Category: Think About It

intentions and change
May 9th, 2013     |    LifeThink About It

IntentionsAndChangeOver the past several years, as I’ve designed my life with intention, I have become clearer and clearer about what that phrase truly means to me.

I believe that the intentions we have for our lives are largely unchanging.

They form a “constitution” of sorts about what we believe and want for our lives. Though they may certainly evolve over time, like our country’s constitution, it is not often that we choose to amend them.

A well formed intention is created from a place of deep consideration for our deepest hopes, values, and life vision. It is something that we can re-commit ourselves to every morning.

Even if we may have faltered the day before.

It allows for changes in circumstance, and does not include metrics or “goals.”

An intention that will stand the test of time allows our life situation to change, yet remain steadfast.

It is a compass for navigating new waters.

With intentions in our hearts, we are then able to design our actions and habits to support these intentions in a variety of ways. 

Though my intention to listen to my gut, or intuition, when it comes to my physical well-being remains constant, how I design my life around this intention changes all the time.

I’ve fired my ego from controlling my eating, I’ve eaten one banana a week, I’ve ran every other day to help ease the discomfort of an incorrect prescription, and right now I’ve returned back to doing yoga once a week.

I’m curious to see how I evolve with this intention in mind in the future as well.

How I fulfill this intention when I’m an expecting mother may be different than how I do it now, or even after I have children.

I used to think that once I created a habit to support my intention, I had to keep doing it for a really long time.

If I started going to yoga, I wanted to keep going for years. If I ate one banana a week for a little while, I wanted to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.

Now, however, I’ve learned to lessen that grip on the habits and let them flow more naturally.

My habits don’t need to remain locked in place forever. They can grow and change as long as they are still serving the greater plan – the overall intention – for that area of my life.

As long as a habit is fueling my well-being and ultimate intention, I can keep going in that direction as long as I like. And if I later feel pulled in a new direction with a different habit, that’s fine, too.

I don’t need to be so concerned with the habits being consistent as I do about being focused on the intention that I bring to that moment.

In this season I might be into yoga, and next season I might be into running half marathons.

What I “do” isn’t as important as how I come to that moment to fulfill my guiding intention.

There is much to be said for dedication and commitment to habits.

But if we find ourselves stuck in tradition for the sake of familiarity and comfort, the intention can become lost and our desires may dim.

We may find ourselves simply floating through life, rather than staying alert to our guiding intentions or intuition. Our souls may be craving something new and different, but we may resist change in order to maintain the status quo.

A well formed intention won’t keep us stuck. It will help us change and grow into our full potential. 

 

seize common occasions
May 8th, 2013     |    QuotableThink About It

SeizeCommonOccasions

Today, I think this is the perfect quote to keep in mind.

Simple, but true.

 

knocking on doors
May 7th, 2013     |    Business AdviceThink About It

KnockingOnDoors

The more that I consult for business owners and watch the blogging world grow and evolve, I am struck by a process that I call “knocking on doors.”

Often, when we launch a new business or website, we place a lot of importance on the immediate actions and the success we yearn to have rightnow.

Not “right now,” but rightnow.

Which is totally understandable. When we do something new, it often involves an element of risk that can be scary. We are putting ourselves out there and daring to grow in new ways.

So we really want to see our actions pay off rightthissecond

However, looking from a higher vantage point, at the blogging community and small business landscape as a whole, it becomes easy to see that most of us don’t necessarily find our purpose behind the first door we knock on.

Instead, we often knock on a several doors, try a few different approaches within our industry, and (frequently) have lackluster results.

We begin to feel frustrated by our lack of success with our initial attempts. We might even start to doubt – just a little bit – whether we are meant to take this path after all.

It’s scary. We put their faith – and internal pressure – on the first door or two we knock on. We expect one to open and take us to the glory that we seek (sustainable income, full-time employment, front row seats at New York Fashion Week).  And when things don’t pan out as planned, options feel limited.

Then, quite frequently, someone else in our industry knocks on a new, different door we haven’t noticed before. This brand new door flys open for that person and incredible things happen for them.

At first, we might feel a bit frustrated and guarded about their success. It stings to know that it didn’t happen to us first.

However, once we overcome that initial pang of envy, we often rush to knock on the same door, hoping to have the same amazing results.

For some people, that new door is the right fit, too. Great things being to happen and they feel “on their way.”

But for most, knocking on that same door that worked for others is not the answer.

In fact, it can actually cloud our judgement about door selection overall. We can become so fixated on the success of our peer that we lose sight of what is the right door for ourselves.

Eventually, we become tired of knocking on that other door and never getting a response.

So we slowly wander away. We either give up at this point or we start tapping, hesitantly at first, on other doors.

We stop paying so much attention to the doors that are opening for others and focus on our own door preferences. We start to feel drawn, internally, to the doors that fit our own personality and lifestyle.

This is when the magic happens.

Most often, it is this next wave of door knocking that leads to the success that we sought all along. 

Often, the doors that do open for us look quite different than the first doors we were drawn to at the start.

We now realize those initial doors weren’t the right fit all along.

It was only through the process of knocking on the wrong doors that we began to understand which ones are right for us.

So if you find yourself knocking on doors and haven’t gotten an answer just yet, don’t worry.

If you keep going, listen to your gut, and go with what feels most natural, you are likely to find a door made just for you.

 

power hour
May 6th, 2013     |    LifeThink About It

PowerHour

Today I want to share a few favorite videos as a new take on the term “power hour” (far from traditional college pre-game game).

This power hour consists of inspiring videos that would take roughly sixty minutes to watch (I think the actual total is about 50-ish minutes).

The first video is a favorite that really resonated with me several months ago. In fact, I became familiar with the term “shiny penny” from Mastin’s insights with Marie.

 

 

This next one (shared by Laura) is a new classic , particularly in the career and small business realm.

 

 

And last but not least, this short clip sent to me by Mr. Lively makes a great point about small business.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

the wise thing to do
April 24th, 2013     |    LifeQuotableThink About It

 

WiseThingToDo

Contemplating major behavioral change or seeking the next steps in some area of your life?

This single question is remarkably insightful and practical.

 

 

focus and simplicity
April 18th, 2013     |    Business AdviceLifeQuotableThink About It

 

FocusandSimplicity

This week I have been hustling with my regular workload while preparing for the San Francisco Life and Business with Intention workshops this weekend.

Since today is the last day I have to get everything settled until next Tuesday, I have quite a lot to jam into the few hours before and after my client sessions this afternoon.

Which means I’m taking Mr. Job’s advice and focusing on the top priorities and keeping things simple.

 

 

SuccessDefinedByMargaretThatcher

 

DoThingsMyWay

I think today is a good day to spend a little time remembering the wise words of two iconic ladies who are no longer with us.

 

once we forget all our learning
April 3rd, 2013     |    LifeQuotableThink About It

 

HenryDavidThoreau

Little known fact about me: this quote by Mr. Thoreau was my senior high school quote in the yearbook.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

confident expectations
March 25th, 2013     |    LifeQuotableThink About It

 

ConfidentExpectations

I heard this quote today and it struck me as the perfect Monday morning mantra.

May something good happen to you this week!

 

power vs. force
March 20th, 2013     |    LifeThink About It

 

PowerVsForce

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about motivation as it relates to intentions in our lives.

The book Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins has introduced me to a very interesting concept regarding motive, paradigms, and power. Though I am skeptical of many of the scientific elements he brings to the table, I have been fascinated by the spiritual ideas.

In the book, Mr. Hawkins suggests that the way we view and interact with the world relates to a specific level of consciousness. He believes we often stay within the same consciousness level most of our lives, but I personally believe that we may jump between these levels depending on our mood, experiences, and spiritual growth.

Mr. Hawkins describes the following levels.

 

PowerVsForceConciousnessLevels

 

The levels in coral depict those which use power. Operating from one of these levels creates an effortless pull of good things, situations, and opportunities to you.

Meanwhile, the levels in gray demonstrate the levels of force, according to Mr. Hawkins. Force levels require you to go out there and ‘take’ the good things, situations, and opportunities that you’d like.

It all boils down to a “push” vs. “pull” way of living and being.

At first glance, this may either seem amazing or a little too woo-woo.

Regardless of the concept’s abstract nature, I’ve found some tangible, “spiritually practical” ways to implement these ideas with great results in my own life.

Lately, whenever I’m faced with a difficult personal conflict, business decision, or other mental quandary, I now try to determine which level I’m currently operating from.

Chances are, if I’m having a conflict, I’m looking at the circumstances from a gray, forceful level. Coming up with a solution for the problem on the same, or nearby gray level, will still leave me frustrated and at a standstill.

However, when I pause and ask myself:

“At what level would I need to look at this situation in order to find peace and a new solution?”

… A new way of being, thinking, and feeling emerges.

Is it always easy to remove the emotions tying me to the gray level I was previously operating in?

Honestly, no.

[Intermission….]

In fact, funny story… I just had “a situation” occur in the middle of writing this post.

Yep, about one minute ago I spilled my coffee out of the blue onto my new MacBook Pro (which means I’m now typing this portion of the post on Mr. Lively’s super old laptop).

I easily could have felt angry about the unforeseen setback, guilty about my clumsiness, and afraid that it might do some real damage.

But thanks to writing this post, I immediately was reminded of the power levels. Heck, I just needed to look at my screen rather than the coffee puddles to find that I needed to rise to the level of acceptance in order to find the peace about the situation.

I can accept that I will spend the rest of the day doing work from this different computer and be thankful that I have a computer to work on at all. I can also accept that I will find out if any serious damage has been done when Mr. Lively gets home to investigate.

So there you go. Though the idea of consciousness levels might be a bit “out there” for some, but it can really be useful.

Especially if you spill coffee on your laptop.

 

ProduceYourOwnSuccessStory

Today I realized the best thing I can do to serve you is share a feisty piece I wrote in 2011. I promise, it’s worth reading (or re-reading)…

Pardon me, but I’m a little fired up today. While standing in line at the CVS to pick up some contact solution yesterday afternoon, I glanced at the cover of one of the weekly magazines and saw a feature on how “Ali from The Bachelor lost 10 pounds as revenge”… or something like that. Regardless of why she was losing weight as revenge (which is a pretty strange notion to begin with) or what she actually did to achieve the weight loss, I found myself with ruffled feathers.

I know that on another day, in the not-so-distant past, I would have stood there and wondered what she did to lose the weight, wondered how she might be happier now (I mean look, she got a cover feature), and speculated about whether I should try her methods to lose weight myself. But something inside me has shifted (at least for the moment). Ever since the trip to NYC and realizing my intention to pursue PR for Jess LC, my paradigm has changed. Rather than look to others successes for guidance in my life, I’ve become much more interested in my own actions and using those to propel myself further. I’ve become more interested in how I want to become successful than how others have reached their own successes.

Though I think there is a lot to be said about bibliographies, success stories, advice, and research, I also feel many of us are getting too comfortable sitting on the sidelines reading and watching other people achieve their dreams — and then attempting to replicate their achievements in our own lives.

The problem with this copycat method, I believe, is that it leaves us with a second-rate version of what worked for someone else, which doesn’t take into complete consideration all of our own unique factors. And therefore, whatever plan we follow, is innately going to clash with our individual abilities, motivations, and values – which ultimately leads to dissatisfying results, unmaintainable goals, or a simple lack of follow through on our part. Our actions need to speak to us on all levels, spiritually, physically, and mentally, and it’s very hard to really grasp that in a cookie cutter plan or a shadowed routine.

The one major concession I make in the above paragraph is when a particular plan does meet your individual spiritual, physical, and mental values – then the plan could quite possibly work with flying colors. Take my brother, for example. He has been preparing to follow the P90X routine this summer for almost a full year. He researched, thought about it, planned his meals, and devoted the hours he needed in order to reach his goal. He became so intrinsically motivated by the plan and the outcome that he faithfully executed each exercise and nutrition requirement to its fullest. He also reaped the rewards he desired in the process. On the other hand, I tried the Weight Watchers program for several months but finally realized I wasn’t seeing results because I wasn’t dealing with the right spiritual issue.

I maintain that many most of our failed attempts come from the fact that we are trying to fit ourselves into a prescribed routine that isn’t capturing our real desires. Or, we are fearful of failure and rush to find comfort in something that has worked for someone else. This constant focus on the information itself keeps us so busy listening to others that we are unable to actually devote the full amount of energy and attention that it takes to reach our goals.

I think this is because we underestimate how much time and devotion it requires to take action, follow through, and maintain progress. We think that if we “know” everything, we will be able to “do” everything. But the real knowledge comes from personal experience, until then, it’s just information in our brains. To follow with the magazine story example, we don’t really know how to lose weight until we actually drop the pounds. Until then we “have the weight loss information” without any experience to back it up.

So, back to my ruffled feathers, I am finding that for the first time I feel bold, less fearful of failure, and more focused on what I’m going to do next. I’m writing my success story each day that I take new actions and try new things. Not all of the things I try will lead to the success I am looking for, but each step ahead is one further away from where I started. It is a constant process that takes into consideration my personal values and goals. My path will be one-of-a-kind and unrepeatable because I am following my gut and trusting things to fall into place. I am following my purpose which is unique to me. Everyone is capable of doing this exact same thing for themselves, they just need to start tapping into what they know and stop looking around at the people next to them.

My Challenge to You

I challenge those who find themselves easily caught in the research and advice trap to take a minute this afternoon and write your own success story. Write out a future magazine feature story detailing how you are successful in three months, six months, or two years from now at the thing you are working towards.

For example, if you want to create a full-time business but are in a desk job, write the story explaining how you made your business so profitable you were able to quit your job after nine months. Explain what actions you took, what marketing efforts you made, what hiring decisions you struggled with. Write it all out and then use that as your own road map to success. Because when you stop and think about it, the story you just wrote captures your spiritual, psychical, and mental abilities and values. Your plan understands you perfectly and you resonate with it 100%.

In summary, stop reading someone else’s success story and start writing your own.

 

PS – Business in the City Chicago is coming up this Wednesday. I hope to see you there!

 

surviving or thriving?
March 13th, 2013     |    LifeQuotableThink About It

 

SurvivingOrThriving

… Just a little thought from today’s WIKW email.

 

Enjoy!

 


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