’s where you’ll continually grow. It’s what’s giving you the push to start a new journey, or complete the one you’re already in. When you use your environment to promote growth, you’re like a goldfish in a pond. You’ll have sustainable and exponential growth if you consciously acknowledge discomfort.

 

There are ways discomfort can be triggered in your life.

It might be forced upon you. How much you’ll grow when discomfort is forced upon you– like when you get fired –will depend how you’ll react. Will you stay angry, or make excuses, or will you use this trigger to propel yourself?

It might be that someone helps you get there; a coach, a parent, a teacher, or a boss can push you deep into discomfort. The first reaction anyone has to this push is to intervene, trying to make the person feel good again. If you help the person to get back into comfort, you’re killing all the efforts made to promote her development.

Discomfort can also be triggered by yourself. When you don’t have a coach, teacher, or boss to push you, you have to do it yourself. This is hard because comfort is… comfortable!

What are ways that you use to push yourself into discomfort?

 

Your Dream Life

It might be easier than you think to make your dream life come true. You may believe you need millions of dollars, more time, or better health to achieve your desired life, but I’m sure that if you stop for a few minutes, and let your heart tell you what kind of life you really aspire to, you’d be surprised how easily accessible it is.

We make things bigger than they really are, and by doing that, we believe we can’t be, do, or have the things that make us light up. To counteract this false belief, I like to sit down regularly, and write about a simple day in my dream life. It helps me to make better choices, to have the courage to do bold things, and to make the appropriate sacrifices.

It’s also a good assessment of my current life vs my dream life. It emphasizes where the gaps are, so I can adjust my current life to have more of what my dream life is made of. It also shows me where the two lives unite, making me so much more grateful for everyone and everything I have right now.

Here’s a little excerpt from what I wrote this morning. This is not my first draft. Before it was perfect for me, I wrote lists of things I wanted in my life, I extensively tried to understand my core values, I deepened and acknowledge the stronger traits of my personality. I knew I hated it when things kept coming back in the many lists I created.

My dream is to wake up every morning to the sound of the birds singing, making coffee and drinking it while watching the amazing view outside of my home, and starting my day knowing I have no obligations but to make this day the most beautiful, passionate, and happy I can possibly can.

I’d then get dressed to go outside for a walk with my husband, letting my mind wander, listen and comment on the beauty of mother nature, and how grateful I am for who I became, and for everyone and everything I have I my life.

When we’d get back home, we’d have a healthy breakfast, talk about us, about what we aspire to be and do, look into each other’s eyes and say how much we love one another, as if there’d be no tomorrow.

Mornings are when I feel the most creative and energetic. I would unquestionably go straight to my studio, or pack my painting kit on my motorbike to explore my land, and find a nice place to paint. Each brush stroke would illuminate my eyes, make my heart race, and fill my soul with happiness.

In the afternoon, my choices of activities would vary between playing music with or without friends, go see friends or family members, cook healthy meals for days ahead, sell my paintings and everything that’s involved with that business, ride my motorbike or paint some more, exercise, learn new skills, and help someone who really needs it.

My evening would be relaxed. After a healthy dinner with my darling, we’d talk some more, make love, and I would read a great book before going to sleep.

Although I’ve let out many (personal and financial) details, you can get the essence of my dream life. It’s not complicated, it doesn’t cost millions of dollars, it promotes good health, strong relationships, and passion. It’s in perfect harmony with all my core values.

My brain has a clear image of my desires. It sees and analyzes all the opportunities that can make my dream life come true. All I have to do is listen, and act on the (electric) impulses, or messages, my brain sends me, making the gap between both lives get smaller every day.

Best of all, I’m already living many elements of my dream life. This reassures me;  I don’t live in the future, and I savour the present moment.

Does your brain know what kind of life you really want? And are you listening?

The Hard Things

This past week has been one of significant realization. I’ve learned that if I want to be or do something, achieve any goal I set out, I can’t wait to feel like doing what it takes. To make it through, there’s hard things to do, challenges, and obstacles and I have to FORCE myself to do them.

The problem is that my “old” brain doesn’t want to do the hard things. It sees the hard things, the challenges, and the obstacles as threats to my survival because they trigger stress in my mind and body. All it wants is to protect me, and keep me alive. It doesn’t know the difference between the hard things and a sabre tooth, so it will always try to tuck me out of doing something difficult by making me doubt, telling me stories about why I shouldn’t do it, and lie about the reasons why I can’t be or do it.

By being aware of this, I’ve been able to tell my “old” brain to shut up. Even better, I don’t give it a chance to say anything. I have my plan that guides me though what I have to do to become who I want to be, and to have what I want, and I just do it. If by mistake I take a little too long before I get going, and my “old” brain starts to ramble, I remind myself that I’ll never feel like doing it, and might as well do it right now and be done with it.

This process has started to build some serious discipline muscles. It has also been the most successful experiment I ever did. The results have been instantaneously visible. Instead of feeling guilty because I didn’t do what I had to do, and then rush to try to make it by the end of the day to finally fail, I’m relaxed, happy, and my hard things are done early in the day.

I’m sharing this because we all have dreams and goals, but we fail to make them come true, not because we’re a procrastinating lazy couch potato, but because we fail to understand how our brain works.

The post I wrote about “How to Get what You Want in 5 Seconds” will guide you through the information that changed the way I approached  my life’s dreams and goals. Listen to Mel and see your own life change!

How to Get What you Want in 5 Secondes

Ok, maybe not in 5 seconds, but I really want you to read this. It can change your life.


This week, I’ve watched a Ted Talk that inspired me so much, I want to share it with you. It’s called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over from Mel Robbins.

It always bugged me that even tho we had all the information (blogs, books), the networks (social medias), the circumstances (welcome the 21st century) to change our lives, and change the world, we still didn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t understand why.

Mel says it’s because we say we’re FINE. We’ve convince ourselves that we’re fine not having/being what we want.

She also says that we snooze off all our fantastic ideas that pops-up in our head all day long. The same way we hit the snooze button in the morning when we don’t want to get our of bed.

One more reason why we don’t do what we have to do to change is that motivation isn’t happening; we’re never going to feel like doing something hard. Changing requires a truck load of energy, and the only way to go is to FORCE ourselves into action.

Her trick to outsmart our brain to make us into the extraordinary being we out to be is the 5 second rule.

The moment you feel an impulse to act on a goal, start counting backward from five (5-4-3-2-1), and physically move immediately. Write down the email, walk to that girl and say hello, pick up the phone and make the call, get dressed and go to the gym.

It works with bad habits that you want to change too.

The concept isn’t new, it’s just framed differently from what you’ve already experienced… Remember… You’ve got to your knee in cold water, in a lake or a river, and you can’t get yourself to dive in, so what do you do if you don’t want to look like a pussy? You count 1-2-3-go!!! And you dive 😛

Mel explains why and how the 5 second rule works, and she also wrote a book about her nifty little trick that will be out on February 28th.

Have you heard about the 5 second rule before? Have you used it without knowing (please share examples)?


P.S.: I hope you had a laugh at the picture, and that you returned the grimace!

Don’t Rely Solely on Motivation

Because motivation is unreliable, you shouldn’t base your success strategies on it. Yes, it can sometimes help you get your ass off to the gym, or make you work on your side project. The problem is if you depend on motivation to get things done, or to accomplish your goals, you might end up achieving nothing because you have no control over when it’s going to hit you.

Motivation is simply a desire to do something. Often, when motivation strikes, you hit Google for instant gratification and an overload of information instead of working on a simple task that would bring you closer to success. Indeed, doing only 10 push ups is 100% better than watching 10 videos about the best workout in the world.

What about getting motivation from a reward, an external source? Looks like this is a poor route to take because as soon as the reward is removed from the equation, performance decreases.

A reward can also shift your focus from the task to the motivator (reward) when you need to use more brain power. Therefor, it reduces your accomplishments. However, it can work great for very simple or repetitive tasks where you don’t need to think.

If an external source of motivation won’t get you to do what you want to do, it’s time to take a look inside yourself, tap into this abundant resource some call drive, passion, self-discipline, or self-motivation. You can build strong self-discipline by starting small. You’ll still get a reward, but the reward will be your accomplishment. Progress, and the simple act of completing something are going to be your awesome rewards.

Are you a motivation addict? I know I used to be until I understood the simple distinction between external motivation and self-motivation. I can now rely on motivation to start something (see the big picture), and use self-motivation to accomplish my goal.

Thanks for reading, and take care!

Have Fewer Rules

Rules are an important component of our society. There’s the written rules. Those rules are in the books of law of every country. There’s also socially accepted implicit rules. Those are the rules you follow when you’re in public spaces, at your friend’s house, or with your family. And then, there’s your own personal set of rules, they’re your creations based on your values.

The written rules are reinforced by the law enforcement, and there are specific punishments for each broken rule.

Although, there’s no one appointed to the job of making sure the socially accepted implicit rules are followed, you’ll know when you’ve broken one as you’ll get punished by society in some form.

One of the best punishments -and my favourite too- is to ignore the bad behaviour. In most cases, when someone breaks a social rule, it’s to get attention. Pay no attention to the behaviour, and the person will feel stupid, and won’t break the rule any time soon.

Your personal rules are reinforced by you, of course. You create your own set of punishments when you don’t follow your own rules. Shame, blame, and calling yourself stupid are some of the most popular. As with most types of punishment, it’s not very effective. If punishment was all it took to make us follow the rules, there would be no crime, and we would all be perfect beings.

What if we had fewer personal and close relative rules? Instead of playing law enforcement with our kids, we could give them values. Instead of having conflict over a trivial rule we set with our significant other, we could passionately love each other. And instead of declaring war to our parents, sisters, or brothers over some meaningless rule, we could have the best time of our lives together.

The more rules we have, the greater the chance they are going to be broken. And if we set too many rules, we become rigid, vulnerable, and brittle.

What are some rules that aren’t important that you could let go?